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ACORN Losing Funding From Big Foundations
Oct 3, 2009; Washington Post | Key information: “The Ford Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation and Bank of America have stopped funding the group and its affiliates over the past year and a half.Rick Cohen

ACORN Donations Dwindle In Wake Of Videos
Oct 3, 2009; NPR | But not all foundations are withdrawing. The Post article said that the Needmor Foundation last year, but revived its grantmaking this year when ACORN made corrective actions in the wake of the Rathke scandal. The NPR article reports that the California Endowment is about to approve a new $500,000 grant to ACORN. Key information here: The NPR reporter interviewed Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight on the Congressional ban on funding ACORN. Because the House bill prohibits funding for organizations that have “filed a fraudulent form with any federal or state regulatory agency,” Brian said, “In some weird way, we think this could be fabulous, because they’re all suddenly going to be swept into serious accountability, which is what we’ve been trying for years to accomplish.”—Rick Cohen

Pentagon Fraud and the ACORN Standard
Oct 2, 2009; Los Angeles Chronicle | The Chronicle also cited Brian’s contrasting of ACORN’s misdeeds with corporate felons.  ACORN received $14 million in funding during the Bush Administration (according to Congressman Barney Frank), but that contrasts poorly with some corporate miscreants: “According to the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, the three largest government contractors—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman—all have a history riddled with fraud and other illegal behavior. Altogether, the three companies engaged in 109 instances of misconduct since 1995, and were fined $2.9 billion. How were they punished? In one year alone, the big-three pocketed $77 billion in government contracts in 2007.”—Rick Cohen

ACORN and Accountability
Oct 2, 2009; The Nation | The author notes that ACORN was embarrassed by the behavior of intake staff being taken in by people posing as a pimp and prostitute, but the attacks on ACORN have been not on those transgressions, but on ACORN’s mission. Key observation: “The disparity in the treatment of Blackwater et al. and ACORN is part of a larger American problem, what might be called the Inequality of Accountability. We diligently apply the principle of accountability to the poor and the powerless, and the principle of forgiveness to the wealthy and powerful.”—Rick Cohen

Acorn Housing Fails to Win U.S. Funding
Oct 2, 2009; Wall Street Journal | Although ACORN was the fourth largest recipient of foreclosure counseling funds distributed by NeighborWorks America last year, NeighborWorks decided not to include ACORN among the 122 groups that received $44 million for counseling services this year. Key observation: “A spokesman for NeighborWorks America, the organization designated by Congress to allocate the counseling funds, said it had “withheld a decision” on whether to grant more money to Acorn Housing while waiting to determine the implications of recent moves in Congress to cut off federal funding for Acorn and Acorn Housing.”—Rick Cohen

KABF not tied to ACORN’s fate
Oct 2, 2009; Arkansas Times | ACORN has a large number of subsidiaries and affiliates, including 501(c)(3)s, (c)(4)s, PACs, 527s, and for-profits. There’s a radio station in ACORN’s birthplace of Little Rock that is co-located with ACORN there. According to a DJ there, “Local community radio station KABF will survive even if ACORN doesn’t, according to station manager Willie Cosme. KABF is owned and operated by the non-profit Arkansas Broadcasting Foundation. It’s supported by grants from the likes of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting and the Arkansas Arts Council and, to a dwindling degree, listener pledge drives. Cosme said that the station would likely find a new fiscal agent (someone to pay bills and handle accounting), and if forced, would move to new a new location.”—Rick Cohen

ACORN quietly cutting staff and services in Florida
Oct 2, 2009; Orlando Sentinel | There are financial and service consequences to what’s happening at (or to) ACORN. According to the Orlando Sentinel: “Paid staffers at its state headquarters, on Orlando’s East Colonial Drive, have been cut from 14 to six. Its doors are closed to new clients, pending a review of the organization ordered by its national president.”—Rick Cohen


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