March 22nd, 2010
08:37 PM ET
8 years ago

ACORN community organizing group to close


ACORN's board has approved the steps required "to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months," the group said in a statement Monday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) - The community organizing group ACORN announced Monday it is closing its operations amid falling revenues.

The announcement came a day after the board of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now met and approved the steps required "to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months," an ACORN statement read.

The group's remaining state affiliates and field offices will close by April 1 and a plan will be developed to pay its debts, the statement said.

"ACORN's members have a great deal to be proud of - from promoting homeownership to helping rebuild New Orleans, from raising wages to winning safer streets, from training community leaders to promoting voter participation - ACORN members have worked hard to create stronger to communities, a more inclusive democracy, and a more just nation," it said.

The 40-year-old liberal group was crippled by scandal six months ago when a pair of conservative activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute secretly videotaped two ACORN employees appearing to give them advice about setting up a prostitution ring and evading the IRS.

The video led to the employees being fired.

Afterward, Congress halted Housing and Urban Development grants to ACORN.

In a news release issued Saturday, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said the group had faced "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era. Our effective work empowering African-American and low-income voters made us a target. The videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress.

"For ACORN as a national organization, our vindication on the facts doesn't necessarily pay the bills. I know that ACORN's dedicated community members will continue to speak out for justice and organize in their

ACORN's announcement was welcomed by Matthew Vadum, senior editor of the Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank based in Washington. "I won't be shedding any tears," said Vadum, who said he has been studying the organization for years and written extensively on the organization. "ACORN is a thoroughly corrupt organization that abuses taxpayer dollars and breaks the law at every opportunity. To suggest that it was set up is laughable."

He added in a telephone interview with CNN, "For ACORN to claim that it's a victim of McCarthyism, as I've seen CEO Bertha Lewis do repeatedly, doesn't even pass the laugh test. It can't be taken seriously."

On March 1, prosecutors cleared the group of criminal wrongdoing related to the videos. And on March 10, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon declared unconstitutional the law blacklisting ACORN and allied organizations from receiving federal funds, according to ACORN.

In 2008, Republican groups seized on allegations of voter registration fraud by the group in Florida and several other states, claiming its workers were trying to push the election in Barack Obama's favor.

Founded in 1970, ACORN called itself "the nation's largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people." The group said it had more than 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities.

Besides voter registration, the group focused on issues such as predatory lending, the minimum wage and funding for public schools, according to its Web site. It also provided free tax-return preparation for low-income people and screening for state and federal benefit programs.

Updated 8:37 p.m.

Filed under: ACORN • Popular Posts
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. And don't try coming back......

    under another name.....

    We'll be watching.

    March 22, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. all the news that's fit to omit

    If you sheeple believe that it will NOT be under a new name real soon, then I have a "GREAT" Health care bill I'd like to SELL you sheep.

    The heat is on, but they will be back "helping" the "less fortunate" city "workers".

    March 22, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Selah Brown

    This makes me sad.

    March 22, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Susan, AZ

    its a utter shame that the Republican talking heads led to the fall of such a community organization. While it was not perfect, it did provide relief to thousands of poor.

    Great job Republicans and Great job Democrats for being a sissy.
    Republicans cannot see that poor not-suffering.

    THey cry for no abortion but are equally willing to not provide healthcare to the living and send kids to foolish war.

    March 22, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Alf

    What, this great institution (ACORN) that Obama once represented is closing because they were caught advising a couple of undercover to commit a crime against the US. Tell me it's not so?

    Was it their advise to smuggle children into the USA to work as prostitutes what got you in trouble??? Many in jail will miss you.

    Anyone wants to bet who ACORN voted for in the presidential elections?

    Tell me who you hang around with and I'll tell you who you are....

    March 22, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. bongiojf

    It will be very interesting to see where the ACORN leadership shows up next. It would be nice to see them get a job in the private sector for a change rather than rely on handouts (re: kickbacks) from politicos.

    March 22, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. forget bipartisanship

    they will disappear under a rock and will re-emerge, stronger and more corrupt than ever!

    March 22, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Lancer

    Finally we close the chapter to this terrible organization.

    March 22, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. cryUncle

    What a shame that we live in a country with a misinformed public. The American people are sheep who will listen to any sensational story that is spewed by right wing reactionaries. I partly blame the media for not fully exposing the lies that were perpetrated by the guerrilla propagandists who shot those videos. Our democracy is in deep trouble. It just goes to show that if you repeat a lie over and over ad nauseua, it becomes "the truth" in the eyes of our POOP-ulation. EX. Global warming is a conspiracy. Gay marriage will destroy the fabric of our society. Government regulations are evil. All taxes are an affliction. etc. . .

    March 22, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. Paul Cooper

    Great. One less group of idiots pestering you when you exit the Metro.

    March 22, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. Steve Lyons

    I wish their whole organization goes belly up. There is no room for corrupt organizations like this. And the corruption they spread throughout Washington. May they suffer total and complete economic devastation.

    March 22, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. John Scott

    Check it our Republicans! You won something!

    March 22, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. Steve Lyons

    Don't forget their seedling organizations are filled with the same corrupt individuals that brought down the ACORN brand. Until they completely purge their old executive power structure and members they will forever be tainted with the corruption know as ACORN.

    March 22, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. Mary Bell Lockhart

    This is sad. A political assassination of a group. It's been proven that they did little wrong and nothing illegal. What happens now to the millions of people they've helped over the years? Their only "crime" was helping low income people assert their rights and obtain much needed services.

    March 22, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Great! Now if we could just get ride of the community organizer in the White House, we'd be all set.

    March 22, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. Obama is not my hero

    Wow. Didn't see that one coming.

    March 22, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. snood

    they will jus tdo what every other corrupt org does and jusy resurface with a new name

    March 22, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. Cayce

    Obama could not save his thugs?

    March 22, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. Ginger

    No comments? Hmmmm?

    March 22, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. Dan

    Goodbye and good riddance !

    March 22, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. Chris

    The infamous Pimp/Prostitute video was proven to be heavily edited so as to be deliberatly misleading. The Pimp parts were cut together with a seperate video of him posing as a well dressed man seeking advise on protecting his gf from an abusive pimp. It doesn't matter the whole video was one big lie – the Right keep bring it up as "proof" how corrupt Acorn is.

    March 22, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. Jake

    Obama's children , he raised them and taught them the ropes,they are chips off the old block-their daddy obamie.Thugs like him-like father like sons.

    March 22, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    This is going to be just a change in name... Acorn will stop but the organization and all it does will go on

    March 22, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. snoozeulose

    Great, now Repugs have to find something new to complain about.

    March 22, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. LoganWon

    Thank God; this corupt and immoral group has shutdown. This group is responsible for more voter fraud and scams that any in recent memory. Now if only obama would resign the US would be much better off!

    March 22, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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