Here's the one thing: We're told that when there's smoke, there's fire; but is that really true?
There's a rotten smell coming from ACORN, the community organizing group of 400,000 or so people in 110 cities that became notorious for voter registration fraud allegations during the 2008 election.
We have people on the inside telling us what they believe is happening because there doesn't seem to be enough journalists who want to be the Woodward and Bernstein of today.
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First hint of smoke: Here's what the chair of ACORN in Washington, D.C., said last week:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCEL REID, ACORN: ACORN doesn't need to be funded with any more taxpayer dollars until we find out what happened to the last taxpayer dollars that ACORN was funded with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Boy, isn't it awfully suspicious that people within the organization itself can't seem to get answers about where all the taxpayer money is going? There's no transparency and when people have asked questions, they've been tossed out — like another one of our guests, Karen Inman.
We know there is smoke, but is there fire? I don't know because it's nearly impossible to unravel the web of organizations that are part of this massive group.
According to corporate filings, about 270 related organizations — which are a mix of corporations and non-profits from states from California to Louisiana — have filed from that location. Does that look like a building that holds 270 organizations?
The $630,000 building that was once a funeral home is owned by Elysian Fieldscorp.
But there's even more smoke there.
The president of ACORN, Wade Rathke, is also a partner in Elysian Fieldscorp. And he and his brother Dale are listed as president or partner in dozens of companies based in that building in Louisiana.
We've told you that Dale embezzled about a million dollars while serving as comptroller of CCI and was fired about a year ago over it — only after the scandal had been brushed under the carpet for about eight years.
But is there fire?
To give you an idea of what's going on at that address as far as size and scope, compare it to the United Way. The United Way has 1,300 local organizations, while ACORN has 1,200 — so they're roughly the same size. But, we found just 13 records of affiliated organizations at United Way's main address. ACORN has two hundred and seventy.
So what's going on in that location? We don't know yet. We think it could be as harmless as an administrative letter drop.
But there's plenty of smoke at that address in Louisiana and we're going to find out whether the fire department needs to be called in.
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