Monthly Notes

Briefly Noted: July 2012


What could possibly go wrong? Former senior ACORN official Joe McGavin, now a director at the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), has been put in charge of $445.6 million in taxpayer funds from a federal foreclosure relief program. McGavin was “Chicago Operations Manager” at Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) from November 2008 through January 2011, as Judicial Watch discovered. Until two years ago, AHCOA was called ACORN Housing. The nonprofit corporation renamed itself after undercover activists caught ACORN employees offering helpful advice about starting a prostitution ring on video in 2009. Richard M. Daley, the gun-grabbing mayor of Chicago from 1989 to 2011, happens to be “Of Counsel” at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, the same law firm at which IHDA chairman Terry E. Newman is a partner. All just coincidences, we’re sure.

While we’re on the topic of ACORN, a new ACORN-inspired group called the Leadership Center for the Common Good (LCCG) has sprung up in Washington, D.C. The board of the tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit group is chaired by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former Maryland lieutenant governor and left-wing activist. The LCCG “embraces a strategic opportunity to fill, at the national level, the void left by the dismantling of ACORN,” according to one of its funders, the Seattle-based Marguerite Casey Foundation. The group will apparently focus on training community organizers to rage against capitalism.

A left-leaning “527” political action committee called Emerge America has reportedly lost its tax-exempt status. Three of Emerge America’s 501(c)(4) affiliates were also denied tax-exempt status. The group made no bones about its partisan objectives, a big no-no as far as the IRS is concerned. Its website described Emerge America as “the premier training program for Democratic women.” It said, “We inspire women to run, we hone their skills to win. Our goal is clear: to increase the number of Democratic women in public office.”

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is at it again. Fresh from proposing a local crackdown on large servings of soda pop, now his charity, the Bloomberg Family Foundation, is offering $5 million in cash for new nanny-state proposals aimed at forcing Americans to become healthier. “If you look, the federal and state government seems to be paralyzed, and they work at a policy level,” Bloomberg was quoted as saying. “So we are trying to find out what’s the best ideas each mayor could maybe have, a different idea that may be transferable to another city.”

Corporations, especially financial institutions, never seem to learn that the activist Left can never be appeased. In that vein the Bank of America just unveiled a 10-year, $50-billion plan for underwriting money-losing, hopelessly inefficient green energy programs. The bank plans to fork over $100 million in grants to activist groups promoting low-carbon projects this year. This is a calculated public relations move intended to help the bank shake its image as a friend of the coal industry.

Matthew Vadum

The author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011), Vadum writes and speaks widely on ACORN and other radical advocacy…
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