Friday, September 18, 2009

From Little ACORNS, Mighty Scandals Grow

I'm a child of the Watergate Generation. I remember watching the scandal unfold over months and the hearings for months more. The ACORN scandal has grown so fast I can barely keep up with it. A multi-part video expose and numerous criminal indictments have thrust this liberal left organization into a very unwanted spotlight. Its direct connections to Van Jones and the SEIU festivities are now coming to light.

Another milestone was passed on Thursday, when the House of Representatives passed a resolution halting ACORN's government funding, thus joining the earlier vote of the Senate to cut off all existing federal grants to ACORN. The Obama administration is in fast spin-cycle trying to distance itself from the organization with which its President was so intimately involved in Chicago. The latest manifestation of their panic is the new mantra: "This minor organization is diverting America from the truly important issues facing Congress, such as health care reform and cap and tax." Ignore how hugely and intimately ACORN has been involved in promoting the Democrat agenda on both of those issues. And of course there's the Democratic plan to skew the census by using ACORN workers to conduct major portions of the census in urban areas. That one is now down the drain as well.

If one of us had written a movie script with this kind of scandal as the theme, it would have been rejected as being too unrealistic. Particularly since the corrupt organization which is so influential and so omnipresent is left/liberal/Democratic. No neo-Nazis or white power organizations anywhere to be found in this scenario. The whole plot would have to be re-written to turn the villains into white corporate madmen trying to undermine American democracy, like Tom Clancy's Muslim jihadists converted into Nazi plotters in the movie Sum Of All Fears.

Investigative journalism still exists, just not in the old places. The MSM should have been all over this story weeks ago, but ignored even the rudiments of the scandal until forced into grudging acknowledgment by unafraid conservatives (Michelle Malkin among them, and Glenn Beck on the Fox News Channel). These bulldog investigators brought the whole sordid mess to the public's attention. Had it not been for them, along with the video crew who entered the lion's den at assorted ACORN offices, this whole thing would have been a political footnote, dismissed by the MSM as a minor exception to the wholesome activities of these community organizers. Instead, seemingly overnight, huge majorities in both houses of Congress have been forced to take immediate and drastic action against ACORN.

I have to admit that I am very much having a flash of that characteristically German feeling of Schadenfreude, or joy in the misery of others. Though they should have, the Democrats did not see this coming. President Obama cannot deny his knowledge of ACORN's inner workings. He represented the organization in a lawsuit in 1995, and worked directly as an executive for Project Vote, a major partner in ACORN's sleazy and frequently criminally-fraudulent get-out-the-vote efforts. Says Obama's mouthpiece, Robert Gibbs: "The administration takes accountability very seriously." Apparently not too seriously until all the nefarious activities well-known to the administration are revealed in a very public way by someone outside the administration.

The Racketeering-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) division of the Justice Department seems to be AWOL on the issue for now. Eric Holder is probably using the lawyers as emergency replacements for the ACORN workers who are disappearing faster than the passenger pigeon or heading for their new digs in state jails for multiple felonies and misdemeanors. Of course Holder has also freed up the New Black Panther Party to help with the ACORN functions which are no longer funded by Congress or teamed-up with the Office of the Census.

Hardly having mentioned ACORN at all until a few days ago, the CBS Evening News breathlessly announced that the really important news is that ACORN has ordered an independent investigation of its operations." We used to call that a whitewash, but that is no longer politically-correct (racist overtones, you know). The systemically corrupt organization is going to conduct an "independent" investigation of itself. Too bad Barack Obama is busy right now, or he could be the independent counsel who investigates his former organization. The Politico blog reports that it is an "independent ACORN review into the indefensible action of a 'handful' of our employees who were secretly videotaped while giving advice to actors posing as a pimp and prostitute on how to buy a home and start a brothel." Get it? They're only going to investigate the activities of those very few who were trapped by sneaky private muckrakers. The CEO of ACORN even went on TV and called the taped evidence "entrapment." Sorry, lady. Being trapped is not the meaning of legal entrapment. Your people weren't entrapped, they were caught red-handed.

San Fran Nan, as late as Wednesday night said she didn't know anything about the ACORN revelations. By Thursday morning, she was in tears over the attack on such a noble organization which only helps poor people. When asked by a CNN employee about the ACORN issue, FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Wednesday: "I think the first I heard of this incident to which you refer was last evening. And beyond that, I do not know where we are." The FBI under Obama is going to take over the duties of the CIA conducting terrorist interrogations. I have the horrible queasy feeling that after a jihadist-planted dirty nuke goes off in one of our major cities, Mueller will be saying something very similar, like "Jihadists on American soil? That's the first I've heard of it." I'm not sure if Mueller's closest parallel is Rip van Winkle or Sleeping Beauty.

Even if Mueller didn't know about the most recent round of videotapes, shouldn't he have known about the recent multiple indictments and convictions of ACORN employees for voter fraud and other related illegal activity? Director Mueller, your bureau is called the Federal Bureau of Investigation. So try investigating occasionally, without prompting from the public about matters that any FBI agent should have known about months ago.

After getting kicked in the head by blogger/talk radio/Fox News Channel revelations about ACORN, Mueller says he expects his agency and the Justice Department to "look into it." Dear God! Deaf, dumb and blind Mueller is going to wait to discuss this with Eric Holder's Black Panther conviction-dismissing people? This would be comparable to a thorough investigation of the Teamsters' Union being conducted by Jimmy Hoffa, if we could just dig him up (literally or figuratively, whichever applies).


AndrewPrice said...

I watched the videos and I find it stunning that these people are so open about their behavior. There isn't even a hint that they shouldn't be helping someone who says he wants the money to import underage girls from Asia.

And one woman (in California) goes on about how she killed her ex-husband, how she did it in cold blood, and how she planned the whole thing to make it look like self defense. I hope somebody tries her for murder.

Joel Farnham said...

Guys, I have been following this. I really don't know what laws these sleazebags broke. But I do know about the woman. All ex-husbands of hers are alive and well.

I do know that Congress is scrambling to distant themselves from it.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, So she lied about that? That's funny. You usually don't lie about committing a crime, usually you lie about not committing a crime! LOL!

I'm not sure what all the crimes would be, but at the very least it would be aiding and abetting. Some of the things they advised about were tax evasion, prostitution using underage individuals, and lying on federal applications for benefits -- (False Claims Act, False Statements, fraud).

Joel Farnham said...

It is hilarious. Check out Stewart's take. It almost makes up for all his stupidity.

It is called 'Audacity of Hos'

Very funny.

Unknown said...

Andrew: You didn't spend as much time practicing criminal law as I did. You would be amazed at how many criminals (and I ain't talkin' white collar here) seem to think that everything they did was perfectly legal, completely justified, and downright honorable. The lines between drug dealers, community-organizers, con men and public employees frequently differ only in the number of arrests they've been subject to. If these ACORN employees weren't working for a corrupt organization, they'd be free-lancing as pimps, prostitutes and half-assed con-men themselves.

Unknown said...

JoelFarnham: The gal with the "murdered" husband is so typical of the lowlives ACORN hires. They lie even when there's absolutely no reason to do so. But insignificant people need to feel significant, so telling someone you've committed murder is really cool. ACORN does serve one purpose, though. It's a place where people too stupid to get a job as a government clerk can still find employment.

I would add attempt to defraud to Andrew's list. And some of the public-assistance funds require a declaration under penalty of perjury that the application is true and correct. So perjury in a successful application for "performance art" which is actually prostitution might apply as well. And then there's always the catchall "conspiracy."

Joel Farnham said...


My feeling is that this helping pimp and prostitute ACORN stuff really is small potatoes.

I think there is far more to it. Far more damaging to the Democrat Party and Obama himself.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk and Andrew,

I think the reason she lied about her husband was to impress the pimp and the prostitute. Sort of "Yeah, I committed a crime too!!" thing.

Unknown said...

I just saw a tape of Pelosi's tearful discussion of all the "hateful behavior" that "could lead to violence." She saw it in San Francisco in the 70s, she says. Yeah, right. She was too busy with her cocktail parties in Pacific Heights to see anything that happened down here with us peasants. And the leftist organizations which found San Francisco so amenable to their views included the S.L.A. (of Patty Hearst fame), the African Liberation Front, the Coalition Against the War, the Weathermen (later the Weather Underground), The [old] Black Panthers, and others too numerous to mention. They committed murders, bombings, arson, immense property damage, and felony battery to get their way. But since Pelosi never made it down to the areas where the rest of us lived and worked, she didn't know about any of that. That's how she can compare the 70s in San Francisco to the peaceful (if raucous) demonstrations against Obamacare, Cap 'n Tax, and now ACORN. The "real world" to her is her castle on San Francisco's Pacific Heights, her luxury personal jet, and her burled walnut-paneled throne room in DC.

Joel Farnham said...


Any chance Pelosi could be voted out this next election?

Unknown said...

JoelFarnham: You are completely correct. The pimp and prostitute tapes are just the ugly face of one facet of ACORN's nationwide activities. Encouraging criminal activity of all sorts is endemic in the organization (remember the voter fraud cases where they bribed homeless people into voting by offering them crack). The overall goal is to undermine our republican form of government, toss the Constitution on the funeral pyre, and turn America into a socialist workers paradise, By Any Means Necessary.

Pelosi is San Francisco's Representative for life. The only chance, and I mean the ONLY chance of defeating her would be a stunning Republican takeover of Congress in '10 which could be directly traceable to Pelosi's loss of control of her own party in Congress. In which case, she might be beaten by another ultraliberal Democrat who is less tainted by the loss of their majority in the House of Representatives. It is far more likely in reality that she might lose her job as Speaker, but not her permanent seat in the House.

StanH said...

“Caught red-handed,” LOL! So all of the criminal activity in one organization could and should trigger RICO? That news conference with the Pelosi is another indicator of how badly things are going for the left at the moment, screaming racism, tears, somewhere they need to work in homophobia, and we’ll have the trifecta. It’s up to the rest of the country to make Pelosi a backbencher in 2010.

It’s amazing how fragile a criminal operation is when put under scrutiny the veneer peels away. It will be interesting to see how deeply the investigation goes and how high it reaches. It will require that racist organization “We the People,” to remain vigilant. GoodDaddy said over at BH, something along the lines of, “can’t you hear the shredders running, from sea to shining sea.”

HamiltonsGhost said...

I am also happy as a clam to see ACORN finally get its just desserts. My biggest worry is that the organization has tentacles as lengthy and numerous as a giant octopus. If all the leads aren't tracked down, it may simply morph into MustardSeed or FolksHelpingFolks, and continue of its merry nefarious path of subversion. If a corporation ceases to exist, its officers, organizers and troops don't--they just move on, even if they have to wait until they get out of jail.

Unknown said...

StanH: The infuriating irony of Pelosi's tear-fest was her anxiety about the noisy demonstrations against Obama's legislative agenda turning into the violence she saw in San Francisco in the 70s. In reality, all the major political and racial unrest occurred in the late 60s and only rippled into the early 70s.

Considerable violence and mayhem were committed. And they were all perpetrated by left-wing radical groups. So what's she boo-hooing about? The Harvey Milk/George Moscone murders by a very drunk and seriously paranoid Dan White. That had absolutely nothing to do with political or racial protests whatsoever. It was the result of an insane grudge.

Joel Farnham said...


The tears she shed could be real. She is crying about all her best efforts are going down the drain. :-)

Unknown said...

HamiltonsGhost: It is definitely something to worry about. And we have to be vigilant. Malkin, Beck, the bloggers and Fox News Channel have limited resources. At the local level, any resurgence we see from ACORN under other names needs to be noted and mentioned to someone who can get the news out. ACORN is only the name of one of the heads of this multi-headed hydra. Lop off one, and two more appear.

Writer X said...

What I found astonishing about the videos is that these two people looked like caricatures--and the ACORN people couldn't wait to help them. They believed their stories, hook, line and sinker. The guy/pimp looked like something out of Joseph and The Technicolor Raincoat.

Even more ridiculous than that is the way the story has been spun following the videos. They're trying to place the blame on the two kids. ACORN and the usual dems are in complete denial if they think anyone with half a brain would buy their lame excuses. I'd have more respect for ACORN if someone had simply said: Yeah, we screwed up. We're sorry. We screwed up bad and we are making some serious changes to fix that.

And then Barack and company trying to distance themselves with this "minor organization"? Good luck with that. Don't all minor organizations get 56 million in taxpayer money and $8 billion from the Stimulus?

I'm with you. It's been fun watching the carnage. Couldn't have happened to nicer people!

Unknown said...

WriterX: Too bad we don't live closer together. We could hold hands and dance around the funeral pyre singing "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead." Of course if we did it in San Francisco, we'd be drowned out by "Kumbaya" and interrupted by three guys trying to make a date with a friend of Dorothy.

Writer X said...

LawHawk, now I can't get that song out of my head. But it's so worth it!

Unknown said...

WriterX: I kinda wish I hadn't done it either. I can't get the picture of ACORN's ruby slippers sticking out from under Auntie Em's house and the Munchkins dancing around out of my head. But it's all good.

CrispyRice said...

It's funny - when these videos very first started, I thought the MSM would find a way to just let it all blow over and it would be business as usual. I'm impressed with how they keep trickling it out and not letting it die. I'm amazed at the legs it's grown. I'm thrilled because it's reprehensible and Acorn deserves to be put out of our misery, but I'm amazed nonetheless.

Unknown said...

CrispyRice: It certainly is interesting, and a bit of evil fun watching them dissemble. I'm just concerned that maybe they have decided that they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so let's make this the big issue, including how the liberals "cleaned their own house." Meanwhile, the forty-leven other dangerous schemes continue apace, and ACORN just gets a new name. A few sacrificial lambs out of a flock consumed with the anthrax of corruption and back-room destruction of the American system of government.

Mike Kriskey said...

Attorney Jerry Nadler spoke about Congress cutting off aid to ACORN, and claimed that it violated the prohibition against "Bills of Attainder."

That seems ridiculous to me on its face, but then I'm not a lawyer.

What do you guys think?

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