But exactly why is this not new war being waged against the largest poor people's organization in the United States? And why now? Who gains from the quartering of ACORN? Let me answer these questions in defense of ACORN an organization that I worked briefly for as a communications consultant.
First and foremost ACORN is a nationally recognized poor people's advocacy group and is not funded or controlled by large corporations, big banks or Wall Street fat cats. The organization's skill in rallying ordinary poor working class Americans to protest against housing injustices and in getting out the vote in local and national elections have long placed it in the cross-hairs of the Republican Party's big guns. As a matter of fact, former Bush Administration political strategist, Karl Rove, was the de facto leader of a sustained, well-orchestrated attack campaign against ACORN.
ACORN was at the center of the Bush Administration's ire when it directed the Justice Department to bring charges against the group for alleged fraudulent voter registration drives. When Justice Department attorneys resisted, finding the charges unfounded and unsubstantiated, the Administration fired them because they (the attorneys) saw such actions as a right-wing, partisan witch hunt. This sparked a national uproar over the legitimacy of firing public prosecutors who resisted the White House's illegal demands.
Still smarting from this embarrassment Republican political operatives long sought some kind of evidence -- no matter how flimsy -- to go after ACORN. They tried and failed during the U.S. Presidential elections of 2004. The latest uproar involving ACORN is the high-point of a series of combative actions against the organization that started during the 2008 Presidential campaign when President Barack Obama revealed that as an attorney in Chicago he worked for ACORN on a court case.