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. 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 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. 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 |
  3. Cam

    Both Drew Griffin and Lou Dobbs should be immediately fired for their irresponsible and republican-biased journalism regarding ACORN.

    Why isn't Drew Griffin doing a simultaneous story on the GOP voter suppression scandals going on?

    I personally think Drew Griffin and Lou Dobbs should publicly apologize to ACORN as there is no evidence of widespread fraud or corruption as they have blatantly accused.

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

    religion==republican--the two evils in this nation

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. 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 |
  6. Mike in NYC

    Though self-interest is certainly a contributing factor here, I applaud the Church's action in this case.

    I wonder why the Church would have supported a group like ACORN in the first place. It's not like they've done anything to benefit traditional urban Catholic communities. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. 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 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. CanIcallyouJoe

    I *literally* just now got back from voting (Obama btw. Suck it Reps.)
    Anyways, I used the electronic voting machine again this year... and the one I was at, and the one next to it, NEITHER were printing a paper trail for the selections. I had the people change out the drums and everything, and they said it must have been happening ALL MORNING!!

    This even happened in the primaries earlier when I voted for Obama and it showed up as Mitt Romney.... "somehow".

    I am on the phone with Election Protection as I type this.

    Wow. Election reform. NOW.

    I am 23, and am tired of having my voice silenced. It is my generation that has to die for the profit of politicians after all.

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. John

    Religion, The best business to get into!

    November 4, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Gmoney

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

    Ignorant, fear-mongering, and just flat-out wrong.

    You do the honorable candidate who you support a disservice.

    November 4, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Ben

    In 8 years W ran our country to the verge of another great depression, 4 more years of the same, who would vote for that? The lesser of two evils is Obama, like him or not he is your President at the end of today.

    November 4, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. irish

    Obama's hands are filthey dirty with this organization , but you sheep following him anyway. He's part of the problem. They interviewed a guy from Philadelphia this morning and he said that when he got to the voting lines he left and came back. He said he had to vote a couple of times. The reporters were pretty uncomfortable trying to correct that one. And it was CNN.

    November 4, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Rave

    You should have seen the phone interview with Joe the Scum_bag on CNN. The guy doesn't even make a 3 figure salary, he is not licensed plumber, he owes money to IRS, he owes money to hospitals (unpaid bills), he has no money to buy a business .... Yet he is concerned about taxing people making over $250,000.
    He was mad at CNN for asking those questions, but yet he can say whatever he wants about Obama and endorse McCain in public.
    That was the best (straight talk) interview , I watched in recent days.
    Good Job CNN, shutdown these fake people (McCain's plants)
    Anyway now the election is over and OBAMA will win 338 / 200 ..with a possibility of more than 338 electoral votes. 338 GAURANTEED.
    Hats Off to you and your campaign Sir.. President Barack Obama ..an Icon for American Hope and Future.
    McCain, it is time – you start your mourning ceremony with Palin the pig, Joe the scum_bag, Cheney the robb_er, Bush the Barbarian. YOU GUYS ARE FIRED.

    November 4, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Republican Commentors Miss the Point Again.

    You see ACORN are see red because they're *gasp* registering low income voters...voters who don't seem to like the big corporations very much!

    OH NOES!

    ACORN has done absolutely nothing wrong with them. McCain befriended them in 2006, and if Obama's connected to them, all it means is good. Getting the downtrodden to the polls is a GOOD thing, unless you're on the side of big corporations.

    So props to the Catholic Church for saying they're not cowing to the hatchet job done by the Republican. Christ befriended the POOR not the RICH.

    "It will be harder for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it will be for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    November 4, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. john

    GO HILLARY IN 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. Tiff of lithia springs

    Well as a democrat I say they need to get their house in order. When you have either corruption or laxed oversight of your operation these are the consequences you have to deal with.

    ACORN CLEAN HOUSE!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I'm catholic and proud of it. This has nothing to do with the church.
    This was a group trying to get illegal votes for Obama so he can be elected president. Wait until the government turns socialist. Let's see how you will like it then!!!!!!!1

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Marge

    About time they started to crack down on this crooked organizations. Now go after the crooked politicans, guess who, that are running them, or have ran them.

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. jude

    Ellen in Ohio, does that mean you want to de-fund the Justice Department?
    How about we think through the ACORN and other Voting issues in a slightly less hatchet-like way? The tar-and-feathers approach is just unhelpful.

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Rob

    ACORN is an illegal organization that does its best to steal elections for who they want. One can only hope that enough sensible people vote, the best candidate wins (McCain) and this group is disbanded.

    But here's something for all of you who are thinking that an Obama win will instantly usher in world peace – watch the riots tonight in Chicago. They'll right if Barry loses (one can only hope), but they'll also riot if he wins, because the morons that voted for him will start to destroy busniesses demanding 'their share'. Think I'm wrong? Talk to me in 24 hours, while they're cleaning up the mess.

    And talk about ego! Having a celebration in Grant Park. If the dolt wins the first thing they'll have to do is widen all the doorways to fit his fat head.

    Who says history doesn't repeat. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Wonder what Obama will do while America burns? Play some b-ball?

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Shea

    A lobbiest group just like Big Oil?? Ummm, Big Oil HAS a lobbying arm but they are chiefly responsible for finding, producing, transporting and refining the stuff that powers the entire world. ACORN just registers fake voters. Not a real good comparison there.

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Charlie

    Is the Catholic church a chrch or a corporation? Maybe they should save some of the mone they give to ACORN and pay the kids the molest!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Valentin - Phoenix, AZ

    Good!! I hope they rip apart ACORN!!

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. John

    Irritating to me that so many people on this site do not understand the ACORN debacle (probably becuase of the stilted CNN reporting). The problem was that ACORN was processing bogus voter REGISTRATIONS because they were paid according to the number of registrations. There is no suggestion (and little posiibility) of actual voting fraud (i.e., Mickey Mouse showing up to vote). These were bogus registrations done by people interested in making money, not in voting several times.

    November 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    They allow child molestation and question voter REGISTRATION?

    November 4, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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