IRS sniffing around ACORN books

Gee - isn't it about time someone in the IRS noticed that ACORN's tax exempt status - dependent on "non-partisan" political activity - should be, ahem, re-evaluated?

The Pelican Institute (vai Protein Wisdom ) reports (PDF) that a couple of tax liens were filed by the Louisiana state government on ACORN for failure to pay half a million in payroll taxes from 2002-2008. While the group also reports that those liens have since been "cleared" (rather mysteriously), ACORN now has the Feds issuing subpoenas for a wide ranging investigation into ACORN's financial reporting as well as their activities:

The subpoenas seek a broad range of information since 1998 from ACORN and what the documents say are 361 related tax-exempt and non-tax-exempt organizations:

• All W-2 tax income reports and 1099 tax filings issued
• A list of every employee
• All state and federal tax returns
• Organizational charts for every affiliate
• All audited financial statements
• Documents related to the theft of nearly $1 million by Rathke's brother, Dale Rathke, who worked in the organization.

Only last year did most of the 51-member governing board of ACORN learn of nearly $1 million in inappropriate charges to an ACORN credit account by Dale Rathke. Rather than report the incident to authorities, Wade Rathke  worked with a small group of ACORN leaders to arrange for a repayment schedule by his brother. After more than $200,000 was repaid, an outsidedonor stepped in and repaid the balance.

Even so, news of alleged crime and the quiet handling of the repayment rocked the organization. A splinter of the governing board has broken off and is demanding that the group open its books to public inspection. The Acorn 8 says it wants to return the group to its roots of giving a voice to and empowering low-income people.

It is apparent that ACORN has been playing a shell game with the Feds with regard to their hundreds of chapters, affiliates, and in some cases, false front organizations (one such organization was used by the Obama campaign last year to channel $800,000 in funds to ACORN - a result of the group's "consulting" on constructing a stage for an Obama campaign event).

How long do you think this investigation of ACORN finances by the IRS will continue? Only as long as it doesn't reflect badly on Democrats or the president. Obama has politicized the Justice Department. Why not the IRS?

It is incredible how this group has gotten a pass for so many years from the national press. (I don't include the Chicago press who has constantly exposed local ACORN shenanigans over the years - to no avail, of course.) Their criminal activities should have earned them, as Clarice Feldman has said on several occasions, a RICO investigation for racketeering.

And now one amateur, sleuthing, new media journalist and his courageous friend, armed with a $300 budget and a camera, may bring the whole stinking, sorry mess down on the heads of Democrats across the country.

How sweet is that?

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