The Conspiracy to Destroy ACORN

I believe that the evidence indicates that an ongoing conspiracy to slander, smear, and destroy ACORN was launched from the highest levels of the Bush Administration, and most specificly, Karl Rove. I believe the evidence indicates that Rove and others attempted to strong-arm US Attorneys into pursuing bogus prosecutions for corrupt and dishonest electoral reasons. I believe this conspiracy continues to this very day.

My case is best outlined by a recent Rachel Maddow presentation, offered here:

Ms Maddow, of the swan-like neck and the steel trap mind, lays out the prominent points, and the video offers links to substantiating documents. Taken on the face of it, this is damning stuff, this is an American political party seeking to corrupt and suborn the Justice Department to meet its electoral needs, this is using the enforcement arm of government to support a partisan political agenda.

Naturally, as one who is somewhat left of center, I find this case plausible and solid.

I invite rebuttal.

(Note: the video is preceded by a brief paen to the glory of American capitalism (“It’s got electolytes!”), a regretable instrusion. The video itself runs roughly 10 minutes, a challenge to Doper attention spans that cannot be avoided, alas. But she very succinctly ties the various threads into one place and, as I said, offers further links for anyone eager to cry “Cite!”.

It should be further noted that Ms Maddow is rumored to be a lefty and a lesbian, so appropriate shield protocols may be suggested. As I am already a lesbian trapped in the body of a man, and already on the conservative wing of the extreme left, these issues have no weight. YMMV)

Bull. First of all, one of the cases that badly damaged ACORN, the embezzlement of close to a million bucks by Dale Rathke, occurred in 1999-2000, prior to the existence of any Bush Administration. And that crime was kept secret not only from the media and any right-wingers, it was even kept from the ACORN board by Wade Rathke, the organization’s founder (and the embezzler’s brother). It wasn’t revealed until 2008.

Secondly, whatever animus conservatives might have held against ACORN, nobody made their employees act to assist erstwhile human traffickers - they decided to do that of their own accord.

Whether ACORN survives or not - their credibility problems were brought on by their own actions. And I’m not even getting into any of the election related controversies here.

Relevant articles from The Nation:

The GOP’s Blame-Acorn Game (11/10/08)

Michael Steele’s Nutty ACORN Obsession (04/11/09)

ACORN and Accountability (09/23/09)

But then there are plenty of companies/organizations that have individuals that tarnished their organizations reputations. This happens all the time (eg. One of Halliburton’s executives bribed Nigerian officials during the construction of a gas plant.

Yet nobody seems to have a hard-on for ensuring that Halliburton never receives another government contract.

There was some news, but no huge outcry about Mark Jacoby and the Young Political Majors, when they duped people into registering as Republicans

It seems clear to me that ACORN is being singled out for attack. As for why - Occam’s razor says that one side of the political spectrum perceives them as a threat.

Perhaps the OP could concisely and cogently lay out, in summary form, the relevant evidence that has convinced him that there is a conspiracy to destroy ACORN.

In addition to benefiting those of us who don’t want to wade through Rachel’s video, it might have a wonderfully concentrating effect on the mind of the OP and enable him to swat down doubters with a paucity of eloquence, without merely saying “See this great video - you’ll be convinced!!!”

She is also rumored to have a Doctorate in Political Science from Oxford University and be a Rhodes Scholar…so watch out.

Uh…let’s see, so they were ripped off by a corrupt executive (an oxymoron, I know) and the rip off was hidden by the corrupt executive’s brother. And this makes them guilty of what, exactly? The organization is the victim here.

I’ve volunteered for Acorn. Some of the people I worked with were bright and eager, some were dim bulbs - pretty much the same at any volunteer organization. I’m not shocked that the right-wing entrapment squad was able to find a couple of idiots working in a couple of offices. I’m confident the same scam could be perpetrated on on right-wing organizations asking for help evading taxes and skirting child-labor laws.

I hope Bush is impeached for this!

They have spent millions of dollars of taxpayer money prosecuting voter fraud which is a republican illusion. They have wasted our politicians time and managed to get their way again. You really have to be a rightwing nut terrified of losing the government they bought and paid for to follow this story. This is a typical repub bullshit story.

They weren’t erstwhile human traffickers. They alleged to be aspiring human traffickers which of course wasn’t true. But they didn’t allege to have reformed their ways and given human trafficking up, they were looking for advice on the tax implications of their future or ongoing human trafficking, in fact.

A brother sought to protect his brother? The horror! Wrong perhaps but hardly surprising or evil.

Say there is a Mr. Moto Corporation of which Mr. Moto is the founder. You make the best and lowest priced widgets in the land. Now, an employee at one of your factories is selling marijuana to some of Mr. Moto Coporation’s customers.

Clearly Mr. Moto Corp is a drug dealing front. Mr. Moto Corp’s competition should rightfully smear the corporation and see that your government contracts are revoked. I’m sure you’d see the sense in that and deem it fair comment. :rolleyes:

Perhaps I could, but rest assured, Ms Maddow on video is far more appealing that I am in print. That aside, I found her outline of the points tighty structured, I see no advantage to my repeating precisely the same points in print. As well, please note that the video offers links to further substantiation. I could post the same links here, but really, what’s the point?

As for me, I would be perfectly content to spend 10 minutes watching her read the phone book (“Aardvark, Aaron A…”) but this has the extra added crunchy goodness of squashing evil men up to no good. Joe Bob 'luc says “Check it out!”

errr… Ok, ya.

Welcome back mswas.

Seconded. Also note that many people post from work where it is not advised to be listening to videos on one’s computer.

It’s SOP for Great Debates that you are actually supposed to present your own ideas, and not just link to a video. We routinely shoot down people who do that here. So do some legwork, write up the salient points, and defend them.

Uh, no. I find it interesting to note that when this hit the fan for ACORN in 2008 the New York Times ran it in a story contrasting ACORN’s decision to conceal the problem with the Points of Light Institute’s actions to immediately make good on the financial problems and bring in the United States Attorney’s office to assist.


So the issue wasn’t the embezzlement - I agree that can happen to any organization. It was the cover up, which caused Rathke to be ousted from the board and did harm ACORN’s reputation to some degree.

Transcript available here:

No advantage to you, but it would indicate to your readers whether there was any point to spending the time to watch her cogent analysis. (We still have folks on dial-up and even DSL can run slowly in some regions.)

Oh, all right then, I’ll go back in time and post the transcript! Sheeesh! Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for fifteen minutes…

This is, I think the relevant part of the case. Singling out Acorn seems to be unreasonable.

Personally, I’d be for defunding every organization that Maddow mentioned, and I’d be perfectly happy doing it to Acorn as well.

Rather than, “Don’t defund Acorn.”, lets just defund everything else.

The military should be handling all of the stuff that private war profiteers supply in house. There is no reason that the military cannot employ electricians to build barracks.

It has been an ongoing witch hunt for years. The voted fraud conspiracy is a joke. We have practically zero voter fraud in the US and the cases that were found were not linked to ACORN. We have wasted a lot of taxpayer money and politicians time destroying an organization the righties identified as leftwing. ACORN works with the poor. Surprise ,surprise ,most of them are dems. They council people getting a mortgage so the bankers don’t fleece them . They help them with taxes. They have been involved in voter registration. They employ people who are poor in their own neighborhoods. What large organization with a lot of employees doesn’t have a few bad apples? But the righties were not after them. They were after ACORN itself. We will have a few more people on the unemployment lines soon. Congratulations.