ACORN is Back!
By Matthew Vadum
Good-government group Judicial Watch has discovered through Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests that former ACORN Housing mouthpiece Bruce Dorpalen, now head of the National Housing Resource Center (NHRC), has been meeting with and advising senior Obama administration officials on housing policy, gumshoe Matthew Boyle of Big Government reports.
Like a con artist trying to escape his criminal past, ACORN Housing legally changed its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) after the devastating "pimp and pro" videos surfaced in 2009. In those undercover videos masterminded by conservative activists James O'Keefe III and Hannah Giles, ACORN and ACORN Housing intake workers were shown providing advice on setting up a brothel for pedophiles and breaking other laws. A year later the controlling entity in the ACORN network, ACORN Inc., filed for bankruptcy after Congress canceled its taxpayer funding and left-wing foundations abandoned it in droves.
"How is it, after the scandals of ACORN and its contribution to the housing crash, that this organization's former leadership is still able to guide federal housing policy?" said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. "It goes to show that Barack Obama truly is the president from ACORN."
The "smoking-gun documents" Judicial Watch obtained "show the continued collusion" of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and "ACORN spinoffs -- and strongly indicate that Barack Obama is still determined to turn the federal government's housing policy over to the far left," Fitton said.
According to the documents, Dorpalen is so close to Obama officials that he was scheduled to introduce CFPB Director Richard Cordray at a housing counseling forum in December 2012. Dorpalen also met with CFPB regional strategist Keo Chea, Federal Reserve representatives, and Dustin Toomey, executive director of Affordable Housing Centers of PA, an ACORN spin-off that shares office space with Dorpalen's NHRC, Judicial Watch said.
The documents also show that Dorpalen met with Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency in April 2013. Curry's office, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, supervises more than 2,000 national banks and federal savings associations around the country.
In May of this year, Dorpalen lobbied federal officials in support of the housing bubble-generating Community Reinvestment Act.
Dorpalen left his post as public affairs director at ACORN Housing in April 2012 to become executive director at the National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) in Philadelphia. Of course, NHRC, a project of the radical left-wing Tides philanthropic network made infamous by Glenn Beck, operates out of ACORN's old North Broad Street, Philadelphia office.
Other ACORN officials haven't allowed ACORN's 2010 bankruptcy filing to get in the way of lobbying the Obama White House and the Justice Department run by future federal inmate Eric Holder. Lawyer Estelle H. Rogers, director of advocacy at ACORN-affiliated Project Vote, has met with a senior aide to Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and with Van Jones's former chief of staff.
The largest branch of ACORN -- ACORN Housing Corp.-- died last year despite cash injections from the Obama administration funneled to it by long-time ACORN supplicant Shaun Donovan. The left-wing bureaucrat is currently HUD secretary after doing ACORN's bidding for years as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's housing development commissioner.
According to a federal government database, as of this writing there was still no AHCOA bankruptcy petition on file with U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago where AHCOA/ACORN Housing was headquartered. With such a large, multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded nonprofit organization, the absence of a bankruptcy filing in itself is suspicious and worthy of official scrutiny.
ACORN Housing built hundreds of low-income housing units in Chicago, Dallas, Little Rock, and Phoenix and was a big, fat cash cow for the ACORN network, providing significant funding for its Alinskyite community organizing. Since 1997, ACORN Housing has shelled out more than $5.1 million in fees or grants to other entities in the ACORN network.
These intra-network transactions were disturbing because out of all of ACORN's affiliates, ACORN Housing was the most dependent on taxpayers for support and had a long history of abusing taxpayer funds. In 2008 alone, over 67 percent of gift and grants to ACORN Housing came from U.S. taxpayers and Bank of America.
As I wrote in my book Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, ACORN Housing grew out of the crime of squatting (or redistribution-by-trespassing). The nonprofit emerged from a series of activist projects in which ACORN built a squatters' tent city behind the White House in 1982.
ACORN Housing also helped to inflate the mortgage bubble. It bragged in a 1999 pamphlet that it had strong-armed banks into accepting food stamps and welfare as income on home loan applications.
At least 30 or so new ACORN groups have popped up across America and a labor union that was part of the ACORN network is now enrolling people in ObamaCare exchanges. These new ACORN groups were created after ACORN Inc. filed for bankruptcy in November 2010, but some were formed in anticipation of the bankruptcy. ACORN's state-level chapters have incorporated as new nonprofit corporations. Among the most prominent are New York Communities for Change and Association of Californians for Community Empowerment.
These new organizations are controlled by ACORN personnel -- just like large chunks of the Obama administration, apparently.
Investigative journalist Matthew Vadum (website) is a senior editor at Capital Research Center in Washington, D.C. He is author of the ACORN/Obama expose, Subversion Inc., published by WND Books in 2011. Follow him on Twitter.