Remember ACORN? Well, the original left-wing "community organizing" group may be back in a new guise as a key behind-the-scenes ally of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, fell on hard times in 2010 after damaging videos showing workers in several of its offices actively helping conservative provocateurs posing as clients to fraudulently obtain benefits and set up a child prostitution ring. ACORN allegedly disbanded last year, but in reality continued its operations under a variety of front-group names, with one in Atlanta even snagging a Housing and Urban Development grant despite a congressional ban on federal funding of ACORN.
In New York, the original ACORN chapter morphed into something called New York Communities for Change (NYCC). Its head, Jon Kest, the former head of New York ACORN, has been a big supporter of the ragtag band that started to occupy Zuccotti Park near Wall Street last September. NYCC is clearly ACORN under the old mismanagement: it works out of the old ACORN's offices in Brooklyn, uses old ACORN office stationery, and employs much of its former staff.