Friday, October 10, 2008
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN, is under investigation by state and federal authorities for its voter registration drives. Allegations are that ACORN's get-out-the-vote efforts have produced thousands of fraudulent registrations. The probes are encouraging; America wouldn't be in position to criticize other nations of ballot-stuffing if it permits the same at home. What's most encouraging, though, is that House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio is calling for ACORN to be defunded. "The latest allegations of voter registration fraud by ACORN are further evidence that this group cannot be trusted with another dollar of the taxpayers' money," he said.
ACORN helped make the term "affordable housing" a Washington staple. So as the roots of the financial crisis are laid bare, take a hard look at ACORN.
ACORN has its roots in the community-organization teachings of Saul Alinsky, who mobilized Chicago's stockyard workers in the 1930s. The organization was founded as the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now by Wade Rathke, a protege of George Wiley, the civil-rights activist who later engineered the Poor People's Campaign with his founding of the National Welfare Reform Organization. After fighting for "motor-voter" registration in the 1990s, which allowed people to register to vote at departments of motor vehicles, ACORN began expanding its voter registration activities. Since 2004 it has come under scrutiny for producing thousands of fraudulent registrations, and 15 employees intent on exploiting their pay-per-registration policy to make money have been indicted or convicted of voter registration fraud. But it didn't start out that way.
If the political left is an abstract concept for social justice and socialist sentiments, then ACORN is its avatar.
Read the entire editorial here: Washington Times Editorial: What is ACORN?
20081010 Washington Times Editorial What is ACORN?