For CPAC and Beck, The Truth About the ACORN 8

What began in 2009 as a quiet rumble of discontent blossomed into a movement over health care and rocked the nation with the election of Scott Brown. Now fired up Conservatives are bringing that energy to DC for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Thursday CPAC began with an abundance of Conservative leaders coming together from across the country. Republicans, Conservatives and Libertarians will mingle with the tea partiers, now recognized as a force even by The New York Times that buried an ACORN/Obama expose before the 2008 presidential election. The perceived and much hyped divides that exist within the movement have many taking sides and others looking to assume control and dictate how President Obama and his radical Administration should be contested.

In a message to supporters, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich quoted Ronald Reagan in unveiling the new Contract From America

“In a message that resonates to this day, President Reagan proclaimed, ‘Our people look for a cause to believe in,’ and then asked: ‘Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors, which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?”

The 2010 CPAC promises to be exciting, invigorating and, most importantly, a journey for many Conservatives. Glenn Beck will deliver the closing speech on Saturday. The choice of Beck is an interesting one for CPAC, but as the rising star of the movement, Beck will pull large crowds and attract media attention.

CPAC’s invitation to Beck is interesting because he is a polarizing figure, but after his move from CNN to Fox in January 2009, pundits on the left and right appear to hang on his every word. Beck drew anger and derision from the left after focusing on the then emerging ACORN Scandal in early 2009. In March of 2009 an ACORN affiliated bus tour terrorized the families of AIG executives and Cleta Mitchell of the Republican National Lawyers Association appeared on Beck’s television program to discuss ACORN.

However, it wasn’t until a showdown with ACORN spokesperson Scott Levenson that ended with Beck directing Levenson to leave after Levenson had told him, off air, that he was “afraid of black people” that Beck’s ACORN hunt began in earnest.

After that, Beck recruited guests (black and white) to appear with him and expose ACORN. Chief among them was Marcel Reid, former National Board member of ACORN and president of the ACORN 8. Interestingly, many of the guests were in some way affiliated with Reid and her quest for “truth and transparency” within ACORN. More on that in a later post, but for now let’s examine how this star of the new conservation movement becomes tied to the very radicals that are exposed on the famous Glenn Beck chalkboard.

Can The ACORN 8 Pass Beck’s Chalkboard Test?

Whistleblowers rarely come forward without enduring much agonizing and trepidation, and usually there is not a ready support network for them. But what happens when conditions are set in such a way as to “create a whistleblower” for personal and financial gain?

The top leaders of the ACORN 8 are Marcel Reid, Karen Innman, Michael McCray, and Zena Crenshaw Logal. In 2007 all four ACORN 8 leaders became actively involved in a number of organizations that would set the stage for an internal power struggle within ACORN that would eventually spill into courts and onto television screens across America. Among the ACORN-life affiliates controlled by these four are:

  • The Congress Against Racism and Corruption in Law Enforcement (CARCLE),

  • Power Over Poverty Under Laws of America Restored (POPULAR)

  • The ACORN 8

  • The International Association of Whistle-blowers (IAW)

  • National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project

  • The 3.5.7 Commission (appears to be inactive)
  • National Forum On Judicial Accountability (NFOJA), the official network of Community Forums on Judicial Accountability (CFOJA)

A number of the above ACORN 8 affiliates operate out of a modest apartment building at 3870 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, Washington, DC. While it is not a funeral home, let’s take it to Beck’s Chalkboard to compare the two ACORN-related front buildings:

An Internet search of one of the progressive ACORN 8 organizations reveals that the The International Association of Whistle-blowers (IAW) was established in 2007, and was founded by Michael McCray, Esq, Dr. James J. Murtagh MD and Zena Crenshaw, Esq. Amazingly, the initial meeting of the IAW was held the week of May 11-18 2008, just as the ACORN embezzlement scandal broke.

Back at Glenn Beck’s chalkboard. It appears that a group of friends may have established a network in direct competition with ACORN while serving as board members and used this same network to, among other things, boost their credibility with awards and sham conferences while using the ACORN scandal as a spring board into the national spotlight.

One of the ACORN 8 affiliates, Power Over Poverty Under Laws of America Restored (POPULAR) has even started an “Obama Lights the Way” campaign in order to push their agenda on Capitol Hill.

The ACORN 8 and the Making of a Whistleblower

Conveniently for America, at the very moment that ACORN was imploding, a group materialized and offered a solution to “save America.” The group appeared non-threatening and often exclaimed shock at the very mob protest activities that ACORN had engaged in for decades. With the help of several well placed Republicans and Conservatives whom they used for credibility, the ACORN 8, offered a revisionist history of ACORN while peppering stories with innuendos of danger. In a op-ed piece published in 2009, the co-founder of McCray’s IAW posted this  prepackaged ACORN 8 statement (emphasis mine).

The ACORN 8 is America’s last, best chance to empower low and moderate income members of society through Integrity in Community Organizing.

If you love ACORN and its original mission; you should support the ACORN 8. If you hate ACORN and its corrupt practices; you should support the ACORN 8. If you are an ACORN member and tired of being ignored; you should support the ACORN 8. If you are an ACORN employee and tired of being sacrificed for senior management; you should support the ACORN 8. If you are an ACORN donor and want to be sure you were not a victim of funder fraud and that your contributions are not being used for illegal political activities; you MUST support the ACORN 8. If you are a taxpayer and want to be sure your tax dollars are not funding a corrupt organization; you MUST support the ACORN 8.”

The situation is almost too convenient and according to ACORN insiders with knowledge of the events that led to the formation of the ACORN 8, it is. Insiders paint a tale that began with an alliance among Marcel Reid, Karen Innman, Carol Hemingway and most importantly, Bertha Lewis. According to reliable evidence,

Reid, Innman and Hemingway provided Lewis with the crucial votes to elect her as interim Chief Organizer of ACORN after founder Wade Rathke was removed from the organization. Apparently Lewis agreed to help elect the trio to the ACORN interim management committee, with substantial perks like trips, computers and hotel stays.

The ACORN 8’s claim that they were denied access to the financial records of ACORN has also been debunked by inside information and research. Every December ACORN held the Year End, Year Beginning or YEYB conference in New Orleans and staff from around the country submitted reports on the status of their local operations. Immediately following YEYB in January, the ACORN executive committee met and they are given financial reports and all of the YEYB local reports. Some within ACORN have concluded that this information was used to make an outlandish power grab in 2008.

After being elected to the interim management committee, Marcel Reid submitted a proposal from the Kappa Alpha Psi Federal Credit Union (KAPFCU) to take over ACORN accounting operations from Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI). Insiders at ACORN claim the proposal was for $3 million a year. A look at the 4th Quarter report of the KAPFCU show that this deal would have been a major coup for the “country’s first virtual credit union.”

Oddly, none of the ACORN 8 members ever mentioned that the lawsuit they filed against Rathke, ACORN and CCI was the result of their refusal to turn operations over to a credit union of which Michael McCray is an associate board member.

“KAPFCU’s Administrator of Community Development Financial Initiatives Michael McCray says of his CU:

‘As a virtual institution, we’ve been an ugly duckling for nearly four years. Our balance sheet and profit/loss profile differs from most community based credit unions.

We don’t have a physical office, we operate through a 20 member advisory board and management team. KAPFCU provides service to the entire country – instead of a local geographic market. We just don’t look like the typical low income or community development credit union. Consequently, it has been very difficult for us to successfully receive financial support from credit union or philanthropic communities’

Independent columnist Michael Gaynor has done the legwork on this one:

“…McCray had opportunistically responded to the ACORN embezzlement scandal by pushing for Kappa Alpha Psi Federal Credit Union (KAPFCU) to replace Citizens Consulting, Inc. (CCI) as ACORN’s accountant and ACORN 8 leaders and former ACORN national board members Marcel Reid and Karen Inman quietly helped him.

The truth is that the ACORN embezzlement scandal presented a golden opportunity to take control and make lots of money and McCray recognized it and acted, with the assistance of ACORN 8 leaders and without disclosing McCray’s interest in KAPFCU (http://www.kapfcu.org).

KAPFCU’s bid to replace CCI and do ACORN’s accounting work failed, despite the best efforts of McCray, Ms. Reid and Ms. Innman.

As reported in ACORN’s Submission in Support of Its Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto in the now dismissed ACORN v. Rathke case filed in a Louisiana state court (available at http://www.capitalresearch.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/acorn-v-rathke1.pdf):

…”These two Board members, and their attorney, further attempted to coerce the Board by reporting that the Temporary Restraining Order had been granted, attaching a copy, instructing the Board, IMC, Senior Staff, and the Executive Committee to comply with its terms, and warning the Board that it may otherwise be participating in concealment of evidence and violations of federal law. In fact, at the time Mr. Gray wrote the Board, IMC, Senior Staff, Executive Committee and Corporate Counsel, he and his clients knew that the bond had not and would not be paid and that the TRO was not in effect. This pesky fact was not reported to the members of the ACORN Board, all of whom are non-lawyers or to ACORN’s Corporate Counsel.”

Even more significantly, the Submission continued: “ACORN is also concerned about the relationship between the two Board members who filed the suit, their attorney, and KAPFCU, an organization that the two Board member promoted to take over the financial responsibilities of ACORN from CCI, one of the named defendants in the Petition. Mr. Gray holds himself out as representing both ACORN and KAPFCU in this matter, which appears to present a conflict of interest. ACORN has not hired KAPFCU, the KAPFCU proposal is not responsive to the Board’s resolution for financial review, and KAPFCU has no legal interest in the litigation. KAPFCU’s only interest in this litigation is in taking over ACORN’s business from CCI. Mr. Gray has ignored ACORN’s request to explain the relationship, and ACORN specifically refuses to waive the conflict.”

Screen shots of the proposed agreement illustrate the complete control that KAPFCU wanted over ACORN in what had become a full power struggle complete with press releases and leaking articles to New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom.

The ACORN 8 began to paint themselves as whistleblowers and use the specter of ACORN to drive the story on the right. By claiming ignorance, the ACORN 8 have always stopped short of blasting Obama to the Conservative Press and this has allowed these radical Democrats to effectively hoodwink conservatives into supporting their cause. ACORN 8 affiliates are already setting up a network across the country in anticipation of absorbing ACORN offices and continuing its radical progressive agenda. Below is a comparison of the ACORN 8 affiliate National Forum On Judicial Accountability (NFOJA) and a 2006 ACORN office expansion map.

Besides a penchant for card check, government health care, and cap and trade; the ACORN 8 have on a number of occasions taken deliberate steps to protect Obama from the ACORN scandal. As previously reported in another blog, the ACORN 8 concealed a copy of the Elizabeth Kingsley ACORN report and it was deliberately leaked to Strom to stop an expose on ACORN and Obama.

“…’Moncrief finally agreed to go on the record’ and Strom had scheduled a meeting with her. It was when she called Moncrief to cancel the meeting that Strom allegedly told her that her bosses had killed the investigation to protect Obama. Obviously, if Strom was about to hit pay-dirt with an on-the-record witness, Daley’s assertion that she killed the story because Strom ‘had come up empty-handed’ is false.

Hoyt interviewed Strom, of course, but–rather remarkably–he does not reveal what Strom told him about her conversation with Daley in which Daley killed Strom’s ongoing investigation. That’s a rather significant omission, isn’t it? Instead, Hoyt merely quotes Strom’s observation that she did write a story on ACORN that appeared on October 22:

Before they were to meet, Strom said, another source gave her an internal report detailing concerns about impermissible political activity by Acorn and its tax-exempt affiliates. The resulting article was published on Oct. 22.”

After halting The Times Obama/ACORN investigation, Reid’s loyalty to the progressive cause may have led her to befriend a reluctant whistleblower who had the goods on Obama and ACORN. As noted in the recently released report by the the House Oversight Committee, Reid and I began as allies exposing ACORN wrongdoing. We were both radical Obama supporters and she urged me not to hurt Obama’s election prospects by accepting an invitation to do Fox News on the days before the election.

Beck’s “Rosa Parks”: Pay No Attention to the Radical on the Conservative Bus

Before Election day 2008 Fox News was the only major media outlet willing to take on the Obama Campaign machine, but as a frightened radical, I listened to Marcel Reid, a women who was mentored by the radical Ron Karenga and she discouraged me from working with Fox by citing racism, bias and a hatred for Obama. Documents show that Reid, who was still negotiating with ACORN to retain her position on the board, agreed to signed a joint defense agreement with ACORN and, it was decided to not “go after Wade” until AFTER the last presidential election:

“IF the idea for ACORN to go after Wade is decided upon–the recommendation is to wait until after December–elections, ACORN needs to get their corporation in order, clean house in terms of getting paperwork in order, etc.”

The ACORN 8’s habit of ignoring or hiding evidence to protect Obama was evident last year when a so-called Department of Justice complaint was amended at the last minute to protect Obama’s mentor, former ACORN leader, Madeline Talbott and her husband, Keith Kelleher.

.”ACORN is a Democrat scandal and it is hard to separate one from the other. Corruption is the overriding theme and it comes mostly from the left. Another particularly odd pairing continues to be the radical reformers of ACORN and top Conservatives and Republicans. The ACORN 8, a group of former ACORN board members, have formed a [Dede] Scozzafava-like partnership with the Republicans. In attempting to expose ACORN, some appear to have ignored key facts and overlooked a pattern of withholding key information to coincide with opportunistic timing aimed at aiding Democrats.

An example of this is the complete removal of two longtime Obama ACORN cronies from a complaint filed with the United States Justice Department last January by the ACORN 8. Madeline Talbott is described by Stanley Kurtz of the National Review Online as ‘the woman who first drew Obama into an alliance with ACORN.’ And Keith Kelleher is Talbott’s husband, the Chief Organizer of SEIU Local 880 in Chicago.”

Using the Glenn Beck Show as a launching pad, the ACORN 8 continued to conceal their radical roots and desire to protect Obama. In fact, ACORN 8 leader, Marcel Reid began her career with ACORN as a member of the Marxist New Party:

“The fact that Obama received the New Party’s endorsement in his first run for office cannot be dismissed as insignificant. On the contrary, Obama’s ties to the New Party and the New Party’s backers at ACORN and the SEIU are long-standing, substantial, and reveal a great deal about his personal political allegiances.

The New Party’s biggest wins in the country were in Chicago, including Obama’s victory in his 1996 run for the Illinois Senate. Chicago’s New Party was formed around two core elements, ACORN and the SEIU’s local 880. SEIU 880 was itself an ACORN offshoot.”

Beck’s appearance at CPAC will send a message to the thousands of conservatives who have traveled to DC. As Conservative meet and network many are realizing that we did not need liberal grassroots organizations to reach into communities of color. Conservatives are door knocking and creating real grassroots movements.  Conservatives do not need the ACORN 8 to defeat ACORN. Beck has exposed much about the radicalness of Obama, his administration and his supporters, particularly ACORN and SEIU, but he needs to research the ACORN 8.