Ugly ACORN worthy of federal probe

More ACORN stories: hereWade Rathke stories: here

Cracked ACORN: Union-backed voter-fraud group

ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- describes itself as "the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities." How nice.

We prefer the definition provided by journalist Stanley Kurtz, who calls ACORN "the most politically radical large-scale activist group in the country." We also prefer Michelle Malkin's characterization of ACORN's social work -- using billions in government subsidies "to organize for the purpose of registering dead people to vote, shaking down corporations and using the race card as a bludgeon."

Sadly, ACORN's mix of welfarism and left-wing troublemaking has been a cancer in our cities for 38 years. Its latest scandal revolves around the embezzlement of nearly $1 million by the brother of its founder, Wade Rathke.

Though the theft was discovered by ACORN in 2000, senior executives did not reveal it until they were forced to by a whistle-blower in May.

Now, two ACORN board members are suing the organization to force the release of financial documents and make Mr. Rathke - who supposedly resigned after the theft was exposed - stay away from ACORN management.

It's all very ugly. But not half as ugly as ACORN itself, which now has more than 300,000 families organized into chapters in 110 cities. But ACORN is worthy of only one thing - a thorough federal investigation.


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