Commentary: ACORN had issues before that infamous video

The (Tacoma) News TribuneMarch 25, 2010 

ACORN leaders are blaming orchestrated right-wing attacks for bringing down the 40-year-old liberal activist group. In truth, the organization's self-inflicted injuries had weakened it to the point that a conservative coup de grace — in the form of a surreptitious video featuring the world's unlikeliest pimp and prostitute — was all it took to kill it.

ACORN, which announced Monday that it is disbanding due to loss of revenue, did a lot of good since it was founded in 1970. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now campaigned to help low-income people buy homes and register to vote. But problems grew out of those missions: allegations that some of its employees had falsified lending documents and voter registrations.

An independent investigator hired by ACORN found that the group had not acted swiftly enough to put internal reforms in place after it was learned that founder Wade Rathke had covered up an embezzlement by his brother. That scandal and other allegations of mismanagement had created turmoil in the organization.

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