U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a top congressional investigator, is demanding that the Obama administration investigate allegedly fraudulent fundraising practices that ACORN’s New York front group has used to raise funds for Occupy Wall Street.
ACORN used to employ Barack Obama as an organizer and lawyer.
Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked Brooklyn-based U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch if New York Communities for Change “engaged in fraud through its participation in the Occupy Wall Street protests.”
“It’s extremely gratifying to see that the senior watchdog in the U.S. Congress is going after the con artists and anti-American communists of ACORN,” said Vadum, author of the explosive new book “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.”
Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a think tank that studies left-wing advocacy groups and their funders. His book is the product of nearly three years of research and hundreds of interviews.
NYCC was created by ACORN operatives more than a year ago before ACORN filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It operates out of ACORN New York’s old office in Brooklyn. The ACORN-founded political party, the Working Families Party, or WFP, operates out of the same office.
In a letter Monday Issa asked Lynch to begin an investigation of claims that NYCC “solicited donations from union members under false pretenses and misappropriated those funds to support the protesters.”
NYCC staffers reportedly have collected money door-to-door for the group’s campaign to test schools for dangerous toxins such as PCBs. After taking the money, NYCC allegedly mixed those funds with cash raised for a teachers union and to support Occupy Wall Street. A NYCC source was quoted by FoxNews.com saying money raised to help schools “isn’t going to the campaign … it’s just going to the protests, and that’s just so terrible.”
To cover up the financial irregularities, NYCC executive director Jon Kest allegedly has threatened and fired employees, destroyed documents, ordered staffers not to speak to the press, and installed surveillance cameras and recording devices at NYCC headquarters in Brooklyn.
NYCC also reportedly is getting rid of all items that reference ACORN in an effort to conceal NYCC’s close relationship with the ACORN network. Kest is a longtime ACORN operative and his brother Steve was executive director for the national ACORN organization.
Staten Island congressman Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., said he supports Issa’s call for a probe.
“It is no surprise to hear that an ACORN-affiliated group may be connected to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Their track record of fraud and links to deceitful activity demand that these allegations be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Grimm said.
The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, which have now spread to several other cities, are part of what ACORN’s neo-communist founder Wade Rathke referred to as an “anti-banking jihad.” The Working Families Party, another ACORN front group, is also taking part in the protests by raising money and paying for protesters to attend the encampment in New York City’s Zuccotti Park.
Many other ACORN front groups across the nation are involved in occupations. Some of the participating groups are Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE); Organizers in the Land of Enchantment (OLÉ) (New Mexico); Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE); Action United (Pennsylvania); Organize Now (Florida), Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change; and New England United for Justice (Massachusetts).
ACORN has a long history of fraud that Vadum has documented in “Subversion Inc.” At least 54 employees and individuals associated with ACORN have been convicted of voter fraud. ACORN itself was convicted in a massive voter registration fraud conspiracy in Nevada earlier this year. In addition, the Obama administration has ignored a nearly $1 million embezzlement within ACORN. The perpetrators of the fraud apparently raided ACORN workers’ pension funds in order to cover up the embezzlement.
The Obama administration also ignored the videos shot at ACORN offices across America by activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, who caught ACORN workers offering advice on how to break the law without getting caught.
The furor that accompanied the release of those videos led to a 2009 congressional ban on funding ACORN which the Obama administration is now ignoring. After a brief period, Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, started issuing grants earlier this year to ACORN Housing, which changed its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America.