Michele Bachmann wins one as ACORN announces it's closing up shop
Rep. Michele Bachmann, like many conservatives, has used the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now as a whipping boy. Now it's going out of business. It's broke. And it's broke because donors and the federal government quit financial support of the group after two conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute, shot secret videotape of ACORN workers offering them tax advice.
One of those activists, James O'Keefe, later went on to get arrested with Minnesota's own Joe Basel after they posed as telephone workers and were caught trying to tamper with the phones at U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office.
"As funding has run dry for ACORN, officials of the community organizing group have announced they are on the verge of bankruptcy," Bachmann said last week as rumors of ACORN's demise began to circulate. "It appears ACORN has been unable to shake their plagued past of corruption fast enough to pay the bills."
Rep. Barney Frank wondered last year on CNN that if ACORN was such an evil empire, why it was funded without challenge throughout former President George W. Bush's eight years in the White House.
And recently, New York District Attorney for Brooklyn, Joe Hynes, cleared the group of any criminality after some of its staffers were secretly videotaped during O'Keefe's street theater.
"ACORN's members have a great deal to be proud of -- from promoting homeownership to helping rebuild New Orleans, from raising wages to winning safer streets, from training community leaders to promoting voter participation," the group said in a statement today. "ACORN members have worked hard to create stronger communities, a more inclusive democracy, and a more just nation."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.