Friday, March 26, 2010

ACORN's Tangled Branches

by Warner Todd Huston

News is all over the country that the often criminal group the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is dead, folding its tent, kaput. All this is because, as Politico puts it, of a "conservative assault that never prompted any prosecutions." But let us not get our hopes up that ACORN is defeated. It isn't. In fact, most of the groups that huddled under ACORN's left-wing are just changing their names and moving on with all the same people involved as if nothing ever happened. And this isn't anything new. The fact is, ACORN activists have always hid behind dozens of false front organizations and corporate identities to disguise their criminal network. In California, for instance, one of the ACORN affiliates is changing its name to “Californians for Community Empowerment” and one of the New York offices will now be known as “New York Communities for Change.” But all the same people that ran these former ACORN offices in these states are still there, no change has been made but the name. We also saw the shady groups connected with ACORN but not named ACORN just last year during the Doug Hoffman, New York 23 arc. There an ACORN affiliate had created a fake political party in order to funnel cash to the Democrat running in that race. One of the organizations hip-deep in that election was a political group called the Working Families Party. Of course, the WFP is more-or-less a front for ACORN in New York and no political party at all. This "party" is run out of the ACORN offices at 88 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, its Co-chair is ACORN President Bertha Lewis, and one of its prime representatives is New York's ACORN leader, Steven Kest. ACORN and the Working Families Party are inextricable. The two are one and the same. The chief duty that the WFP serves to left leaning candidates in New York is supportive. WFP offers its chosen candidates campaign services such as door-to-door canvassing, phone banks, envelope stuffing and other necessary but expensive and time consuming services. WFP also low-balls the costs of these services to its preferred candidates. It so undercuts the costs of these services that it effectively eliminates any other political service operations from being able to compete. In one instance, Democrat candidate Bill de Blasio who ran for a Councilman's seat in Brooklyn using WFPs Data Field services, got a great boost from WFP. These services might have cost $40,000 from a for-profit political service but de Blasio only paid $5,000 for WFPs services. Critics say that WFPs low cost services place their supported candidates at an unfair advantage to all other candidates that must use many thousands of dollars more of their campaign funds for support services to get elected. WFP, in essence, is donating its services as opposed to charging for them. Naturally, the only sort of candidates that are lucky enough to receive WFPs services are the sort that promise fealty to ACORN and the extreme left agenda. In other words, WFP is neither a real political party, nor a proper business but is rather an activist organization out to undermine the political system in New York. It is a pattern that ACORN would love to repeat in various forms all across the country and one of the ways they do so is to co-opt politicians with cheap services and huge financial support and then hide behind a corporate name that people aren't aware is connected to ACORN. But the WFP isn't the only example of this sort of false front organization in connection with ACORN. In fact, many of ACORN's principle operatives have registered dozens and dozens of false corporations with states all across the country, all of which get money from the state in one capacity or another. Some of these false front corporations can be found on your State's Sec. of State website. Each state has a different system, of course, and some are easier to search than others. In the state of Louisiana, for instance, one can search by a person's name. On the Louisiana site you are not limited to the name of the corporation like you are in Illinois or other states so it is a bit easier to find vendors and corporations that are approved to work with the state. (Louisiana mainpage, or go to the search only page) On the Louisiana site I typed in the name of ACORN founder Wade Rathke to see what corporations and LLCs he had registered with the state. I also tried Dale Rathke, his embezzler brother, to see what he had registered with the state. The results are amazing. What I found were dozens of different shell corporations registered to Wade and Dale Rathke all of which have the potential of reaping thousands of dollars from the state of Louisiana. The same thing is happening in every state of the union and it isn't just Wade and Dale doing this. ACORN employees at all levels are doing this in order to hide the fact that they are registering ACORN agencies. Louisiana List (all registered to New Orleans): RATHKE, STEPHEN WADE Agent of “UNITED LABOR ORGANIZATIONS” President of “TEXAS UNITED CITY-COUNTY EMPLOYEES, INC.” President of “BALTIMORE ORGANIZING AND SUPPORT CENTER, INC.” President of “WORKING FAMILIES ASSOCIATION, INC.” Member of “COALITION FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE IN , L.L.C.” President of “CHIEF ORGANIZER FUND, INC.” Director of “CHIEF ORGANIZER FUND, INC.” President of “ACORN INTERNATIONAL, INC.” President of “WAL-MART ALLIANCE FOR REFORM NOW, INC.” President of “AFFILIATED MEDIA FOUNDATION MOVEMENT, INC.” Director of “UNITED LABOR ORGANIZATIONS” Vice-President of “METRO TECHNICAL INSTITUTE, INC.” Affiliated with “ELYSIAN FIELDS PARTNERSHIP” Director of “PARENT TEACHER GROUP OF CHINCHUBA SCHOOL, INC.” President of “GREENWELL SPRINGS CORPORATION” President of “BROAD STREET CORPORATION, INC.” President of “SIXTH AVENUE CORPORATION” President of “FIFTEENTH STREET CORPORATION” Director of “FIFTEENTH STREET CORPORATION” President of “ACORN BENEFICIAL ASSOCIATION, INC.” President of “ACORN FUND, INC.” President of “HOUSTON ORGANIZING AND SUPPORT CENTER, INC.” Director of “HOUSTON ORGANIZING AND SUPPORT CENTER, INC.” Director of “AUSTIN ORGANIZING AND SUPPORT CENTER, INC.” Treasurer of “AUSTIN ORGANIZING AND SUPPORT CENTER, INC.” President of “MONTANA RADIO NETWORK, INC.” Director of “MONTANA RADIO NETWORK, INC.” President of “PHOENIX ORGANIZING AND SUPPORT CENTER, INC.” Agent of “PARENT TEACHER GROUP OF CHINCHUBA SCHOOL, INC.” RATHKE, DALE Treasurer of “ACORN MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, INC.” Secretary/Treasurer of “METRO TECHNICAL INSTITUTE, INC.” Affiliated with “ELYSIAN FIELDS PARTNERSHIP” Director of “ COMMUNITY HOUSING ORGANIZATION, INC.” Secretary of “ASSOCIATED REGIONAL MAINTENANCE SYSTEMS, INC.” Secretary/Treasurer of “SIXTH AVENUE CORPORATION” Secretary of “MASSACHUSETTS ACORN HOUSING CORPORATION” Director of “CRESCENT CITY BROADCASTING CORPORATION” Treasurer of “CRESCENT CITY BROADCASTING CORPORATION” Secretary of “SHREVEPORT COMMUNITY TELEVISION, INC.” Secretary of “LOUISIANA ACORN FAIR HOUSING, INC.” Agent of “MASSACHUSETTS ACORN HOUSING CORPORATION” You can be sure to find a similar list of corporations registered in Illinois and every other state to all sorts of ACORN employees and associates. These registered entities are really but shell corporations of ACORN. So, while the main ACORN monster may be either dead or dying, don't assume that this many headed hydra is down for the count. Do not celebrate prematurely for we have much more work to do in order to defeat ACORN and its acolytes.

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