“We are typically loyal Democrats and we don’t understand why Democratic leaders have not rallied to help us,” said Marcel Reid, chairman of ACORN 8. “But regardless of political party affiliation, we all share a passion for helping the underserved and disenfranchised through direct community action.”
“Our reform movement, even in its infancy, consists of national, state and local board members, presidents or chairs,” said Karen Inman, a lawyer who is an ACORN 8 co-founder. “As such, we are leaders in our communities and within ACORN.”
Reid and Inman were kicked off ACORN’s national board in the fall because they dared to ask questions about the nearly $1 million embezzlement committed by ACORN founder Wade Rathke’s brother. Rathke covered up the theft for eight years but was forced out of ACORN last summer when the board learned of it.
The ACORN 8 noted in a press release today that “[t]he board members who covered up the embezzlement remain on the association board; but the board members who sought to investigate the embezzlement were summarily ‘terminated.'”
“Simply put, senior staff has tried to remove national board members for exercising their fiduciary obligations. Bullying and intimidation – that’s been the ACORN way,” said Michael McCray, national spokesman for ACORN 8.
It looked like House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan) was going to proceed with a probe of ACORN but then Conyers abruptly backed off. The congressman, who has longstanding ties to ACORN, said “the powers that be decided against it” and refused to elaborate.