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ACORN changes its name, tries to silence it critics via lawsuits

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Little-Acorn, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    Likes Received:
    San Diego, CA
    This article is several months old, and describes ACORN's attempts to hide behind a new name ("Community Organizations International", or COI.) They have evidently decided that the odor around the ACORN name is getting a little too strong as more and more of their activities are exposed. And that was even before the recent videotapes were made and publicized!

    So, keep the name of COI in mind. That's our friends at ACORN. Looks like their desire to change their name and hide behind a new one, was much stronger than their desire to clean up their act and fly straight - the current videotapes were made in July, more than a month after this article, and even longer after they petitioned for their name change.



    ACORN drops tarnished name and moves to silence critics

    by: Kevin Mooney
    Commentary Staff Writer
    06/21/09 5:07 PM EDT

    Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) leaders are using the threat of a law suit to silence and intimidate critics, according to current and former members of the liberal activist group.

    In a letter dated June 11 an attorney for ACORN advised top whistleblowers that their unauthorized use of the organization’s name could make them liable for monetary damages and injunctive relief.

    ACORN executives have also changed their organization’s name, which was tarnished by investigations in at least 14 states of allegations of voter registration fraud during the 2008 presidential campaign, and charges by current and former members of financial mismanagement and misrepresentation.

    The new name will let ACORN leaders continue their operations without worrying about prior bad publicity, according to Marcel Reid of ACORN 8, a group of present and former members.

    “We’ve known for many months now that the name ACORN is going to be retired,” Reid said. “The name has been so damaged to the point where the leadership knows it simply can’t go on as it has with the ACORN label out front and center, especially after all of the reporting.”

    In fact, the process has already begun, she noted. Wade Rathke, who founded the organization, announced on his blog that ACORN International has officially changed its name to “Community Organizations International.”
    Reid also said ACORN is in the process of dismantling Citizen’s Consulting Inc. (CCI), a New-Orleans based non-profit, which has been used to maintain centralized financial control, ACORN 8 activists claim. Tax records show that CCI is interlinked with several ACORN affiliates.

    Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, embezzled almost $1 million from the organization in 1999 and 2000, while he was employed as the organization’s chief financial officer with the CCI affiliate. For almost a decade Wade Rathke and other staff members concealed the embezzlement from ACORN’s board of trustees, according to the criminal complaint ACORN 8 members filed against the organization.

    ACORN’s national leaders withdrew a lawsuit Reid filed with fellow board member Karen Inman last October seeking access to internal financial records. Reid and Inman were also expelled from their board positions; a move they say was illegal. Reid and Inman then came together with six other colleagues to form ACORN 8.

    “ACORN has to be decapitated,” Reid said. “The senior staff and current national board should be dismantled. The only way to have reform is for the current leadership to be removed completely. We also need a forensic audit.”
    Arthur Schwartz, the general counsel for ACORN, has sent a “cease and desist” letter to Reid and Inman instructing them to discontinue using the name ACORN in a connection with their activities. This same letter threatens legal action if the ACORN 8 members do not provide written assurances that they will comply with this demand by the end of June.

    “It is a violation of federal and state law for you to use the ACORN name and mark without the written permission of ACORN,” the letter states. “Should you continue to do so, you will be liable for monetary and injunctive relief.”
    Reid told The Examiner that ACORN 8 will not comply.

    “We have no intention of not using the name ACORN 8, it is not a trademark infringement,” she said. “This get tough attitude is part of larger attempt to silence people and shut them down. We are not going to be silenced.”
  2. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Likes Received:
    The people's republic of Eugene
    and once they are busted under COI they will change their name again

    but they will keep getting our money :(
  3. top gun

    top gun Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Ohio, USA
    I think you're right Pan.;)

    There will ALWAYS be Community Organizing Groups. And as long as they a following the law that's a great thing. I personally would like to see the voting population up around 80%.

    And if a group is too often caught out of compliance and can't clean up their act... then they should be dropped.

    But there still needs to be community organizing by new groups. That's who often helps the poor and other overlooked Americans to know how they to can have a voice. And at the local level they can do a lot to build community spirit.


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