Teachers Unions Have Contributed Over $1.3 million to ACORN
By: Kevin Mooney
Commentary Staff Writer
09/13/09 4:59 PM EDT
Teachers unions have contributed over $1.3 million to ACORN and its affiliates, since 2005, according to U.S. Labor Department financial disclosure forms.
But there is no guarantee that the $1,333,112 million in donations from the National Education Association (NEA) and Teachers AFL-CIO unions are actually being used for their stated purposes, according to present and former Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) officials.
Some of the larger donations include $100,000 from the NEA in 2008 and $200,000 in 2007 for political activities. The Teachers AFL-CIO Local Union 2 contributed $406,730 in 2008, $457,778 in 2007, and $346,300 in 2006 for representational activities.
Now that ACORN staffers have been caught on video helping a man and woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute acquire illegal home loans to set up a brothel it is imperative that these organizations reconsider their support, said Ron Sykes, treasurer for ACORN’s Washington D.C. branch.
Both the NEA and Teachers AFL-CIO advertise as strong advocates for children. ACORN staffers in Baltimore were caught on video instructing James O’Keefe, the undercover filmmaker, and his partner Hannah Giles how they could falsify documents and obtain benefits for 13 “very young girls” from El Salvador.
Sykes and other insiders are now active with ACORN 8, a whistleblower group of present and former officials with the group who have repeatedly called for greater accountability and transparency on the part of ACORN’s leadership.
ACORN 8 activists claim the national leadership maintains centralized control over financial transactions through Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI), a New Orleans based non-profit. Federal tax documents show links between ACORN affiliates and CCI.
“They’re corporate gangsters,” said Sykes. “This episode with the video shows they really have no scruples and the teachers unions and anyone else making donations need to become aware of what’s happening and what this could mean for young people. I also find it interesting that one of ACORN’s campaigns was for immigration. Apparently, if they don’t get the legislation they want they will use any means necessary to get people into the country.”
Although ACORN moved quickly to the fire the workers, the real blame and responsibility should rest with the leadership and with the national board, said Michael McCray the spokesman for ACORN 8.
“There’s a drastic need for an investigation and a forensic audit,” McCray said. “Until this happens, any funding for ACORN should be withheld. A lot of people on the right would like to see ACORN shut down but that’s not our position. We favor reform.”