Diary

The ACORN-8 Have Some Questions For Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI) [Update]

The ACORN-8 spokeswoman, Marcel Reid shared a list of questions that they believe CCI should answer about the money that readily flows into ACORN. We know that ACORN has received $53 million dollars or more of taxpayer money under the Clinton and Bush administrations despite having a grant canceled under the Clinton administration after an Inspector General investigation.

The $53 million dollars is by no means the only money that ACORN receives. There is a long list of other donors some names you will know. Here is a partial list of foundations that regularly give to ACORN: Democracy Alliance (George Soros), Need Mor Fund, Mott Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Herb and Marion Sandler, founders of the Center for Responsible Lending, recently named to the Top 25 people to blame for the housing crisis. There are quite a few more some of them smaller donors, some asking for accounting of their money.

One of the smaller donors approached Marcel Reid and Karen Inman at a meeting and asked where his money was. Marcel and Karen really didn’t know what to say accept that that is what they wanted to know.

There is nothing in this fight for transparency in CCI and ACORN because for Marcel ACORN was her volunteer work. She was never paid for her involvement with ACORN, it was her form of activism. She believed that ACORN was really established to help low-to-moderate income people.

Here are the questions the ACORN-8 want answered (and I do too):

Questions for CCI Board Meeting

1. Listing of all ACORN related entities; by name, function, organizational type and tax exempt status (with contact information).

2. Organizational Chart of all ACORN related entities.

3. Complete Listing of all ACORN related management and staff (with contact information); i.e., a copy of all ACORN related Corporate / Staff Directories.

4. Listing of all Accounting Firms (with contact information) for all ACORN related entities.

5. Copy of all existing contracts with the Accounting Firms for all ACORN related entities.

6. Listing of all present or former Law Firms (with contact information) for all ACORN related entities.

7. Copy of all existing contracts with the Law Firms for all ACORN related entities.

8. Listing of all Management Agreements (with contact information) for all ACORN related entities.

9. Copy of all existing management contracts for all ACORN related entities.

10. Listing of all ACORN related real estate or leased property.

11. Copy of all existing ACORN related leases.

12. Organizational Structure of all ACORN related entities.

13. Listing of all ACORN related banking and financial accounts.

14. Account numbers of all ACORN related banking and financial accounts.

15. Copy of all ACORN related leases made with Wade Rathke controlled entities.

16. Copy of all ACORN related lease payments made to Wade Rathke controlled entities.

17. Listing of all ACORN donors / funders (contact information).

18. Copies of all “settlement agreements” made with ACORN related entities.

19. Copy of all organizational documentation for the “Chief Organizer Fund”.

20. Copy of all ACORN related payments made to the “Chief Organizer Fund”.

21. Total Number of missed payroll checks from ACORN related employees.

22. Listing of ACORN employees with missed payroll checks (with contact information).

23. Total Number of ACORN related draft payments over last six months.

24. Listing of every ACORN member whose checking account has been drafted multiple times within a thirty day period (with contact information).

25. Listing of the Total Number of missed Tax Payments for ACORN employees.

26. Copy of Citizen Consulting Inc. (CCI) management / consulting contract.

27. Copy of Citizen Consulting Inc. (CCI) organizational structure.

28. Copy of Dale Rathke repayment agreement.

29. Copy of Dale Rathke repayment promissory note.

30. Listing of all ACORN related computer networks, servers websites and corresponding network addresses and passwords (with system administrator contact information).

31. Listing of all entities in which Wade Rathke, Dale Rathke or Beth Bumpers are owners, officers, directors or beneficiaries (past or present).

The questions are really pretty simple. The answers that were never provided may have cleared up things but I suspect that more questions would come to light. It is these questions that got the ACORN-8 removed by various boards mostly on the national level at ACORN.

Marcel Reid remains a strong courageous woman and a good friend. She is still fighting for a full accounting of ACORN and CCI. While it is important for Marcel and the others to know where the money has gone, Marcel has pointed out to me it, for ACORN it isn’t just the money, it is the power.

Marcel is still being attacked by anonymous people, but in at least one e-mail, Bertha Lewis, now head organizer attacked Marcel personally. Here is that e-mail:

Fyi, this is the report from the attorney retained by the Board on the court status conference on friday. The interpretation sent to you by Karen Inman is at best self serving since she nor Marcel Reid were not allowed into the lawyers only conference with the Judge. The right of members to request records has never been denied when such a request has been made in a manner that anyone would deem proper and legitimate, that is why such requests were codified in a Board policy on Oct. 17th. It is not true that Marcel Reid presented anything to the IMC or the CCI Board on July 18th. In fact no request was made in writing until after the Injunction was filed. Had such a request been made at the Aug.9th CCI board meeting it would have been in the record and responded to. Liz Wolf contacted me in August with a list from Marcel Reid and I instructed her to provide the documents at the Oct. 17th Board meeting and to continue to work on any other documents requested. I instructed Liz Wolf and James Orintas to proceed in this manner so that the entire Board could recieve all documents requested and could witness their being turned over as well as the email that went to the Board recently providing all the information so far requested. Because Marcel Reid, Karen Inman and others decided not to work with the IMC CCI or myself, all requests by them and their lawyers are sent to the whole Board,as information provided by them has been less than accurate. My instructions to the staff of CCI and ACORN have been and will continue to be to respond to the Board and to me as the Chief Organizer to the Board, and the Chief Organizer of the staff. If any Board member wishes to receive any information or question any of the operations they can call or email me as this is my responsibility in being accountable to the entire Board and its members. I will respond to the entire Board whenever and wherever I see information being transmitted that is inaccurate or misleading no matter who sends it. Everyone involved in the rebuilding of ACORN is entitled to their point of view and they should be respected, however, as many view points as possible should be considered when evaluating information, forming opinions and making decisions. This would facilitate the Board making decisions that consider the entire organization, its growth, healing and movement forward.

— Bertha Lewis
ACORN
Chief Organizer
2-4 Nevins Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718 246 7900 ext 202
718 246 7939 fax
917 620 0944 cell
[email protected] (NEW)

This is not the first time Lewis and ACORN has disparaged members or volunteers and probably won’t be the last. There was absolutely no reason for Lewis to attck Marcel or Karen. All these women and the ACORN-8 want is accounting for all the taxpayers money that ACORN has received from 1994 – 2009, the same thing many taxpayers want to know especially this author.

UPDATE:

I haven’t been as clear as I should have been about who the ACORN-8 are so let me introduce you to Marcel Reid and Karen Inman first. This is in Marcel’s own words:

We were/are members of the National Board of Directors. Karen Inman Esq was the Chair of Legal Committee on the National Board. Secretary of the Minnesota State Board and Minneapolis City Board. She followed the law and was forced out. I was the Governance/Organizational Development Chair, National and the DC Acorn local and state chair. I am the Acorn 8 National Chair. Karen is the National Secretary and co-founder.

When we spoke up when we were in place, at the pinnacle of the organization. We left on Principal our group is composed of Leaders all of which had chairmanships or executive positions with-in the organization. We, the Senior Executives of this organization are asking questions in a coordinated unified voice. This effort is being thwarted by Senior Staff , and Directors of the National Board. Our asks are simple. Open the books for a forensic audit. Remove all staff, and Directors who knew about the theft and did not report it. We believe if we accomplish this goal we will lance the boil ACORN has become.

There is no possible way that I could describe who Karen, Marcel and the others were in my own words, so I feel I had to let Marcel tell their rich history with ACORN. Though Marcel and I are now friends I can’t begin to describe to you how her history with ACORN, her strength and courage have influenced me, except that I have a new found respect for them all. These are truly patriotic people who have accomplished much in their lives and lead by example.

It is time that Bertha Lewis and etal agree to all accounting of monies received by ACORN. As I have repeated often enough, $53 million dollars of taxpayer money has reached ACORN’s coffers since 1994, but how much more money have they received via private donations? Where has all the money gone? And has it helped the people it was intended to help?

One question for Bertha Lewis, if you truly care about low-to-moderate income folks, why won’t you come clean?