This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 18, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: We continue to dig deeper into ACORN and the red flags, you know, that board members have raised about where the federal taxpayer money is going.
Here is Marcel Reid, who is — she was once essentially running all of ACORN, sort of an interim CEO and then she sensed something is not right here and she was pushed out. She is currently the chair of the D.C. branch of ACORN, but she's not even allowed into the building behind her. She is outside now with fellow ACORN board member Charles Turner.
Marcel, how are you are?
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MARCEL REID, D.C. ACORN CHAIR BARRED FROM BUILDING: I'm fine, Glenn. How are you?
BECK: Very good. Has your life changed at all since you've been on this program? Are you — are you seeing anybody come out of the woodwork to help or to discourage you? To put it nicely.
REID: Well, a little of both.
But I can say that quite a few people across the country have reached out to us, people who believe in the original mission, which is to help low and moderate income individuals become empowered.
BECK: Good. I'm glad they do.
REID: So, that has been very, very good.
BECK: The CFO of CCI in New Orleans apparently has been fired or liquidated — or I don't know what spooky term they used there — for asking questions.
Can you give me any information on that?
REID: I really don't know what happened to Mike Jones. He was — I don't know exactly what his title was, but he was more or less the CFO of CCI in New Orleans.
BECK: OK. CCI, in case anybody doesn't know, it's this...
REID: Citizens Consulting, Inc.
BECK: Yes. I like to call it the "hornet's nest" where all of the money comes into and then it goes back out to you.
And Charles — Charles, what was — what was your job? You were — you were the head of an ACORN division, but then that division was not recognized because you sued for information from CCI.
Can you tell me that story?
CHARLES TURNER, MEMBER BARRED FROM D.C. ACORN BLDG: OK, Glenn, yes. What I was, was head of the local D.C. ACORN housing committee.
Our problems are those, I guess — first of all, let me say we're not indicting ACORN as an organization as being corrupt. The problem we see as we're seeing officers, a lot of the board members and some of the staff are — for example, all the money that we paid from the D.C. locals into ACORN, along with the federal grants and the foundation funding, is funneled to CCI, which we're told is a separate entity from ACORN.
Our local has had problems getting financial reports back from CCI.
BECK: OK. Hang on just a second, because this is....
TURNER: Once the money...
BECK: Hold on just a second because this is — this is explained to me earlier today and I said, I just dumb enough I needed a little graphic. So, we can run the graphic? Because this is a shell game.
You get the federal tax dollars and it's supposed to go to ACORN but it doesn't. It goes to this other organization, CCI, and then also into some black hole we don't know where else the money is going.
TURNER: OK. It goes to CCI, and then this is where the shell game begins. ACORN has over 200 different entities that the money gets moved around to — for this purpose, for that purpose, this organization and that organization. It's hard to keep up where the money has gone, what purpose it was used for.
But when we, as locals, want to get some of the money back from the dues that our members are paying, we have problems. We have problems getting financial reports on how the money from our organization was used. We even get to have problems, like, for instance, we started up a newsletter. We had problems getting back money from national, also CCI, to even mail out newsletters to our members. So...
BECK: OK. That's what — that's really kind of — that's really what kind of what set you off, right? I mean, you were — you were saying, "Well, wait a minute, how come we're broke? We're getting plenty of money, we should have plenty of money here?"
TURNER: We should have. Over the last couple of years, the D.C. local office has been in the top three locals submitting membership dues to ACORN nationally — or to CCI.
But whenever it comes to getting some money back or support the different campaigns or projects we wanted to support, there was no money. There was no accountability of where the money went, even some of the moneys that's taken out of our account unbeknownst to our board or without our say-so or even knowing that it's gone.
BECK: OK. Marcel...
REID: In D.C., Glenn, we have over...
BECK: Go ahead.
REID: I'm sorry. I was about to say that officially, on the record, we have over 9,000 members officially on the books here in D.C.
BECK: OK. And how much do they pay for that membership?
REID: Generally, a membership runs $120 per year for a full membership, which means that they can vote and participate; $60 a year for an associate membership.
BECK: And that's it.
REID: And then we have provisional members who pay...
BECK: That's an awful lot of money here.
Marcel, is it true that — because here you are standing in front of this building, and by the way, you can wave in front of the camera because I know they're watching inside. Hi, ACORN D.C.!
REID: I hope they do.
BECK: Yes. Well, I betcha they are. And they're watching all over the country.
Is it true you don't even have an attorney yet? You can't get anybody to represent you guys to take on this organization and find — and get to the bottom and try to get some transparency?
REID: Yes. We need an attorney or a law firm, someone who specializes in public interest law to assist us. Of course, we're low and moderate-income people and we've been financing all of this more or less off our backs and through the largesse of people who don't have much more than we do.
REID: So, we need a public interest law firm. We also need a legislator — somewhere in the country — to stand up and champion this cause. And we need for ACORN members to stop paying their dues until the books have been opened.
BECK: How do they get a hold of you if want an attorney? If an attorney wants to represent you, how do they get a hold of you?
REID: They need to go to our Web site, which is ACORN-8.net or they may call our number here in D.C., (202) 370-6635.
BECK: And is that ringing in there? Are they going to have to hold the phone out the door for you or is that in a separate building?
REID: No, no, no. That's a separate number we have. Yes.
BECK: Yes. Charles and Marcel...
TURNER: Glenn, if I may...
BECK: Yes, go ahead.
TURNER: If I may — we're trying to get some committee in Congress to investigate how the money has been spent. We feel that some laws have been broken, possibly even the RICO Act has been broken, because we believe this is a continued criminal enterprise.
We believe the way the money has been moved around, they've been laundering money, they've been using the mails to defraud. They've been using federal dollars as well as our membership money to support themselves, their friends, elected officials in other places and we don't understand why Congress won't investigate.
We've been told by Congressman Conyers' office that there was nothing to investigate.
TURNER: My understanding is the reason why you have a hearing is to find if there's to investigate...
BECK: Right. OK.
TURNER: ... not to make a decision before you investigate.
BECK: OK. Charles and Marcel, here's the thing — America, if you happen to be an attorney, a law firm, you want to make a name for yourself, if you want to do a good thing — I'm not saying there is anything nefarious here, I think there is. It smells — it smells pretty rotten here. These people need help. If you would like to be a part of that, please call or write to that Web address, what was it, ACORN-8.net.
OK. Marcel, thank you — and, Charles.
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