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Despite Closing Chapters, ACORN Declares National Organization Lives On

Bertha Lewis

Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN, is seen. (AP)

Confirming what Republicans have been alleging for weeks, the community activist group ACORN plans to release a letter in the next few days declaring that the national organization is alive and well despite closing its local chapters, the New York Times reported.

"You will continue to hear from ACORN -- in the mail, on the Web, and in the media," reads the letter, a draft of which was provided to the newspaper.

"And we need your continued support to counter the vicious anti-family, anti-minority, anti-immigrant attacks of the Republican right," the letter adds.

According to the letter, the group will continue working for health care reform, immigration reform and affordable housing, the newspaper said.

The letter says in many of the states where ACORN's local chapters closed, 16 new, independent but allied organizations have been formed to continue grass-roots organizing, the newspaper reported.

The letter will be sent to about 120,000 members on ACORN's e-mail list and to tens of thousands of dues-paying members, the newspaper said.

ACORN announced last month that it is closing after a series of undercover videos last year showed its employees offering tax advice to a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute, tarnishing the group's reputation. After the videos were released, Congress voted to block any federal money to ACORN.

ACORN's board decided to close state affiliates and field offices by April 1, with some national operations continuing to operate for at least several weeks before they shut down for good.

But Republicans have insisted that the move was part of a scheme to continue operating under a different name and receiving taxpayer money. 

California Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released a report on Thursday that he says proves ACORN is not disbanding. His report  included details of a recent business transaction between ACORN and a California affiliate that broke away this year and changed its name in a bid to start anew.

"ACORN is attempting to rebrand itself without instituting real reforms or removing senior leadership figures that need to be held accountable for wrongdoing," Issa said in a press release. "These newly renamed organizations are like career criminals who adopt aliases without changing their criminal lifestyles."

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