Do you think that the attacks on ACORN are some kind of recent phenomenon? Do you think that the successful Republican technique of sending in James O’Keefe, a film maker and a couple of scuzzies to pretend to be prostitutes looking for a place to set up was the best Republican effort? Yes, it did cost ACORN public money. And there were some other details involved that created more publicity. But the attack on ACORN didn’t start yesterday. It has been going on for a long time. And the reason?
ACORN works. The Republicans can’t stop it. It doesn’t involve money. These people don’t make money. They have no money and they don’t think that they will see any money…and we’re just talking about middle class income levels…in this lifetime. No. It’s not money. It is justice with a vengeance. It is “you try to keep me down, and I’m going to shut you down…someday…and I can keep on keeping on forever.”
Here’s what ACORN has done. ACORN has helped more than 1.68 million citizens to register to vote in past registration drives leading up to the 2004 and 2006 elections. In 2007 and 2008 ACORN accomplished the largest, non-partisan voter registration effort in U.S. history. In 2004, after the disaster in Florida in 2000, where voters were alleged to have been tossed off the rolls by then Secretary of State Kathrine Harris, ACORN registered 212,000 new voters. Karl Rove put pressure on the U.S. Attorney for Florida, and there was an investigation launched just two weeks before the election. When ACORN got huge registration numbers in Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico, Rove did the same thing in those states, trying to cast doubt on the validity of the votes that he knew he could no longer suppress. But in New Mexico, David Iglesias, after following over a hundred and fifty leads, with no irregularities turning up, refused to prosecute. Rove had Gonzales fire him.
Rove and his pals in the GOP, working on behalf of their friends at the lobbying groups along K Street are equally upset about ACORN’s success in winning increases in the minimum wage. In 2006, ACORN won ballot initiatives in four states, Missouri, Ohio, Colorado and Arizona, increasing minimum wages for over 1.4 million workers, raising rates to between $6.50 to $6.85.
One of the biggest problems that ACORN has is that it is so successful in overturning restrictions on the rights of citizens to earn a decent living. This sets them in direct opposition to many of richest and most reactionary individuals in the country, including Richard Mellon Scaife, who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to unseat a legally elected President of the United States, Bill Clinton with the bogus “Whitewater” investigations that his money influenced members of the House and Senate to continue long after it was proved that the allegations were false. It sets them in direct opposition to Scaife’s Heritage Foundation and the Cato Insitute founded by the arch-conservative Koch Foundation. That group was founded by two inheritors of an oil fortune, neither of whom quite likely ever created a job or worked a legitimate day in their lives.
ACORN has monumental enemies. But it has friends too. The scandal that brought up legislation almost immediately from Congress to de-fund the organization, after undercover entrapment of a few offices by Right-Wing sponsored tricksters has temporarily cost them support at the White House and on Capitol Hill. But that won’t affect ACORN. They will find public support and come out of the re-organization of the group stronger, and more fiscally sound than before. They may need more volunteers for a time. But they have defeated the billionaire reactionaries before and they will undoubtedly do it again.
You can reach ACORN and donate on line at www.ACORN.org, but you can also mail contributions to:
739 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
That is why Republicans are attacking with everything they’ve got.