Michael Gaynor
ACORN 8 defender rants about Michelle Malkin, Anita Moncrief, and me
By Michael Gaynor
October 7, 2009

Thesubpoena just issued by the Louisiana Attorney General stated that "the exact account of the embezzlement was....recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on October 17, 2008 by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review determined that the amount embezzled was $5,000,000.00...."

Good news: I'm in great company!

Bad news: A blogger (Mike Volpe) with whom I agreed to speak last July and who never telephoned me as aranged just called Michelle Malkin a "pseudo journalist" and tried to discredit ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief. (He also insinuated that I might not really be a lawyer. Since that's a readily confirmable fact, he seems to be research-impaired.)

FACT: Ms. Malkin is popular and "makes money."

FACT: Volpe is jealous over and outraged about that.


"...frankly, I wouldn't care what Ms. Malkin says except she makes money saying. Her style of journalism shouldn't get any more readers than the average blog."

"Michelle Malkin doesn't deserve to make money as a journalist...."

Apparently Ms. Malkin just incurred the wrath of the ACORN 8 and its fan, Volpe, by reporting some truths they prefer not to be publicized: that Ms. MonCrief had publicly called attention to the possibility that the amount of the Dale Rathke embezzlement might have been about $5,000,000 instead of $1,000,000 months ago and The New York Times knew that long ago.

In the succinctly titled "The $5 million ACORN embezzlement figure is not new — and the NYT knows it" (October 5, 2009), Ms. Malkin wrote:

"The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports tonight that the ACORN/Rathke embezzlement sum was $5 million, not the widely cited $1 million figure admitted publicly to date by the left-wing racketeering group. "But guess what? The figure is not new — and it is not news to the whitewashers at the New York Times....

"Now, the rest of the story that the New York Times won't tell you.

"Former ACORN/Project Vote worker Anita MonCrief — the independent whistleblower who worked closely with NYTimes reporter Stephanie Strom on exposing ACORN financial shenanigans last year before Times editors 'cut bait' just weeks before Election Day — informed Strom that the true figure was $5 million.

"MonCrief also reported the $5 million figure to Warner Todd Huston in April 2009.'

Curiously, in a story obviously framed to tout ACORN 8's Michael McCray (and to shift attention away from Ms. MonCrief's fellow New York Times source, ACORN 8 head Marcel Reid), raved that "Malkin frames the story to tout her favorite former ACORN insider, Anita Moncrief."

A fair reading of Ms. Malkin's latest ACORN post would be that Ms. Malkin exposed The New York Times while giving due credit to Ms. MonCrief.

Ms. Malkin gives credit, which is a good thing.

Volpe described Ms. Malkin as a "shoddy" journalist (a commenter told him how to spell "shoddy" and he corrected his spelling error) and Ms. MonCrief is not credible.


Volpe complained that Ms. Malkin did not say some things about Ms. MonCrief in the latest of many of Ms. Malkin's posts citing Ms. MonCrief.

Ms. Malin previously said them. Suffice it to say that Volpe apparently either has not read or forgot what he read in Ms. Malkin's posts and chapter 8 of Ms. Malkin's best-selling Culture of Corruption.

Volpe argued that Ms. MonCrief could not know about the Dale Rathke embezzlement because "the embezzlement was only discussed within ACORN at a board meeting in November of 2008" and "Anita Moncrief was never on the board of ACORN."

Volpe is right about Ms. MonCrief not being an ACORN board member, a detail.

But he was wrong to claim that Ms. MonCrief could not know without being a board member and, even if his claim is true as to when the subject was discussed "within ACORN," it's a non sequitur: the subject could have been discussed otherwise as well.

Volpe finally acknowledged that Ms. MonCrief could have "knowledge...second hand." That, he's right about.

Volpe also conceded that "former ACORN board member Michael McCray... recalls the final number being close to $5 million."

Volpe should have acknowledged more than that.

In "ACORN 8's Michael McCray Demeans Marines, Defends ACORN, Decries Current ACORN Leadership" (July 16, 2009) (the article from which Ms. Malkin quoted, much to Volpe's consternation), I quoted McCray as follows: "...the multi-million embezzlement and 8 year cover up has to lead the list of egregious illegal conduct. The embezzlement was publicly reported to be $1 million, however the board was notified that the true number was at least $5 million."

The subpoena just issued by the Louisiana Attorney General stated that "the exact account of the embezzlement was....recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on October 17, 2008 by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review determined that the amount embezzled was $5,000,000.00...."

It's not the first time Ms. MonCrief disclosed the truth and The New York Times chose not to print it!

Volpe tried mightily (and seemingly maliciously) to discredit both Ms. MonCrief and Ms. Malkin by doing what the ACORN 8 have done: telling some truth, but not the whole truth.

For example, Volpe complained: "Malkin doesn't say that Anita Moncrief was let go from Project VOTE because she falsely applied for a Project VOTE business credit card and used that credit card to run up more than a thousand dollars worth of personal expenses. Moncrief doesn't deny this. She stipulates that this happens. So, Malkin scoffs at the New York Times for not using her number but in fact, Moncrief's credibility is in question. There are many reasons why the New York Times didn't merely print her number and not all of them are nefarious to protect ACORN and Obama."

FACT: The credit card matter is old news. Ms. Malkin discussed the credit card matter both in her book and in her blog. Ms. MonCrief addressed it at length when Laura Ingraham interviewed her last October and wrote about it when she started her own blog (www.anitamoncreif.blospot.com) last November. I reported on it in "The Education of ACORN Whistleblower Anita Moncrief" (March 3, 2009). Ms. Malkin put it in context in "Project Vote sues whistleblower: ObamACORN bully tactics exposed" (July 22, 2009), as follows: "MonCrief has always been open and honest about her firing from Project Vote. The ObamACORN mob used the credit card incident as a pretext then and they are using it as a pretext now. The real reason they are going after her is because she poses a fundamental threat to ACORN's criminal racket."

FACT: Ms. Malkin refuted the claim that The New York Times did not consider Ms. MonCrief credible when New York Times public editor made it months ago.

Ms. Malkin, in "All the news that's fit to suppress" (May 20, 2009): "Hoyt attempted to paint MonCrief as an unreliable source. But Times reporter Stephanie Strom had relied on her for months to break a series of ACORN corruption stories."

When is a whistleblower not a whistleblower?

According to Volpe, when Volpe says so!

Volpe insisted that Ms MonCrief is "technically not a whistleblower," demonstrating that he has some problems with the meanings of words as well as their proper spelling.

The notion that Ms. MonCrief is not a whistleblower would seem to be news to the ACORN 8 championed by Volpe.

When ACORN affiliate Project Vote filed a lawsuit against Ms. MonCrief in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on June 17, 2009, ACORN 8 issued a "Statement on Recent ACORN Whistleblower Retaliation" that described Ms. MonCrief as a whistleblower, decried "the tactic of suing whistleblowers — especially, low to moderate income people who do not have the financial means to effectively fight back in courts of law" and declared that the lawsuit against Ms. MonCrief is "yet another example of why congress must enact strong corporate, government and tax-payer funded whistleblower protection laws."

Volpe: "It's hard to find even one story that Malkin writes about Moncrief and ACORN in which she points out all of this about Moncrief....if you are going to publish some one's accusations, you must tell the whole story."

Volpe should study Chapter 8 of Culture of Corruption and Ms. Malkin's ACORN Watch archive.

Volpe concluded that Ms. MonCrief is not credible because she "embezzled."

Dale Rathke, Ms. MonCrief was not. Ms. MonCrief put some personal living expenses on a company credit card. Ms. MonCrief did NOT try to have the company pay those expenses. SHE was paying on the company credit card herself when it was noticed that she had charges some personal expenses to it and she was terminated and given that use of the company credit card as the reason.

Using a company credit card for personal living expenses seems trivial compared to what Volpe complained that Ms. Malkin did: quote me!

Volpe retaliated for that by writing that Ms. Malkin is " viscious and reprehensible." (Volpe learned how to spell "shoddy," thanks to a commenter, but apparently not yet "vicious.")

Surely Ms. Malkin does not resemble those remarks.

Ms. Malkin:

"Michael Gaynor noted at the time in response to McCray: 'Tellingly, Mr. McCray did NOT complain about keeping the information from prosecutors and the public. Perhaps that is because ACORN 8 leaders also kept important information from prosecutors and the public and put off the possibility of legal action to protect then presidential candidate Obama's election prospects. Incredibly, Mr. McCray essentially claimed that bad leadership is ACORN's only problem. Mr. McCray admitted that the ACORN 8 are out to replace the current ACORN control group, but the ideological difference is limited...Mr. McCray and the ACORN 8 did not complaint that ACORN has functioned wrongfully as an unofficial arm of the Democrat Party for many years. Instead, Mr. McCray celebrated ACORN's 'effectiveness' and complained only about ACORN leadership corruption."

I reiterate that and refer to the whole article: ACORN 8's Michael McCray Demeans Marines, Defends ACORN, Decries Current ACORN Leadership" (July 16, 2009).

On the same blog on which Volpe complained about curse words from commenters, he posted this ad hominum attack on both Ms. Malkin and me:

"To borrow a line from A Few Good Men, 'who the f%^k is PFC Michael Gaynor?' A third grade journalist would know that you can't simply quote someone. You have to identify them. What if Michael Gaynor got beat by Michael McCray in the state championship twenty years ago and he simply hates McCray? Would it be right to quote him then? Malkin can't simply quote Gaynor. She must tell the readers why a quote from Gaynor should hold any weight. She doesn't. She can't level any charges herself so she quotes someone else to level the charges for her. I've emailed Gaynor and asked what evidence he has to back up these assertions and I will update if and when he gets back to me."

Readers should not rely on Volpe's research skills, or recollection, or both.

Apparently Volpe forgot me. He emailed me on July 17, 2009 and I agreed to talk with him that evening, but he never called.

Volpe obviously knew who I was and was followed my articles on ACORN. He (and anyone else) is welcome to read articles in my archive as well as my brief biography at www.webcommentary.com and to google me.

If Volpe checked the acknowledgements in both Ms. Malkin's Culture of Corruption on the Obama administration and Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson's Until Proven Innocent on the Duke lacrosse no-rape case, he found me included.

But Volpe just told his readers: "It turns out that Gaynor is a blogger at a site I've never heard of, and he says he's an attorney. He also writes a lot about ACORN and not coincidentally, the one person that he references throughout is the aforementioned Anita Moncrief. Does an unknown journalist sound like a credible source?"

So the determination of credibility depends who Volpe knows and does not know?

As Star Trek'sMr. Spock would say, "Fascinating."

Volpe seems beside himself (a bad place to be) because Ms. MonCrief is a source for both Ms. Malkin and me and "Ms. Malkin just made a lot of money writing" Culture of Corruption.

Jealousy and ignorance are so unbecoming.


"... how does Gaynor know what ACORN 8 gave or didn't give to authorities in regards to ACORN? Does he have a source in the FBI? Isn't that information that someone like him would likely not have? As for Obama, McCray says that there was simply not enough evidence of wrongdoing between Obama and ACORN for ACORN 8 to go public with....ACORN 8 didn't focus on connections between Obama and ACORN because they had much stronger evidence on other things. Where was this side of the story? It was nowhere because Malkin didn't contact McCray to respond. How's that for shoddy journalism?.... "

I protect sources, but, as an ACORN 8 defender, Volpe should talk to Marcel Reid, ACORN 8 head. If he does and is still unaware, he should ask to review her emails, if he would dare.

Volpe continued: "McCray said he and others in ACORN 8 didn't complain about ACORN being an 'unofficial arm of the Democratic Party' because ACORN 8 doesn't have solid evidence of this, or certainly of wrongdoing in this capacity. Keep in mind, ACORN 8 was borne out of the investigation surrounding the embezzlement by Dale Rathke. That's where most of ACORN 8's evidence against ACORN lies. That's what they focus on.... McCray...readily admits that he and many of ACORN 8 members are Democrats and a poll would likely find overwhelming support for the President. So what?...."

The problem is political corruption, not political preference, and McCray falsely described both the nature of ACORN and ACORN's fundamental problem.

As I wrote in "ACORN 8's Michael McCray Demeans Marines, Defends ACORN, Decries Current ACORN Leadership" (July 16, 2009):

"Mr. McCray: 'I believe ACORN has been hijacked by a cabal of individuals who are acting in their own interest.'

"But (1) there has not been any hijacking, (2) like the current ACORN control group, the ACORN 8 are acting in their own interest, and (3) ACORN remains the subversive organization that it was founded by Wade Rathke to be (although Mr. Rathke's formal ties to ACORN were severed after 38 years as a result of the public disclosure of the ACORN embezzlement scandal and its cover up).

The problem posed by ACORN is susceptible to solving. The solution is not a new control control group, it's dissolving. Neither ACORN, nor the ACORN 8, can bear scrutiny.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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