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. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    this is all so over blown. people who don't exist can't vote.....plain and simple. its not physically possible and doesn't rise to the level of the actuall voter suppression that the GOP engages in.

    November 4, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. contothecore

    The rest of us are happy to hear of your decision.

    November 4, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. John

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

    Marshall Law? I didn't see him on the ballot.

    Ohhhh...you mean martial law?

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

    Whomever is doing it and for whatever reason we must root out and prosecute voter fraud.
    The key to democracy is one person, one vote.
    With suspicion about voter fraud comes suspicion and close-mindedness about the issues.
    ACORN had some legitimate issues.
    They are all watered down now because of their horrible practices.

    November 4, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Jarhead

    With all the accusations of voter repression against the Republicans, have to wonder why the news media ( including ONN Obama News Network) has not been more diligent in reporting on ACORN. Could it be that because The Annointed One wrote ACORN a check for $800,000 dollars? Or that he once worked for and with ACORN??? Have to wonder why ACORN is under federal investigation in eleven different states.

    November 4, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Tyler

    If ACORN was harming Nobama's campaign, CNN would have had a different story on it every day just like the "Palin Troopergate". To be honest, I've never had a problem with CNN prior to the past few months. You were my go-to for news.

    However, the bias is just too dang much. You guys stink. Fox News leans conservative but at least they report the other side. CNN sucks.

    November 4, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Ben

    Yeah, Republicans have lots of room to talk after the mess in Florida a few years ago. Much like the $400 hair cut which was outrageous but when Palin spent 5 times that on her hair it was OK.

    November 4, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. The Prophete

    Their candidate is losing no wonder.

    November 4, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. turn az blue

    I am Catholic, and this just shows how religious institutions should not be involved with voting.

    November 4, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. BT

    "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"

    educate yourself you sound dumb. so much more fraud occurs then this. like people sending out letters telling people election day is wed or election officials trying to supress the vote its all wrong but if you must comment on this issue, comment on all of the illegal activity in this election on all sides.

    November 4, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. MD voter

    all this goes to prove is that there needs to be a centralized way to register and manage to voter, but i'm guessin' that wouldn't be very popular with certain folks...

    just because ACORN registered them, doesn't mean they vote and automatically be democrats either.

    November 4, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Mark

    Why not do a story about how ACORN is planting voters in incorrect polling places, which happen to be traditional GOP strongholds, just to hold up lines for hours. I was in line today when such a person held up our polling for 45 minutes; he barely spoke English, and was not at the correct polling place but would not give the polling workers his address so they could help him go to the correct polling place.

    Finally, when he finished his Obama/ACORN duties, he left. Didn't vote obviously, but held up our line awhile. I guess when his antics didn't turn away any of us voters, he figured he would leave and most likely when to another 'incorrect' polling place.

    This is a sad, sad day in our proud country's history. Let's hope these next four years fly by fast so we can shove Obama out of office and back where he came from!!

    November 4, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Barbara in NC

    They registered voters – they didn't illegally submit votes.

    November 4, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. bhogan

    Oh that ACORN! They are bad bad bad and it is only a matter of time before the Batman and his sidekick bring them down.

    BTW can someone remind me how a fictional or dead person can actually cast a vote?

    November 4, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Donkey Party

    USA Voter November 4th, 2008 4:38 pm ET

    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.
    ======================================================

    For the love of God people, educate yourselves. ACORN only registers voters. If someone is able to vote twice, it's of no fault of ACORN, but of the voting precint that didn't check their rolls properly.

    November 4, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Kel

    I see that the media is trying to divide the great thing that Obama has created over this campaign. I see people of all ages, races, and ideals talking electric about politics and life and working together to fix the real problems of this country. It's not just money, when we all stop putting race, sex, and our differences in the front of our minds, but a person's ideals we can be great, we can change, VOTE FOR CHANGE Vote OBAMA

    November 4, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Mike

    I'm still confused by this – how does registering the Dallas Cowboys and Mickey Mouse make you a supporter of one candidate over another? Or is this just because they register poor urban people who happen to be the same skin color as one of the two candidates? If that's the case, would they be supporting the other candidate if they were registering poor white folks? This whole topic is ridiculous.

    November 4, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Marlene

    I wish someone would explain the "tax exempt status" and rules. When I lived in the DC area, Bill Clinton and other democrats were frequently on the evening news as they gave political speeches from pulpits in African American churches and no one ever questioned it.

    November 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Dave

    Ah, more on the manufactured ACORN controversy.

    November 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Steve B

    OBAMA
    WRIGHT
    AYERS
    ACORN

    connect the dots

    November 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Tiff of lithia springs

    IF SOMEONE IS VOTING TWICE THAT IS THE SECRETARY OF STATE FAULT OR WHATEVER BRANCE OF STATE GOV THAT IS RESPONSIBLE.

    SURELY THERE IS A WAY TO CROSS REFERANCE VOTING ACTIVITY.

    SOME PEOPLE VOTE TWICE WHILE OTHER PEOPLES NAMES ARE GETTING PURGED WHEN THEY VOTED 6 MONTHS AGO IN THE PRIMARIES. ESPECIALLY IN PA AND OH. SOMETHING IS FISHY.

    November 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Clarice

    What a waste of time. The ACORN mess presented no threat to the election. The Dallas Cowboys could NOT show up to vote in Nevada. The group itself turned over the false registrations to officials. Come on, people! There are real problems to deal with!

    November 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Peter (CA)

    And the right wingers continue to foam at the mouth,

    Investigate ACORN and see if any charges actually stick. So far, it is all innuendo and right wing spewing of distortions.

    If you want to see real voter fraud, look up YPM and the Lincoln Starategy, two groups who were paid for registering Republicans only. They signed up voters who said they were Democrats as Republicans and they destroyed other registrations of Democrats.

    November 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Bob

    Which is worse: registering as many people as possible, sometimes questionably, or creating fake felon lists to exclude law-abiding minorities from voting? I think the latter is far worse, but do you see any Republican Secretaries of State going to jail for doing so?

    November 4, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Gabe

    The tax exemption for Religious groups are for their not-for-profit nature.

    November 4, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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