You’d think ACORN was a labor union, considering the trouble it’s in for dipping into its workers’ retirement funds.
(Page 2 of 2)
“Forgiveness of the debt caused by the embezzlement may harm the participants and beneficiaries of the current ACORN health care and pension plans,” he says. “If the money was not paid back it may put at risk the funding necessary for ACORN retirees or the healthcare of ACORN employees.”
The report from Republican investigators on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about corruption within ACORN — including the embezzlement and cover-up saga — was blunt.
Those staffers found that by “intentionally blurring the legal distinctions between 361 tax-exempt and non-exempt entities, ACORN diverts taxpayer and tax-exempt monies into partisan political activities.”
They described ACORN as “a shell game played in 120 cities, 43 states and the District of Columbia through a complex structure designed to conceal illegal activities, to use taxpayer and tax-exempt dollars for partisan political purposes, and to distract investigators.” The ACORN network’s abusive interlocking directorates are deliberately organized to help ACORN escape legal and public scrutiny. “ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate.”
Of the pension fund improprieties, committee investigators “concluded that ACORN plundered employee benefits and violated fiduciary responsibilities under ERISA by relieving corporate debts through prohibited loans to a related party.”
The investigators added:
Moreover, ACORN affiliates lack independent control of their own assets and maintain shoddy accounting practices that serve to hide ACORN’s secret and illegal use of monies. ACORN conspired to conceal information concerning prohibited transactions from its board in violation of its corporate charter. ACORN’s termination of board members who sought to uncover its illegal activities perpetuates a cover-up at the expense of adherence to its own bylaws.”
Americans are paying attention. They want answers to these questions but it is unclear when or if Congress and the Obama administration, which has strong ties to ACORN, will act.
As I wrote previously, longtime ACORN operative Patrick Gaspard now holds the title of White House political affairs director, one of the titles Karl Rove held in President Bush’s White House. Evidence shows that years before he joined the Obama administration, Gaspard was ACORN boss Bertha Lewis’s political director in New York. Of all the entries in Lewis’s rolodex, the entry for Gaspard is the most extensive. Erick Erickson and Moe Lane have also done a good job connecting the dots between Gaspard, ACORN, and President Obama.
When I unveiled the memo last week I referred to it as the Holy Grail of ACORN research. I was not exaggerating. It is to date the most significant smoking gun of a document to emerge from the developing ACORN scandal.
I should note here that I neglected to mention in the article unveiling the memo that its authenticity was confirmed by ACORN insiders. The only irregularities related to it are the incorrect fax time stamps and the missing page. I have no idea why the missing page isn’t there. Perhaps it will turn up. I never had it. As for the fax time stamps, many people don’t keep the date and time current on their fax machines. Presumably that’s what happened in this case.
I haven’t heard a peep from either ACORN or Kingsley’s law firm, Harmon, Curran, Spielberg Eisenberg LLP, disputing the authenticity of this memo that was referenced and excerpted — but not published in full — by the New York Times last fall. (The Kingsley memo is available as a PDF file at BigGovernment.com.)
That speaks volumes.