November 4th, 2008
04:34 PM ET
5 years ago

Covering ACORN with a hatchet

ACORN members rally in Washington last March.
ACORN members rally in Washington last March.

(CNN) - So today I got a letter sent to all Catholic Bishops in the U.S. announcing that due to serious problems at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is suspending all funds to ACORN.

It’s significant because the Catholic Church in the U.S. has given $7.3 million dollars to ACORN projects over the past decade. Just last year, U.S. Catholics gave more than a million dollars to ACORN. And it appears some of that money filtered down to the ACORN office in Las Vegas that made headlines trying to register the Dallas Cowboys football team to vote in Nevada.

The problem for the Catholics is two fold:

1. The Catholic Church is concerned about its own tax exempt status being involved in a group that is now so deeply involved in political support of one candidate.
2. The Catholic Church says questions have arisen about ACORNS financial management, fiscal transparency and accountability.

So, of course, I immediately called ACORN’s spokesperson Scott Levenson, one of many public relations specialists brought on by ACORN to fight all this bad press. And here is Scott’s response to the question about the Catholic bishop’s freezing ACORN funding:

“The facts are wrong and we will no longer participate in a Drew Griffin hatchet job against ACORN.”

Less than an hour later, after our editorial director made a call to ACORN asking if this really was their response, we got this from another public relations specialist ACORN brought on to fight the bad publicity:

“ACORN is grateful to have received CCHD funding for many years, and proud that CCHD has enabled us to help our low income constituency achieve the American Dream. We know that CCHD is reviewing their current funding, and we are in discussions with them about continuing their support.” Steve Kest, ACORN Executive Director

The tension over at ACORN must be so thick you could cut it with a …well, I guess a hatchet.


Filed under: ACORN
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. MCinMD

    The notion that ACORN tried to commit voter fraud by registering the Dallas Cowboys is simply unfounded. Do you really think someone posing as Tony Romo (or Micky Mouse in another case) was going to show up and try to vote? The reality is that ACORN hired some minimum wage workers to do voter registration and some idiot sat down and started filling in registration cards instead of doing the work. Such idiots should be prosecuted. The conservative echo chamber also never points out that ACORN itself has in most cases identified these problem registrations and informed election officials.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Screw the Catholic Church....ALL religion MUST be kept out of politics...PERIOD!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. James

    judging by the comments people dont know who the hell to blame for this, so how can we be blaming people, both sides are always pulling this crap, and if you havent been on the moon last 8 years it was the Republicans most famous trick, so hows this suddenly become a democrat issue? are people that scared that we wont have a ditz as VP and a senile old man for president? just dont know what to say anymore lol. Seen a sign on tv "use your brain vote McCain" thats funny concidering the smart people didnt vote for him. HAHAHA cry cry cry, thats all we will hear if the dems win this, a nation of whiners will truly emerge, if you listen to their idiotic chants at the rallies it shouldnt surprise you.

    November 4, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. John

    More fairy stories from the Catholic church don't they have enough of these myths and fairy stories in their Bible

    November 4, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule and Winky Half-baked Alaska

    John McCain is on videotape addressing ACORN and praising the work they do, so all you right-wing, nutjob hacks shut your ugly pieholes!!! Spawn Insanity and Blowhole O'Reilly are calling you ...

    November 4, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Marc PDX

    Sounds like you're hatcheting the Catholic Church to me.

    To the Catholic Church: chose your friends carefully. When push comes to shove that's what you may get if you pick unwisely.

    November 4, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. Alan J Goldstein

    Who needs the support of pedophiles?

    November 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. FixAcorn

    They need to fix ACORN by:
    Removing the law that forces ACORN to turn in all registration forms (which is what caused this mess)

    November 4, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. majikimaje

    Proven Fact : Michelle Obama, Barak and willam Ayers are all BOARD members of Acorn. Get the real unbiased facts at worldlnetdaily dot com !

    November 4, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. Patty

    That was the saddest post of all, Aimee. The Church tries to help poor people buy homes and then finds out the organization that was supposed to be about helping the poor is out to further their own agenda their own way. So the Church stops supporting them since they are not keeping their end of the bargin. Sounds fair to me.

    What's the real reason you're not Catholic anymore?

    November 4, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    People....stop confusing Voter fraud the stories regarding alleged Voter registration fraud. When and if actual voter fraud is uncovered (that is someone actually showing up to vote as say "Mickey Mouse" for example) that would be an issue. Im sure the actual voter fraud numbers will be very small to non-existent in most states. This is another scare tactic used by the GOP and its supporters. Just a desire to win at any cost regardless of who's reputation they burn to the ground. The Catholic Church should know better and focus more on its other issues like the 'actual' number of molestation cases against its clergy.

    November 4, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Candace

    People....stop confusing Voter fraud the stories regarding alleged Voter registration fraud. When and if actual voter fraud is uncovered (that is someone actually showing up to vote as say "Mickey Mouse" for example) that would be an issue. Im sure the actual voter fraud numbers will be very small to non-existent in most states. This is another scare tactic used by the GOP and its supporters. Just a desire to win at any cost regardless of who's reputation they burn to the ground. The Catholic Church should know better and focus more on its other issues like the 'actual' number of molestation cases against its clergy.

    November 4, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. Candace

    People....stop confusing Voter fraud with the stories regarding alleged Voter registration fraud. When and if actual voter fraud is uncovered (that is someone actually showing up to vote as say "Mickey Mouse" for example) that would be an issue. Im sure the actual voter fraud numbers will be very small to non-existent in most states. This is another scare tactic used by the GOP and its supporters. Just a desire to win at any cost regardless of who's reputation they burn to the ground. The Catholic Church should know better and focus more on its other issues like the 'actual' number of molestation cases against its clergy.

    November 4, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Independant vet

    Looks as if not only The Catholics , can not get of one mess an they pile into another . What were they trying to gain by twisting voters to vote for Obama. ? Another little secret that will come out in years . I myself have never downed any Religon. I have always stated . As long as they belive in God, it is better than nothing .

    They the , ones that signed on the dotted line , is the one to be held accountable. For I am sure among them , they were not all in favor of giving all them dollars to Acorn for Obama.

    God Bless America , an may God protect us from having such an hatefull person , that wants to destroy our freedom , along with our flag. . Please God no Obama.

    November 4, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. David, Silver Spring, MD

    The situation surrounding ACORN suggests it has been politically targeted by the current administration in an attempt to help its fellow Republican candidate. Before accepting or promoting the notion that ACORN is "threatening the fabric of our democracy," as J. McCain put it, one needs to ask

    1) Was ACORN attempting to deceive election officials through the submission of invalid registrations?
    2) How was ACORN intending to take advantage of the submission of invalid registrations to cast illegal ballots in the election? and
    3) What evidence exists that any voter registration actions in which ACORN was intended to benefit one candidate over another?

    Unless someone can answer these questions, we shouldn't persist in a witch hunt against ACORN just because right wing radio talkers and partisan agents seek to undermine ACORN, its voter registration efforts, and its reputation.

    November 4, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Steven Carrier

    It just shows that the GOP can fool some of the people all of the time.
    Acorn registers voters. It does not bring them to the polls. If some one registers Mickey Mouse or the Dallas Cowboys they are REQUIRED to submit the registration forms even if they know they are not valid. Acorn even poionted out the ones they thaught were fraudulant. Failure to do so would be a crime. If Mickey Mouse shows up at the polls then you can worry. Will the Dallas Cowboys fly to Nevada to vote? This to protect people that may have unusual names or share the same name as a celebrity. A good friend of mine a registered Republican and former office holder in Arizona has done a lot work for the Census in the past. In order to get the work done they must hire many temps from the same social strata as Acorn does. If some one sits at home and copies a page out of the phone book. The overwhelming odds are if they show up to vote, they were already registered. Most states require some sort of ID at the polls. All ytou folks in Nevada say hello to the Cowboys for me. This just a GOP smoke screen to purge real voters off the rolls that won't vote for them.

    November 4, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  17. mark

    ACORN and all voter reg orgs are required to police the voter apps they collect, the reason they were set aside and so easily "found" by the repubs. Period. I find it so interesting that almost all repubs do not understand this; however, it is 100% correct to support the purging of 30,000 registered voters by repub secs of state (i.e., GA, CO).

    I do not know enough about requirements for non-profit status, but if endorsing a candidate or party is not allowed by law, then ACORN should be in trouble. The Catholic Church may take the same view. Justice may be slow, but I do hope this matter is cleared. I, too, would not want my tax dollars wasted.

    November 4, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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