November 4th, 2008
04:34 PM ET
10 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. Michael in Houston

    Wow and the Repubs are already crying foul. So what! The guy was there legally and is doing his job. He didn't tell anyone to leave, he didn't verbally threaten anyone. Wow and you called the Dems Crybabies in 2000? Just admit it, you are mad because a African American will be named President elect in about errrr 5 hours and it makes you sick. Now for all of you Obama haters on here, I have been trying to help you with your adjustment all day, so let's try this again. Ready? 1....................2.................3..............President Obama. No deep breath.................good now relax................see, you feel better already. You betcha (wink)

    Michael Bush

    November 4, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Aimee

    Just another reason I'm no longer a Catholic.

    November 4, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. USA Voter

    I don't think the election should be over until the ACORN mess is resolved. If in fact, one person voted more than once, where is the correctness in that? I'd love to vote more than once, but know that it's not legal and it's unfair.

    November 4, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |

    Acorn is a dishonest ripoff and should not receive money from anyone.
    obama needs to choke on acorn.

    November 4, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    Slash & Burn the little Guy... that's the GOP way... You have to wrestle-away power from their dead hand I guess!


    November 4, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Deb in Colo

    I find it odd that the Catholic Church is worried about their tax exempt status, when they are an actual church.

    On the other hand, Focus on the Family, is not a church but a PAC and they're not worried about their status.

    November 4, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Musicpromo Glandale Ca

    Who cares beside the folks at acorn and the CCHD? Sounds like you missing the big story of the day.?

    November 4, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. JACK

    I'm surprised they had anything to donate to ACORN .....after settling all the long over-due little boy rape cases they had to payoff.

    November 4, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Proud Republican

    Obama is a staunch supporter of Acorn. He has been since 1994 when he first voted to fund them with millions of dollars. To this date inspite of what the dems want you to hear Obama is still a big supporter of Acorn. This has been investigated and confirmed. Incidently the Mortgagae crisis began in 1968 with Acorn pushing to give motrgages to minorities that had no businesas getting them. This is what Obama is all about so folks get ready becuse the rollar coaster ride is about to take a major plunge over the next couple of years should the Obama be elected.

    November 4, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Mary, Dallas, Texas

    The first problem named doesn't seem to be a problem. If they were worried about their tax exempt status, then the bishop would not have asked catholics to vote for McCain.

    It would be so nice if people told the truth and shamed the devil.

    November 4, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Paul

    The onlt thing lacking in this election is Marshall Law and chances are that is comming!

    November 4, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Ellen in Ohio

    I hope ACORN loses their tax exempt status immediately. I don't want my tax dollars supporting a partisan organization.

    November 4, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Darrel from Denver

    The Religious Right throwing a tantrum at the command of the Republican party leaders, would be my guess.

    ACORN has done nothing wrong, other than to piss off the Republicans. Tilting elections in their direction is their domain and no one elses, it would appear.

    Whiners and losers, the lot of them. I am glad I left them this year after 36 years supporting their party. I can't believe I was that stupid.

    November 4, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. David Lopez

    If the Republicans have run our economy into the dirt, how can anyone consider voting republican and expect our economy to improve? I may not be in the upper echelon income bracket, but even if I were, I would have to seriously consider voting for Obama. Oh, I already have...hehe.

    November 4, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Bryan

    just another example of the destruction that ACORN has left in its path as it abuses the electoral process in this country.

    November 4, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. maurice

    they say s@%& rolls down hill. i wonder how many heads will be on the chopping block next year. i believe acorn is nothing more than a lobbiest group just like big oil. its time to clean out all of the trash. and start with fresh new people to run this country and not a bunch of lawyers .

    November 4, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Rave

    Get Lost and Get a Life..
    If not for Organisations like ACORN, even half the people who voted in this election , may not have got a chance to VOTE.
    Then , like 2000 Election – President Bush and his Brother Jeb and Uncle Cheney , Sidekick McCain along with Alaska Independence party leader Palin would have clearly rigged this election
    And, as I have been saying for past several months – He will be loved not only by Americans , but the Entire world and he will be named one of the best President in United States History.

    November 4, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. jrzshor

    beyond all the politica stuff and the voter registration fraud, didn't one of the family owners/founders steal a million dollars?

    November 4, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. jrzshor

    beyond the voter registration fraud, didn't one of the family owners/founders steal a million dollars or more?

    November 4, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Janet, American Abroad

    All religious establishments should pay taxes and not have any special attachments. It doesn't matter what religious group they are. Its about time we stop this pandering to them, in giving them tax exempts and make a single school system for all students.

    November 4, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Splurge

    What? ACORN supports Obama? You're kidding. I'm shocked. CNN has done several stories on ACORN and were never able to speak to this alleged connection. Now who will do a study to determine the one-sided election coverage by CNN? CNN?

    November 4, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |

    The only tax exempt houses of worship after Nov. 4 will be mosques.

    November 4, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Michel

    I trust the catholic church little with their untrustworthy decisions.
    I for one quit funding the church.

    November 4, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Jon

    Really? A reason to change your religion is because they stop monitarily supporting a bunch of people likely going to jail over election fraud?

    November 4, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Thomas

    I'm so looking forward to sanity returning to this country. CCHD shouldn't be making funding decisions based on the latest Fox News cycle.

    November 4, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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