After the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) shuttered in 2010, a lot of people breathed a sigh of relief. Embezzlement scandals, questions about the group's political strategy and, of course, the infamous video sting by activists Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, had finally put to bed the question of whether ACORN was really interested in helping the poor, or just out to facilitate the worst elements of urban poverty.
However, if you think ACORN is gone, a new report suggests that you are severely mistaken. To quote the great American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, "That is not dead which can eternal lie." While it's debatable whether the officials who used to run ACORN chapters can "eternal lie," there is a very strong case that the organization is not dead.
The Washington Examiner reports that the nonprofit Cause of Action has uncovered 174 different cases of ACORN chapters still operating, with minuscule efforts to cover up their true nature. The list of those 174 organizations is here.
How does Cause for Action know they're ACORN fronts? The Examiner explains:
The connections between these groups and the old ACORN groups include: having the same physical location, sharing leadership or staff or having the same tax ID number. “For some of these groups, all they did was legally change their name. Nothing else changed. The corporate structure, leadership and staff are the same,” said Karen Groen Olea, Cause of Action’s chief counsel.
And despite this arguably extremely lazy approach to rebranding, at least one of the problems surrounding the original ACORN is popping up again - namely, that some of the organizations listed are now getting Federal funding. Specifically, the Affordable Housing Centers of America and the Mutual Housing Association of New York.
Whether that funding will continue is anyone's guess, now that the actual nature of these groups has been uncovered.