ACORN: It isn't what it seems

Or maybe it is...depending on how you look at it. I don't know if this diary is going to be popular here, or maybe it will be and all it'll do is resurrect the PUMAs, but hey, here it goes.

I agree with Glenn Greenwald, and I usually don't, that there's a double standard here and Blackwater, Halliburton should also be looked at under the same microscope as ACORN, but that doesn't excuse the fact that they really stepped in it.

and I agree with Glenn Beck that this organization has a lot of problems.  

My story begins last the weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed and the "game changing" Sarah Palin turned into an epic fail, it became clear the election results were going to be a Democratic rout, and October would be unexciting. We needed another a "game changer." Enter ACORN...ABC was looking to bring them down, hoping that something would be dug up that would stick to the Democrats or Senator Obama and make it a race again.
I was one of the producers sent on a "fact-finding" mission in Camden and Paterson in New Jersey last fall...I found out a lot of shady stuff, stuff that wasn't done on purpose, but was largely done because of laundering, falsified voter registration (which I have to admit was true).

Among the atrocious things I found out was a story that one of the employees in the Camden office used office money (that came from donations and taxpayer dollars) to buy marijuana and brought it back to the office late at night to share with other employees. Another story I found out had to do with false voter registration...those managing knowingly admitted that many of their registration were false, they stated they encouraged their organizers with quotas and because of the quotas, very often the organizers make up registrations to meet those quotas and get raises that come with them, but that it didn't matter because "these people aren't going to show up and vote" or "The state with take care of it"

There were other stories too...of women who were harassed by male employees, people who were mugged going to and from work during late nights...some days organizers would be in Downtown Camden until midnight...and paychecks that never went out or even bounced.

During my investigation, it became clear others knew what I was looking for. I had been contacted and cornered by the campaigns of Dick Zimmer, the Republican running for US Senate in New Jersey last year, and Chris Myers, who was running for the open seat in New Jersey's Second district...they wanted to know what I knew...I told them I knew nothing and they accused me of covering up for ACORN as part of the "liberal media." I hate to say they were sort of right.

I told one of the local managers there to watch themselves, because I had information that could really damage them, but because I believed in their mission, I was going to pretend I didn't see it, but that they'd better shape up because someone is going to find them out and they're really going to damage their credibility BADLY and give the right wing fodder...luckilly none of the other producers who were "fact-finding" in NYC, Philadelphia and Cleveland picked anything up...I thought maybe it was limited to New Jersey.

Anyway, I came back to ABC and said I had found nothing, but at that point I knew my days there were numbered since layoffs were anticipated that coming January/February so I didn't care anymore...but I also knew that I was sent on this "fact-finding" mission not because of journalism, but because they were looking for a scandal to report I didn't really feel bad for what I did.

But as far as ACORN goes, they need a makeover. Yes, they have a great mission and seek to do great thing, but they need to clean house and hopefully being rebuked by Congress today will do just that.

Tags: 111th Congress, ACORN, Glenn Beck, Glenn Greenwald, NJ-02, NJ-Sen (all tags)



Re: ACORN: It isn't what it seems

ACORN is being lame with their excuses. Sure the right wingers are going to target them. And yes, they may not be as bad as they are made out to be. But they had ample warning. What they should have done was disarm the right wing wackos, immediately thank the right wingers, say that's all they need, and then take action right away against the people in the video.

What I would like to see is this. Why are DEmocrats letting Blackwater and Halliburton getting away with worse behavior? Seriously. Why didn't the Democratic senators bully the republicans into blacklisting Blackwater and Halliburton from getting federal contracts.

by Pravin 2009-09-17 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: ACORN: It isn't what it seems

Probably, because too many Democratic Senators were taking campaign donations from halliburton and blackwater. Come on Pravin, you know how this works. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. This, in addition to my belief that Democrats are more interested in solving problems, than playing politics, is the likely reason that the Democrats are as usual, spineless on this.Now, on ACORN, something that is not really being given ample hearing in the corporate-media noise machine, is the FACT that every employee on the videos that did something un-ethical was fired, and that NO forms were actually filed on behalf of the ambush film-maker and his prostitute. Also, in EVERY case, the film-maker was eventually escorted out of the offices by security.

by onlinesavant 2009-09-18 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: ACORN: It isn't what it seems

Yes, I do know how it works. Heh. I was being rhetorical.

I actually think Democrats are spineless. There is nothing wrong with an adversarial system. Keeps both  parties honest. Problem is right now there are no checks on the Republicans. If the Democrats moved against corrupt federal contractors , they would have gotten no backlash. So I gotta assume they are corrupt and that's why they keep quiet.

by Pravin 2009-09-19 12:29AM | 0 recs
Re: ACORN: It isn't what it seems

How do you make over an organization after something like this? Multiple locations offered assistance for child prostitution after all! They are toxic and I don't see how they can recover.

by tpeichel 2009-09-18 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: ACORN: It isn't what it seems

You had an opportunity to challenge authority, expose real wrong-doing (as opposed to simple lawbreaking), and get paid to do it.  You passed up that chance.

What a waste.

by SuperCameron 2009-09-18 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: ACORN: It isn't what it seems


by Jess81 2009-09-18 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: ACORN: It isn't what it seems

My direct experience with ACORN was when I lived in Philadelphia one summer and found them to be pretty good.  This was in the early 90's, but I'm thinking that your guess that the PA offices probably weren't being run as horribly as the New Jersey offices is probably correct.

btw, you should change your diary so that it refers to Dick Zimmer as "perennial Republican candidate for everything".  Since NYC overlaps with the NJ media market, I've grown up watching Zimmer and Steve Lonegan's non-stop primary pissing contests, where they fight it out to see who was the honor of being crushed by the eventual Democrat for about as long as I can remember.

by Jess81 2009-09-18 07:56AM | 0 recs
Supposudely this creep was trying to punk

Planned Parenthood as well.

But, their staff evidently is a lot more vigilant and better trained to watch out for fakes trying to get stuff on them

This is ACORNS fault, because they have to know they are under attack from the right wing cabal.

Either NOT prepping their people or hiring the WRONG people is their fault.

Yes, the reaction is pyschotically over blown, and WHY we didn't didn't have ANY of our side immeditately offer a resolution siteing David Vitter and his support of hookers is beyond me.

We cower liked wiped dogs everytime, while the right wing just blows it off and keeps on going..


by WashStateBlue 2009-09-18 08:37AM | 0 recs


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