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Video: Laura Ingraham calls out Charlie Gibson’s ACORN ignorance

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 25, 2009 09:48 PM

On ABC News this morning at George Stephanopoulos’s This Week roundtable, fellow Fox News contributor and conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham took Charlie Gibson to task for his ignorance of the ACORN scandal (which, you’ll remember, a condescending Gibson said he thinks the MSM should “leave to the cables.”)

Brava. Keep calling them out:

Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters has the transcript.

In other ACORN news the rest of the MSM will “leave to the cables”…

*Patterico: The LA Times fails to disclose a pro-ACORN op-ed writer’s ACORN ties.

*Ed Morrissey: HUD’s housing counseling programs — administered by the likes of ACORN — get a massive budget increase.

(For a thorough refresher course, see my expose’ last April: The left-wing mortgage counseling racket)

*And in another must-read piece, Anita MonCrief sheds more light on the non-profit, tax-exempt, and supposedly non-partisan Project Vote — a twisted branch of the ACORN tree — and its partisan operatives. Read the whole thing:

When I came to Washington, D.C. to start working for ACORN, it quickly became evident to me that Project Vote did not have a lot of employees and was a part of ACORN. Often we employees wore many hats and worked weekends and late nights with the sense that we were doing it for the “movement.”

One of my first assignments at Project Vote was to research the voter registration fraud allegations from 2004. It was not hard to discern a pattern in how the accusations were processed: ACORN blamed an employee, the employee was fired, vilified, tried and sentenced. Case closed. Every time Project Vote remain unscathed while ACORN cried racism and attacked the “evil right-wingers.” What I then speculated is that Project Vote did not have the field capacity to run the voter registration drives without ACORN. Project Vote existed because of ACORN and did not seem like it could continue without it. Besides shared offices across the country; there were people like myself who held duel positions in both organizations. Senator Chuck Grassley requested information related to the tax status of ACORN entities and it was determined that:

“Per its 2006 Form 990, Project Vote received $8,688,580 in direct public support,and $250,759 in contractual fees. It then paid $4,649,037 to ACORN for contractual and campaign services and $779,016 to Citizens Consulting, Inc. Thus, $5,428,023, or over 60% of its revenues, was paid to two taxable, affiliated entities (emphasis mine).

“…In general, the flow of money among the ACORN family of organizations is a big shell came. Dollars raised for charitable activity appear to be used for impermissible lobbying and political activity. This is similar to the use of charities by Jack Abramoff. Similar to those organizations, charities are being used to raise monies which are then funneled to other charities or other organizations for purposes other than what a donor may have intended.”

On the ACORN side, I was part of political operations. POLOPS, as we called it during my tenure, had Zach Polett as its point person. Zach ran Project Vote, ACORN Political Operations, and sometimes, Citizens Services Inc. (CSI). Voter registration drives, lawsuits, youth voting, etc were all handled by this main ACORN nebulous, and I watched it run like a slightly inept machine. Over the years Project Vote has loudly protested that it is not a part of ACORN. Barack Obama’s Fight the Smears website also makes this absurd claim.

After the New York Times broke the ACORN embezzlement scandal in July of 2008 and subsequently released portions of the Elizabeth Kingsley report, recommendations were made about improving the overall operation of the affiliates. In particular the roles of the board members was discussed at length. According to information provided by former board members in July of 2008, not only was the board unaware of the embezzlement, but some of the affiliate board members were not even aware that they were on the board! Project Vote replaced a few of its board members, but somehow managed to still stock it with trusted ACORN insiders…

Beware those paying lip service to “reforming” ACORN.

I repeat: ACORN is a criminal enterprise. It took decades to build up its massive coffers and intricate web of affiliates across the country. It will take months and years to untangle the entire operation. And it will take time, money, and and relentless sunshine to dismantle the government-subsidized, partisan racket. It can’t be “reformed.” It is constitutionally corrupt.

***

Good points from commenter Ignatius Reilly on the Stephanopoulous roundtable video:

At 5:15 Stephanopoulos said that the WH is trying to draw a line between the opinion side of Fox and the news side.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Axelrod and Emanuel were all over the Sunday shows just a week ago doing exactly the opposite; they were saying that Fox is not merely objectionable on the opinion side but that their news reporting is illegitimate, as well.

I also find it contemptible at these round tables that all of the liberals — which is most of the talking heads — always nod gravely and say that what the White House is doing is not very wise strategy. This gives them a chance to sound a little critical when, in fact, they are only criticizing political tactics as unlikely to be productive. They totally duck the need to forthrightly denounce the WH for being a bully and trying to silence legitimate opposition, which seems to me a fairly serious sin against democracy.

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