Has Obama favorite Andy Stern’s union really cut its ties with ACORN? In the case of Dale Rathke, who could blame it?
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Ringuette replied, “We have suspended all contracts and active work with ACORN,” pending the results of a panel of inquiry looking into ACORN. SEIU boss Andy Stern sits on that supposedly independent panel.
I’m skeptical of Ringuette’s statement but it may turn out to be accurate. Of course, SEIU could still be providing help to ACORN behind the scenes even if it publicly distances itself from the embattled activist group.
Also bear in mind that ACORN was set up to have a deliberately confusing structure. It seems decentralized but that’s an illusion. In fact, the ACORN network of affiliates is tightly controlled from the top through interlocking directorates and regular intra-network financial transfers.
When affiliates get into trouble, ACORN can always try the plausible deniability defense. It’s always a rogue employee or a subsidiary acting without permission from the top, ACORN claims. Trying to get the goods on ACORN and affiliates turns into a game of political whack-a-mole. Titles change, people move around, money is transferred, and outsiders often give up investigating ACORN out of sheer frustration.
That said, although ACORN has long been affiliated with SEIU, I caught ACORN — not SEIU — red-handed in April trying to flush its SEIU ties down an Orwellian memory hole.
It scrubbed its website of references to two of its key affiliates, SEIU Locals 100 and 880, an event reported by Kevin Mooney of the Washington Examiner. Fortunately, I made a snapshot of the web page a year ago.
Why would the radical left-wing ACORN do that? At the time observers speculated that organized labor didn’t want to be associated with ACORN as its reputation continued to sink in the quicksand. The observers may have been right.
Ringuette said both locals continue to exist as labor unions but are no longer affiliated with SEIU. Local 100 “simply couldn’t meet requirements to be a stand alone union” because it was “not financially viable,” she said.
SEIU’s international executive board moved last month to revoke Local 100’s charter, she said. The local had until Sept. 30 to appeal the disaffiliation decision but didn’t do so to the best of her knowledge, Ringuette said.
Ringuette said that Local 880 was created in Chicago in the late 1970s and affiliated with SEIU in the mid-1980s. Local 100 was founded in New Orleans around the same time and also affiliated with SEIU in the mid-1980s, she said.
ACORN insider Keith Kelleher heads 880 and ACORN founder Wade Rathke heads 100. SEIU dwarfs ACORN. The union claims to have 2.1 million members compared to ACORN’s 400,000 “member families.”
MEANWHILE, IN OTHER ACORN news, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, a Democrat, said yesterday that the embezzlement at ACORN perpetrated around the year 2000 by then-ACORN official Dale Rathke involved $5 million, not the originally reported figure of close to $1 million.
Citing a report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, BigGovernment.com reported that the $5 million figure is mentioned in a subpoena.
The subpoena states:
Current high ranking members of ACORN have publicly acknowledged that embezzlement did in fact occur, but the exact amount of the embezzlement was unknown until it was recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on October 17, 2008 by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5,000,000.00 (FIVE MILLION), and it is still unclear if some of the monies embezzled are from state, federal or private funds.
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.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?