Is ACORN Setting Up a Nutty Defense?

Faced with a number of investigations and countless reports of wrongdoing as well as a suit by the Buckeye Institute of Ohio, an ACORN lawyer's report critical of the organization's operations somehow made it to the New York Times . Pardon my skepticism, but it looks to me like an effort to pawn off countless incidents of wrongdoing as the result of just sloppy work or the misdeeds of a handful of officers . It's nutty. Even nuttier to think that the report could be passed off to a sympathetic press who'll write it up as a series of ghastly but inadvertent errors not worthy of further scrutiny:

An internal report by a lawyer for the community organizing group Acorn raises questions about whether the web of relationships among its 174 affiliates may have led to violations of federal laws.

The group, formally known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been in the news over accusations that it is involved in voter registration fraud, charges it says are overblown and politically motivated.


The June 18 report, written by Elizabeth Kingsley, a Washington lawyer, spells out her concerns about potentially improper use of charitable dollars for political purposes; money transfers among the affiliates; and potential conflicts created by employees working for multiple affiliates, among other things.

The report is an eye opener nevertheless. From it we learn that over the weekend the organization -- a recipient of millions and millions of tax dollars -- for the very first time just appointed an audit committee and set up good governance procedures. The report concedes that it's impossible to establish that the tax funds the organization's Project Vote received had been used -- as the law requires -- for non partisan purposes.

It's conceded that ACORN cannot prove that tax exempt funds weren't used illegally for partisan considerations, indeed the targets chosen for their work suggest clear partisan motivation.

Board members for the Project Vote portion of the operation who were interviewed by the reporters didn't appear to be at all familiar with the operations.

ACORN/Project Vote  looks like a three-card monte game with the taxpayers playing the mark.