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ACORN clears itself of wrongdoing

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 7, 2009 12:32 PM


Photoshop credit: Leo Alberti

You are going to be shocked, shocked, I tell you, when you read the conclusion of the “independent” review of ACORN’s recent activities by ACORN’s “independent” assessor, left-wing former Massachusetts AG and Common Cause president Scott Harshbarger.

Harshbarger has determined — wait for it — that ACORN engaged in no wrongdoing depicted in the nationwide undercover stings conducted by BigGovernment.com/James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles.

You can read the entire self-absolution here.

As I noted in September, ACORN’s “independent” advisory council included several panelists who were not only willing to overlook illegal activity, but who have also been tainted by their own shady behavior and associations:

ACORN advisory council member Henry Cisneros resigned from his post as Clinton HUD Secretary after lying to FBI agents about payments to a former mistress.

ACORN advisory council member Andy Stern is president of the SEIU, the Big Labor organization plagued by embezzlement scandals and inextricably linked to ACORN’s disgraced founder Wade Rathke. (And see my document drop here on ACORN’s “nurturing” of SEIU Local 100.)

And ACORN advisory council member Eric Eve of Citigroup is a champion of the ACORN/Citibank illegal alien loan program that openly undermines immigration laws and integrity in banking.

The truth is more sordid than any fictional scenarios caught on tape: ACORN is a criminal enterprise.

The Harshbarger report outlines documents that the panel reviewed, including:

We have reviewed an extensive collection of documents, including, by way of example, ACORN (and ACORN Housing, Project Vote, ACORN Institute, among other ACORN related entities) staff policies and organizing manuals; descriptions of the organizational structure of ACORN boards, chapters, affiliates, and corporate entities; ACORN and academic/media articles regarding ACORN’s various national issue and advocacy campaigns; ACORN related human resources and staff management policies; internal reporting requirements; project and services quality control methods; board administration and governance guidelines; and software information. These documents total more than 7,000 pages.

In addition, we have obtained reports from, and interviewed consultants retained by, ACORN since June 2008 to review its finances, organizational structure and board governance.
We have reviewed selected court materials; media coverage and commentary; several Congressional Committee reports; materials available from and on relevant websites; and a range
of individual comments received, pro and con, regarding ACORN.

These include the Kingsley report, which I’ve mentioned several times over the past year. That report noted the incestuous relationship between ACORN and Obama’s old employer, Project Vote — and reported that it was “impossible to document that Project Vote’s money had been used in a strictly nonpartisan manner” and “raised concerns not only about a lack of documentation to demonstrate that no charitable money was used for political activities but also about which organization controlled strategic decisions.”

Question: Why won’t ACORN release that report and other key documents publicly?

***

A reminder of the three main investigative areas ACORN doesn’t want anyone to get to the bottom of:

1) How Team Obama hid its $800,000 campaign payment to ACORN through front group “Citizen Services, Inc.”;

2) How Team Obama shared donor lists with the president’s old employer, ACORN affiliate Project Vote, a 501(c)(3) organization, which is prohibited from engaging in political activity (Mr. President, meet Anita MonCrief);

3) And how Project Vote and hundreds of myriad entities intermingled non-profit, tax-exempt funding with the national ACORN flagship’s political operations — a buried story Obama would know about if he read NYTimes reporter Stephanie Strom’s report last October before she was muzzled as Election Day drew near.

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