Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
ACORN became a hot-button issue in the 2008 presidential race because of Barack Obama’s ties to the group as well as its own admission that more than 400,000 of the 1.3 million voter registrations it claims to have collected were not valid.
As WND reported, Anita MonCrief worked in the Strategic Writing
and Research Department of ACORN Political Operations and its affiliate Project Vote from 2005 through January 2008.
She explained the reasons for her actions in her first blog post, just days before the 2008 election:
“Coming forward was not an easy choice, and I weighed my options repeatedly and realized that there was not much of a choice,” MonCrief wrote. “ACORN is a corrupt organization that is preying on the marginalized in this society, and they have become the cancerous growth of this election.”
Project Vote’s lawsuit, however, paints MonCrief as a disgruntled former employee seeking revenge:
“MonCrief began a course of conduct to get even with Project Vote,” the lawsuit states, “by assuming the role [of] a supposed ‘whistleblower’ against Project Vote and the organization with which Project Vote collaborates.”
The lawsuit, however, has already prompted questions about just who is seeking revenge on whom.
The lawsuit details that MonCrief was fired for improperly attaining and using a Project Vote credit card, an infraction for which MonCrief has publicly apologized. The lawsuit also claims MonCrief and an unknown “John Doe” accomplice have obtained sensitive emails from the organization since her departure and published them on her blog. The suit, therefore, seeks at least $5 million in damages for trademark infringement and dilution, conspiracy, theft of trade secrets, and fraud.
“Project Vote is obligated to protect the integrity of our name, our organization and our communications,” said Michael McDunnah, Project Vote’s director of communications, in a statement.
Popular blogger and author Michelle Malkin, however, smells ulterior motives in the major lawsuit.
“You don’t have to be a lawyer to see that this is a blatant act of retaliation,” Malkin writes on her blog. “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.”
As for MonCrief, she told WND today, “I feel that ACORN is trying to silence me, and the accusations in the lawsuit are false.”
She refrained from making further comment until she obtains and consults with legal counsel.
As WND has reported, MonCrief says she has been contacted and interviewed by reporters from several mainstream news sources about her claims of corruption within ACORN but has seen her story repeatedly glossed over or dropped before being broadcast.
“There are some things that are not being put out in the public in the interest of defending ACORN,” she told WND. “I’m not about that.”
She explained to WND that ACORN acted as an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party during the recent election and used cash operations to keep some financial transactions under wraps.
“It has always been a Democrat operation,” she told WND. “They’ve never made any secrets about who they support. Their political action committees are usually set up to support these Democratic candidates.”
According to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report, she further told the Pennsylvania court before the election that the Obama camp provided ACORN with a “donor list” that enabled Project Vote to solicit contributions from Obama supporters who had “maxed out” under federal contribution limits but who could surreptitiously give more to Obama’s cause by donating to ACORN and its affiliates.
While calls for investigation of ACORN have been met with opposition in Congress, Moncrief told Fox News’ Megan Kelly that more must be done to purge the organization of its corrupt leaders.
“ACORN needs to be investigated and almost everyone at the top level needs to be removed,” she said. “The ACORN local offices do a lot of good work, but ACORN national has become corrupt and almost like a cancer on American society.”