The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    ACORN should at least be investigated

    There is a group Congress has decided to distance itself from in recent days: an organization who registers low-income, urban citizens to vote and helps them with housing.
    Why this cut of ties? It is because of what has happened at particular offices across the nation, from Baltimore to San Diego. The organization is known as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
    ACORN was founded in 1970 by Wade Rathke in Arkansas as a nonprofit organization aimed to help low- to moderate-income families. Its main aim is to help improve housing, increase minimum wage, fight for healthcare coverage and register new voters.
    Why has the government stopped supporting this organization? Let us start with the election in 2008.
    In 2008, ACORN took the burden of registering voters wherever they had offices. One particular location was Clark County, Nev., where they registered 91,002 new voters.
    Of those new voters, only 23,186 were legally registered. That is roughly 75 percent of the registered voters ACORN produced being fraudulent. In Miami, Fla., 11 workers were arrested for voter registration fraud.
    Similar instances have occurred in Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina and other states.
    But this has not stirred up as much controversy as the story that broke around two weeks ago. Aspiring journalist Hannah Giles and filmmaker James O’Keefe posed as a prostitute (Giles) and a pimp (O’Keefe), entered the ACORN office at Baltimore, Md., and began looking for legal assistance and for help with filing a tax return.
    They began to explain their predicament of trying to keep their business going despite the illegality of the trade. One of the employees, referring to the ACORN tax specialist at the branch, said, “She is going to make this a legal business.”
    Later in the video, the tax specialist says to file under performing arts to make the prostitution business of legal. O’Keefe later talks about using underaged girls from El Salvador (illegal immigrants) as prostitutes. They were told to either file them as dependents or not file them at all.
    The Baltimore branch was encouraging the use of the tax code to make prostitution seem legal and not wincing at the thought of underaged El Salvadorian girls being used in the sex trade. The two employees involved in Baltimore were, after denial of wrongdoing from ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis, later fired.
    But this is only one instance! There is no way that any of this could happen at another branch! Likewise, you could not hold a whole national chain responsible for one isolated incident.
    Well, it happened again in Washington D.C., Brooklyn, New York and San Diego with similar consequences for the employees who helped at all three locations. In San Bernardino, Calif., the same stunt was pulled, and the response from ACORN was an announcement that the employee involved at that office knew they were joking and went along for the ride.
    There is more information you need to know: ACORN has received approximately $53 million in federal funding, which was put to a stop on Sept. 14, thanks to the Senate, and were, at one point, going to help with the 2010 national census. However, now that this information has come to light, there is no doubt why congressmen are trying to sever ties with ACORN.
    If this is not enough evidence to press criminal charges against the organization, the evidence at least warrants a federal investigation to see what the American tax payers have funded.
    Ryan Green is a junior majoring in electrical engineering. He can be contacted at [email protected].

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    ACORN should at least be investigated