November 4th, 2008
04:34 PM ET
6 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. Donkey Party

    If the RepubliCONS wouldn't engage in voter intimidation and voter suppression, there wouldn't be any need for groups like ACORN.

    November 4, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Obama is the Messiah

    It's about time this is ended. Here and now. I would have liked to have these people prosecuted, but highly unlikely since the party that will be in power subsidized and organized this group of cheaters, liars and law breakers.

    The chickens will come home to roost..

    November 4, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Mitch

    @Aimee:

    You're no longer Catholic because they oppose voter fraud?

    That's... quite odd.

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

    IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ACORN DOESN'T MERIT ANY FEDERAL OR PRIVATE FUNDING.

    TAKE ALL FUNDING AWAY, SO WE CAN GET RID OF THESE

    MAGGOTS THAT CALL THEMSELVES MINORITY REFORMERS.

    November 4, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. John

    Just another reason I don't give money at church, it can end up anywhere. I am sure these are all well-meaning people, like all practioners of the enabling arts.

    November 4, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Chris Hatton

    Just another reason to become a Catholic. Acorn registered me and I've voted 10 times today. GO Bama Regards the PLO

    November 4, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. Mickie

    Like the Catholic Church hasn't been influencing voting for their choice candidate in every election either with providing money or tellling their followers they will go to "H" if they vote for the other candidate. Their tax exempt status should have been removed ages ago.

    November 4, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. T

    A Democratic Congress ran our economy into the ground. And we're just going to fill it up with more of those morons.... who avoid all responsibility for it.

    November 4, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Jillian

    In the 19th century the Catholic Church was frequently accused of trying to corrupt the Republic and steal the White House.Now ACORN has actually been doing it, and with Church funds.Hmmmmmm

    November 4, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Eric C

    That the Catholic Church is just now figuring out that they have been supporting a Godless organization that has been designed and structured to subvert Constitutional freedom by fraudulently registering primarily (if not only) one party's voters is not surprising.

    November 4, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Brian

    Aimee I would love to know why you think this is bad press for Catholics. I am proud of the church for staying away from the political arena when it comes to a corrupt organization such as ACORN.

    November 4, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. USA

    Thank you, very pleased to have been read, and to make certain conclusions.

    November 4, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. The Prophecy Fullfilled

    Never doubt the Bible again... It is really happening here and now:

    .. “And in the land shall rise the son of Cain” From the north The Deceiver[Palin] a known Beast of false witness, will take the mark of Cain.
    Together they seek to spread fear and invoke hate among the refugees of sin.
    In their quest for power they will ignore the light of truth shining on the deeds and words they proclaim.
    But take heart, for throughout the land the seekers of light shall rise up and not be fooled. With their strength, the mark [Cain] will be cleansed from the earth and no longer hold power to sway the blind.
    Can I get an amen...? :)

    November 4, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Hate Church

    Good, they should use that money to give to families that were wronged by their Pedophiles.

    November 4, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. We Are All Real Americans

    I don't agree with any of the smears about them, but ACORN has indeed shown itself to be exceedingly sloppy in its methods or the registration problems would not have been so widespread. I wouldn't fund them either, at least not without a major overhaul.

    November 4, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Red, Red WHINE!!

    It certainly seems that the journalist here has a very biased opinion. Very amateur for such an article to be published which is so BLAZINGLY biased that it makes a mockery of Journalism.

    For shame on the editors in particular, they should know better then to allow such childish writings be posted.

    November 4, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. John

    Religion, The best business to get into!

    November 4, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. We Are All Real Americans

    I don't agree with any of the smears about them, but ACORN has indeed shown itself to be exceedingly sloppy in its methods or the registration problems would not have been so widespread. I wouldn't fund them either, at least not without a major overhaul.

    November 4, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Hate Church

    Good, they should use that money to give to families that were wronged by their Pedophiles.

    November 4, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Stephen M

    So the Catholic bishops set it up so that all their members are supposed to vote Republican or go to hell (because driving abortion underground is more important than fighting the death penalty, or overseas wars, or poverty, or anything else), but they object to ACORN being partisan?

    November 4, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    The Democratic congress has 'run the economy into to dirt', with help from Billy boy Clinton who practically forced the banks to give loans to folks who could not afford them. What's really funny is how now that it's too late for the election – you will probably see a lot more honest reporting about ACORN, and many other problems in this country – from such news media like CNN and nearly every other news organization in this country. Obama is not only a Socialist – he borders on being a dictator.

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Chapman

    With real verifiable accounts of Republican fraud & dirty tricks running rampant this is what CNN puts up??? Those "Dallas Cowboys" ballotts were marked as fraudulant. You know it. The agents who raided know it. Election officials know it. Meanwhile McCain "volunteers" who were representing themselves as such & even signed non disclosure agreements in order to be paid for their work have been exposed as frauds & the MSM goes silent???
    You people are insuring your own obscurity as we speak.

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Zeppo

    Hey David Lopez,

    The economy is in the toilet because in 2000 before Bush, bucket shops were reopened on Wall Street. Voted for unanimously by the Senate and singed by Clinton.

    Bucket Shops were banned after the market crash of 1907, they allow wall street to bet on anything and everything without investing anything.

    The housing market blew up because Democrats in Congress and ACORN I might add pressured banks to hand out loans to anyone wearing shoes.

    Thats why a two bedroom house is going for a half a million in most states.

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. A. L. Flanagan

    You know, for all the heat and light on this ACORN thing, there's shockingly little to the story. Some registrars turned in bad names/addresses? That has to happen to every voter registration organization. And the law in many states says ACORN has to turn in the registrations even if they KNOW they're invalid. Nobody has shown even one case where the problems actually would result in an actual fraudulent vote.

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. john

    I am sure these are well-meaning people who genuinely believe in what they are doing; just like all practioners of the enabling arts.

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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