ACORN Whistleblowers: ACORN Pays Poor People to Protest and Worse

A former Washington, D.C. ACORN employee, Anita MonCrief, testified last Fall that the community organizers, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now’s (ACORN), “unofficial” program “Muscle for the Money” was funded by Corporations, and hired poor people to “intimidate people and protest.”

Barack Obama attending an ACORN meeting

It gets ugly when Ms. MonCrief is mentioned. After that testimony in Pennsylvania, ACORN called her a liar and thief.

ACORN’s Mr. Whelan said Ms. Moncrief was never a part of the organization’s management and was fired for stealing.

Nothing she says has any credibility, he said.

Anita MonCrief’s boss at ACORN agreed to testify also, and showed up at the hearing, but…after MonCrief’s witness, stating that her supervisor, Karyn Gillette, was contacted by the Obama campaign, Gillette disappeared from the court room. MonCrief’s attorney, Heather Heidelbaugh, said Gillette was no where to be found.

She wasn’t put up on the stand. Why? Because I would have asked her and she would have been under oath and she would have had to answer.

This week another hearing was held in Washington, D.C. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) chaired the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties subcommittee hearing titled “Lessons Learned from the 2008 Election.”

Heidelbaugh was present and testified. Anita MonCrief and other whistleblowers attended the hearing as guests and did not testify. Connie Hair, writing for, said she interviewed MonCrief at the hearing. According to Hair, Ms. MonCrief said the following:

ACORN itself is sometimes paid by foundations per registration and, in some case,s they would send copies of the voter registration cards straight to the funder….Workers are improperly trained. … They are trained to never ask, ‘Are you registered to vote?’ because if the person says ‘Yes,’ they have to move on. They ask, ‘Did you vote in the last election,’ and if the person says ‘No,’ they register them again. This is how they duplicate registrations and flood the offices.

Hair said the most controversial testimony of the day was that “whistleblower testimony” revealed a “scheme by which ACORN and Project vote are paid by foundations per voter registered and the submission of copies of actual voter registration cards to the foundations, which is a violation of federal law.”

Testimony also revealed ACORN’s unofficial “Muscle for the Money” program directed at fundraising from corporations. Allegations were made of payments from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to ACORN’s D.C office to harass The Carlyle Group and specifically David Rubenstein, a founder of the company. Even though ACORN D.C. had no interest in The Carlyle Group, they were allegedly paid by SEIU to go break up a banquet and protest at Rubenstein’s house.

At some point in the subcommittee hearing, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, appeared without notice. Conyers said he had been unaware of the hearing on ACORN. Conyers called the “accusations made against ACORN” a serious matter. He called for someone from ACORN to come forth and offer a defense against the charges. No one came forward.

Conyers asked subcommittee chairman Nadler to hold another hearing on ACORN so that ACORN could be present. According to Nadler appeared shocked and said he would take the suggestion “under advisement.” Rep. Conyers didn’t let the matter drop.

I think that it would be something that would be worth our time. We’ve never had one person representing ACORN before the committee. … I think in all fairness we ought to really examine it.

Nadler reportedly replied that he would call another hearing when he had “credible allegations of misconduct.” Apparently, he heard none that day, despite Rep. Conyers’ concerns.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) sits on the subcommittee also and said the following to Ms. Hair:

If we know that an organization is guilty of fraud, and we provide them the money and the wherewithal to continue the fraud, then we are accessories to fraud. The only difference between us and a criminal is that we have the ability to pass laws that say even though we’re criminals we’re doing our criminal work legally. It doesn’t make it moral, it doesn’t make it ethical, it just makes it legal to say we can be accessories to fraud by providing the money.

Stay tuned.

Remember the busload of ordinary citizens that showed up at the homes of A.I.G. employees to harass, beg, whine and scare those receiving controversial bonuses? Read some commentary on their involvement with ACORN and the pathetic reporting from MSNBC at The Other McCain.