As the weekend progressed, reports were constantly emerging of the sticking points preventing a final agreement. One of these reputed points of contention was whether 20 percent of the profit proceedings for asset sales in the future would go to what is called the Housing Trust Fund, subsidizing certain groups for ostensibly nonpartisan activity. One of these groups that this trust supports is ACORN.
ACORN has often been in the news since 2004. Officially, they work to register voters and support housing. In reality, everyone in public life knows that they are hardcore supporters for the Democratic Party, and employ bare-knuckle tactics. Their organization is plagued by repeated investigations of voter fraud and other crimes.
In Ohio, where as secretary of state I oversaw elections for eight years, ACORN has been busy. One ACORN man in Reynoldsburg was indicted on two felony counts of voter fraud, and another was indicted in Columbus. Other such problems surfaced in Cuyahoga County, where criminal investigations are ongoing.
The New York Post notes in their article The Meltdown's Acorn that Obama is directly connected to ACORN and he said so himself as recently as last November.
"I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career," he [Obama] told the group last November.
Indeed, in the early '90s, Obama was recruited by Talbott herself to run training sessions for ACORN activists.
ACORN also got funding from two charities, the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation, when Obama served on their boards, and from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge - the radical "education reform" outfit Obama ran from '95 to '99.
Ironically, the group stood to be a key beneficiary of the goodies Democrats were loading into Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's rescue plan - including one demand that 20 percent of any profits the feds make from reselling mortgage securities go to fund groups like ACORN.
Stanley Kurtz of National Review article Inside Obama's Acorn details the aggressive methods of intimidation used by ACORN, as well as a shrewd tactical strategy that has kept them below the radar nationally. Thus ACORN's radicalism and often illegal behavior garners much less attention than groups like MoveOn or Code Pink who seek the spotlight and in many ways are less radical. Kurtz refers to Sol Stern's explanation of ACORN and a reply to his explanation by John Atlas and Peter Dreier.
Do Atlas and Dreier dismiss Stern’s catalogue of Acorn’s disruptive and intentionally intimidating tactics as a set of regrettable exceptions to Acorn’s rule of civility? Not a chance. Atlas and Dreier are at pains to point out that intimidation works. They proudly reel off the increased memberships that follow in the wake of high-profile disruptions, and clearly imply that the same public officials who object most vociferously to intimidation are the ones most likely to cave as a result. What really upsets Atlas and Dreier is that Stern misses the subtle national hand directing Acorn’s various local campaigns. This is radicalism unashamed.
But don’t let the disruptive tactics fool you. Acorn is a savvy and exceedingly effective political player. Stern says that Acorn’s key post–New Left innovation is its determination to take over the system from within, rather than futilely try to overthrow it from without. Stern calls this strategy a political version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Take Atlas and Dreier at their word: Acorn has an openly aggressive and intimidating side, but a sophisticated inside game, as well. Chicago’s Acorn leader, for example, won a seat on the Board of Aldermen as the candidate of a leftist “New Party.”
This is a definitively radical organization and Mr. Blackwell correctly states that, "Mr. Obama needs to explain his involvement with them."
More Problems with ACORN and Obama's Ties to ACORN