Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ACORN, Masters of Disguise

As predicted, reports of the "demise" of ACORN have been greatly exaggerated. They have simply changed their name in what would seem to be an initial phase of the socialist organization's transmogrification. They're not going away, they're just changing their name and putting on a new fright wig. trans·mog·ri·fy (trns-mgr-f, trnz-) transitive verb: trans·mog·ri·fied, trans·mog·ri·fy·ing, trans·mog·ri·fies To change into a different shape or form, especially one that is fantastic or bizarre. "The Chicago office for the community activist group, known as ACORN, seems to have disappeared," reports Fox News. However, the same report goes on to say that, "In its place; a company called "Affordable Housing Centers of America", located in the same office, with apparently many of the same employees, according to a woman sitting behind a desk there. The new name might be part of an overall rebranding of the embattled organization, which says it is disbanding." As I wrote on March 12, "ACORN....will probably morph itself into a new entity under a different name with new business licensing." It was no flash of genius to know that ACORN would not disappear. It's been too valuable to the Democrat Party for so long, by providing foot soldiers and political support, that they can't afford to let it go away. You might say that ACORN is too big to fail. Scandal-ridden ACORN has been accurately called a "criminal organization." It has been accused of committing or encouraging voter registration fraud, embezzlement and violating "the tax-exempt status of some of its affiliates by engaging in partisan political activities," reports Associated Press. (See some related links here.) "Last year, a series of videos filmed at ACORN offices around the country sparked a national scandal and helped drive the organization to near ruin. In one video, ACORN employees were shown apparently advising a couple posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend to lie about her profession and launder her earnings; Brooklyn prosecutors said they did not commit a crime." Yep, transmogrified ACORN - or parts of it, anyway - are now called "Affordable Housing Centers of America." ACORN = AHCA. "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now" = Affordable Housing Centers of America. This is not the first time that ACORN has changed its name. It has done so before, frequently. ACORN In October, 2009 Warner Todd Huston noted that in Illinois and elsewhere, "groups like ACORN register hundreds of different shell corporations to hide behind. They register them to their workers and their directors and then they offer them to government as a vendor or organization for the state’s use. Naturally, state funds flow like water into ACORN’s coffers as a result." The recent name change to "Affordable Housing Centers of America," in other words, is just business as usual for ACORN. ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis admits that ACORN is not going away. In a March 23, 2010 interview with National Public Radio host Allison Keyes, Lewis uttered the following nuggets, excerpted from the NPR transcript: LEWIS: First of all, let me set the record straight. Rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. (Soundbite of laughter) LEWIS: We are transforming, of course. I've been transforming this organization since June of 2008. KEYES: Are you changing your name and the people who are running it? LEWIS: We are ACORN, Inc. I'm still Bertha Lewis. We still have a board the board may be smaller. I'm the ACORN lady. LEWIS: Here's what we need to do, we need to keep fighting. We need to keep talking about the principles. We need to fight every single day. ACORN is not going to go away. KEYES: In 10 seconds, wouldnt it make more sense to change your name and restructure? LEWIS: Well, to the right it doesn't matter what we call ourselves. They are still going to come after us no matter what we do, and so that's why we just have to stay focused, keep helping the folks that we represent. Lewis is correct in saying that it doesn't matter what ACORN calls itself. Would it have mattered had Al Capone changed his name to John Smith? A criminal by any other name is, well, still a criminal. Another report from Fox says that ACORN "will close its affiliates and field offices by April 1st." In fact, an organizational statement released by ACORN on March 22, 2010 stated that "The ACORN Association Board met on Sunday March 21 and approved a set of steps to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months." That March 22 statement, however, was starkly contradicted by Bertha Lewis' own statements on NPR. Perhaps ACORN's March 22 statement was an early April Fool's prank. Or, maybe, Lewis didn't get that memo. It doesn't matter. Based on past performance, it seems safe to say that ACORN will be around for a long time, regardless of what it calls itself. RELATED: ACORN’s Tangled Branches Publius' Forum CEO Says ACORN 'Isn't Dead Yet' NPR To Kill ACORN, Kill the Programs CATO Institute ACORN branches rename, rebrand after video scandal The Associated Press ACORN Housing Sprouts New Identity Housing Watch Acorn affiliates change name ACORN is folding up...but not altogether SEIU, ACORN Keep Democrats Rolling Fat in Illinois Chicago News Bench NY Times admits being played for fools on ACORN Crooks and Liars Show ACORN the Money American Spectator ACORN'S Useful Idiots American Spectator Leave a Comment * Conservative T-Shirts * Follow CNB on Twitter * RSS Feed