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ACORN Didn’t Fall Far From the Tree

  • Rick Scarborough
  • Oct 18, 2008

ACORN has become front and center in the closing days of the 2008 Presidential campaign, and for the first time people are taking a long look at this organization which receives tens of millions of tax payers dollars each election cycle.  It seems almost every day now we hear of additional allegations and subsequent investigations into voter fraud and fraudulent voter registrations across the nation and particularly in battle ground states like Ohio where there are as high as 200,000 votes that are being called into question.

Every American should be demanding that full disclosure be made of the methods and tactics used by ACORN.  Record numbers of registrations have been recorded by ACORN, and American’s have a right to be assured that their vote not be cancelled out by an ineligible voter.  It appears the old adage that an acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree is true.

ACORN was founded by sixties radical Wade Rathke, a former member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society which he dropped out of in 1968 to protest the Viet Nam War.  In 1970 he and Gary Delgado founded the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN, to aid lower income families.  Today there are over 170,000 dues paying member families and 82 staffed offices across the United States.  The ACORN family of organizations includes radio stations, publications, housing development and ownership (ACORN Housing), and a variety of other supports for direct organizing and issue campaigns, such as Project Vote and the Living Wage Resource Center. ACORN International has recently opened staffed offices in Lima, Peru and Toronto and Vancouver, Canada.

On July 9th, 2008, the New York Times reported that Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN's founder Wade Rathke, was found to have embezzled $948,607.50 from the group and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000. ACORN executives, including Wade Rathke, did not inform the whole board, or law enforcement, but signed an enforceable restitution agreement with the Rathke family to repay the amount of the embezzlement. Wade Rathke stated to the Times that "the decision to keep the matter secret was not made to protect his brother but because word of the embezzlement would have put a 'weapon' into the hands of conservatives.

Oh really?  Give me a break!!!

A whistleblower revealed the embezzlement in 2001; the Rathke brothers both departed ACORN earlier this year.

Now we have reports breaking every day of allegations of illegal activities throughout the organization.  Our Founders shed their blood to secure a nation of free men and women who would have the right to vote for their leaders, but from the first day of our nation’s founding, voters were assigned the responsibility of meeting certain minimal requirements of citizenship to vote.  Voting is a privilege as well as a right, but ACORN now registers voters in predominantly under privileged areas by the incentive plan.  A practice of paying their registrars based on performance which any fair minded citizen ought to see as a formula for disaster.  While the folks I work with every election cycle volunteer their time and services to assist in voter registration, ACORN receives millions to pay their workers who in turn can take a modest salary and turn it into lucrative income by falsifying records or splitting the incentive with registrants. 

I have no doubt that the vast majority of workers for ACORN are abiding by the law and doing good work.  What I would like to know is how many are not.  Every corrupted record is a cancellation of one vote of a legitimate voter who played by the rules.

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