Has Obama favorite Andy Stern’s union really cut its ties with ACORN? In the case of Dale Rathke, who could blame it?
The Service Employees International Union’s Anna Burger shocked political observers last week when she told a congressional hearing that her union “cut all ties to ACORN.”
Burger’s statement came days before Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced yesterday that former ACORN official Dale Rathke allegedly stole $5 million from ACORN, as opposed to the originally reported sum of close to $1 million. Current ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis denies the $5 million figure is correct, and other ACORN inside sources I trust also deny the figure is correct, but more on the embezzlement saga in a moment.
Surely the SEIU’s claimed break from ACORN is the kind of earth-shattering news that a powerful, high-profile labor union like SEIU would want to get out there as ACORN becomes increasingly associated in the public mind with corruption and criminality.
Alas, it only came up when Burger, who is SEIU’s international secretary-treasurer, was asked about ACORN by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) during a Sept. 30 hearing conducted by the House Financial Services Committee, as reported by BigGovernment.com.
The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, along with Time, Newsweek, the Nation, Mother Jones, and American Prospect were immediately all over the story — oh wait, no they weren’t. I guess I must have dozed there and started dreaming. Sorry about that, dear reader. I must be under-caffeinated.
At press time yesterday, a Nexis search for the keywords “ACORN SEIU Anna Burger” yielded exactly zip, except for an official transcript of the congressional testimony.
Moving along, at the hearing last week, McHenry said, “As of today the U.S. Census Bureau, the IRS, and even Bank of America have severed ties with ACORN and according to yesterday’s, actually the day before yesterday’s report from the Chicago Sun-Times the SEIU has given ACORN $4 million. Could you clarify to me the extent of your financial and programmatic ties to ACORN.”
In reply, Burger said, “SEIU has also cut all ties to ACORN.”
McHenry interrupted. “They have?”
Burger gave a rambling reply: “We have. In Illinois, I believe that I’m correct, that the ACORN institution, the consumer protection, the community organization in Illinois cut its ties to ACORN two years ago and so in Illinois there was [sic] no ties in the last two years between any SEIU work and ACORN.”
“What was the extent of your financial ties with ACORN?” the congressman asked.
“I will get that information for you for the record,” she said. Called the “queen of labor” by some, Burger is an officer of George Soros’s Democracy Alliance, a left-wing billionaire donors’ collaborative that has steered funds to ACORN. She also chairs the powerful labor federation known as Change to Win.
Yesterday, Burger did supply the requested information to McHenry. Her letter (available here) states that in 2008 SEIU paid $190,000 to ACORN for “Contributions (including General Support and ACORN Projects like Voter Registration).” The figure for 2009 was $25,000.
The letter states that SEIU paid ACORN $1.4 million in 2008 for “Contracted Services (including services such as the Organizing Apprenticeship Program and Childcare Worker Organizing Campaigns).” The figure for 2009 was $220,000.
I asked SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette in an interview what Burger meant when she said SEIU had cut all ties with ACORN.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online