WASHINGTON – ACORN’s self-reported death has been greatly exaggerated, according to a political analyst who’s been studying the radical community activist group for two years.
CEO Bertha Lewis announced on Election Day that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is declaring bankruptcy, but ACORN is already planning to reorganize under a new name, says analyst Matthew Vadum.
“This is a public relations head fake,” Vadum told WND. “This is a hoax. ACORN did not die and will not die at the conclusion of the bankruptcy proceeding. ACORN thinks Americans are stupid.”
ACORN did not respond to e-mailed requests for comment.
Vadum is a senior editor at the Capitol Research Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy with a special emphasis on left-wing activist groups.
“I’ve been tracking ACORN for more than two years, and CRC has been for more than 12 years,” said Vadum.
He asserted that sources within ACORN have confirmed that the organization is not really planning to dissolve.
ACORN says on its website that its aim is “to organize a majority constituency of low- to moderate-income people across the United States … to take on issues of relevance to their communities whether those issues are discrimination, affordable housing, a quality education, or better public services.”
In her essay announcing the bankruptcy, Lewis wrote, “We fought bank redlining and predatory lending for decades, making the American dream of homeownership more universally available while protecting it against waves of abusive practices. We helped build a movement for a living wage, fought for stronger public schools, helped rebuild New Orleans after Katrina, and won countless improvements in neighborhoods. As recently as 2009, the organization saved affordable housing in New York, stood up to anti-immigrant racism in Arizona, and was fighting for real solutions to the foreclosure crisis.”
But ACORN is not a benign social welfare organization, in Vadum’s view.
“The group is all about corruption and about promoting big government by any means possible, in accordance with the teachings of the late Saul Alinsky,” said Vadum.
The analyst pointed out that a board member of Project Vote, the ACORN affiliate President Obama worked for in the early 1990s, is noted radical professor Frances Fox Piven.
Piven, an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, is one of the authors of the so-called Cloward-Piven strategy. The 1960s proposal sought to bring socialist revolution to the United States by flooding cities with welfare applicants, bankrupting them, and provoking an economic and political collapse.
The website Cloward-Piven.com attributes New York City’s 1975 bankruptcy to the plan.
“These are dangerous radical people who don’t believe in the American system,” Vadum asserted.
“ACORN is a shell corporation that runs hundreds of nonprofit affiliates,” Vadum told WND. “It is going bankrupt, but it’s not going away, it is simply changing into a new legal form. ACORN is altering its organizational structure because the ACORN brand has been destroyed.”
ACORN suffered two recent public relations disasters that crippled fundraising efforts, according to Vadum.
“The million-dollar embezzlement within the organization that was covered up in 2008, and the negative publicity that resulted, has caused large institutional donors like George Soros to stop funding it,” Vadum explained.
“The final nail in ACORN’s coffin was the undercover video project by the two conservative activists, Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe,” said Vadum. “The undercover videos revealed that ACORN employees were willing to bend over backwards to help this couple, posing as a pimp and prostitute, to found brothels that would have been staffed with underage girls from El Salvador. So it was a brothel for pedophiles.
“These videos tore the mask off ACORN and allowed the American public to see what the group was all about.”