11/12/09

U.S. lousy with ACORN

Union-backed fraud group has many tentacles
Even if Congress moves to permanently cut-off ACORN this public funding only accounts for a small percentage of its financial base, research shows.

The lead ACORN organization registered in Arkansas and New Orleans has received $3 million from the Marguerite Casey Foundation, $821,000 from the Robin Hood Foundation, $595,000 from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and $65,000 from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, according to Capital Research Center (CRC).

Other foundations have contributed to ACORN’s affiliates. Project Vote has received $4,047,500 from the Rockefeller Family Fund and $1,460,801 from the Tides Foundation, financial records show. ACORN’s American Institute for Social Justice (AISJ) has received almost $30 million in foundation grants, since 2000, according to the CRC.

AISJ has received $5,125,000 from the Marguerite Casey Foundation, $4,130,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and $265,000 from the Needmor Fund.

The Woods Fund of Chicago, where President Barack Obama and former Weather Underground leader William Ayers sat as board members, has donated about $190,000 to the ACORN network, according to CRC. Obama and Ayers served on the Woods Fund board from 1999 to 2001, when two of the ACORN grants were made.

George Soros’s Open Society donated $25,000 to ACORN, while his Democracy Alliance steered a grant of “unknown size” to the community group back in 2006, CRC records show.

The rebuke from The Commerce Department and other setbacks on Capitol Hill belie these alternative funding sources. Even without taxpayer dollars, Matthew Vadum, a senior editor and analyst with CRC, expects ACORN to remain flush with cash thanks to left-leaning foundations and individual donors.

Organized labor also figures prominently into this equation.

Financial disclosure forms show that unions have contributed almost $10 million to ACORN, since 2005. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been the single largest benefactor here contributing $7 million. SEIU is also responsible for at least partially funding ACORN’s corporate shakedown efforts and for directing partisan activities, former and current ACORN insiders have said. (from biggovernment.com)

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