ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis’s recent appearance at the National Press Club was an exercise in denial — and worse.
ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis’s recent appearance at the National Press Club was an exercise in denial.
Lewis deserved to receive an Academy Award nomination for her virtuoso performance in which she not only depicted ACORN as an innocent victim but also as a whistleblower that tried to nip the subprime mortgage crisis in the bud.
Even the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank couldn’t resist beating Lewis up:
In creativity, the ACORN boss’s denials were matched only by her assignments of blame. She blamed her predecessor: “I don’t think it’s fair to judge me, as I’m cleaning up a previous administration.” She blamed the powerful: “We’ve seen this play before, whether it was the civil rights movement or whatever, when you organize poor people to have real power, what you do is often turned against you.” And most of all, she blamed Republicans: “The RNC…because we’ve been inflated as the boogeyman, raises almost $2 million a day, every day, and this form of modern-day ACORN McCarthyism has got to stop.”
Lewis’s statement about the Republican National Committee was immediately undermined by the blissfully ignorant and frequently tone-deaf RNC chairman Michael Steele who defended ACORN.
In a video of Steele from a Sept. 21 speech that surfaced on a left-wing website the day of Lewis’s speech, Steele praises Lewis. “The current head of the organization, she’s done a phenomenal job getting out in front of it,” Steele said. “I applaud her. I take her at her word that she wants to work to make sure that the bad apples are thrown out.”
Steele said he respects ACORN’s history of “working in the community and helping the poor.”
So much for the Republican boogeyman.
Lewis didn’t say much about her own role in covering up the nearly $1 million embezzlement perpetrated by founder Wade Rathke’s brother. After news of the theft broke, Lewis drove out honest ACORN national board members who dared to ask questions.
Lewis, who has high-level contacts within the Marxist governments of Venezuela and Bolivia, also glossed over her ties to the radical Working Families Party in New York state and to President Obama’s political director Patrick Gaspard.
Let’s deal with some of the major lies in the speech. (Note that by “lie” I mean an untruth stated by a person who knows at the time he or she makes the statement that it is untrue. PolitiFact and other so-called fact-checking operations that follow ACORN use a more much flexible definition for “lie.”)
LIE #1: Lewis claimed no one voted fraudulently in 2008 presidential election “because of an ACORN registration.” She added, “This voter fraud or the allegations of voter fraud was to have hung a shadow over the presidential election. And it proved to be an utter fabrication and a work of fiction that was created by the people who wrote it.”
In fact, vote fraud happened in Ohio in 2008 and ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it.
Darnell Nash of Cleveland, Ohio, was registered to vote by ACORN nine times for last year’s election. Nash cast a fraudulent ballot and was convicted of vote fraud and voter registration fraud. He’s currently serving a six-month prison term.
A spokesman for Cleveland’s Democratic prosecutor Bill Mason told me earlier this month that a local investigation of ACORN remains wide open.
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