The Spectacle Blog

ACORN Covering Up SEIU Ties?

By on 4.22.09 | 8:50PM

A photo retrieved from SEIU Local 100's website today. The original photo caption reads: "Organizers from Local 100, ACORN, and SEIU, supporters and attorneys celebrate our victory on February 3, 2002." The man with the sandy hair to the right of the microphones is Wade Rathke, founder and then-chief organizer of ACORN.


ACORN did a strange thing today.

It scrubbed its website of references to two of its key affiliates, Locals 100 and 880 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an event reported by Kevin Mooney of the Washington Examiner.

Why would the radical left-wing ACORN do that? An observer I spoke with earlier today speculated that organized labor doesn't want to be associated with ACORN, which is pure PR poison, right now as it presses for the most important item on its legislative agenda: the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) also known as "card check."

Is the labor movement actually taking political heat for its ties to ACORN? It seems like a reasonable hypothesis but I don't have proof right now. Perhaps in time we'll find out. In any event, erasing the listings is weird.

What is ACORN afraid of?

In detail, here's what went down:

ACORN, which until recently proudly listed Locals 100 and 880 of SEIU as affiliates, removed the short blurbs and logos of the two entities from its allied organizations page.

As of April 20, one day before Mooney's article on ACORN and its ties to unions ran in the Washington Examiner, the ACORN website page looked like this. (The link leads to a PDF of the page I made on Oct. 30, 2008.)

From the same website, here is a copy that I made on Oct. 24, 2008 of an official list of ACORN's affiliates, a document called "ACORN, ACORN Affiliate, and COUNCIL Offices."

Moreover, SEIU Local 100's most recent publicly available IRS Form 990 shows ACORN founder Wade Rathke as that local's chief organizer (see page 5 of above linked PDF file).

(For background information on ACORN, please see the November 2008 issues of Foundation Watch and Labor Watch, two monthly newsletters I edit at Capital Research Center.)

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