Nowadays WFP goes to great lengths to try to convince onlookers that it is separate from ACORN, the disgraced Saul Alinsky-inspired activist group. The shell corporation that ran the 370-plus affiliate strong ACORN network filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last November, but its state chapters changed their names and continue to operate. The vote-manufacturing nonprofit Project Vote, which used to employ Barack Obama as an organizer, is still in business. So is ACORN Housing, which changed its name to Affordable Housing Centers for America.
But the Working Families Party is ACORN. The minor political party shares an office address with ACORN a mile away from the Brooklyn Bridge. Among the party’s co-founders are ACORN’s former national chief organizer, Bertha Lewis. Her former right-hand man, Democratic National Committee executive director Patrick Gaspard, formerly an SEIU 1199 official and Obama White House political director, also goes way back with the party.
WFP’s confusing, ACORN-like organizational structure has been known to frustrate even the most dedicated investigators, allowing the party to keep some distance from ACORN.
Through the party’s multiple arms WFP enjoys the “benefits of a political party (legitimacy in voters’ minds, ballot line), a non-profit (tax-exemptions, uncapped donation limits and tax deductions) and a for-profit (no disclosure requirements, ability to collect fees backed by taxpayer-supported matching funds from candidates),” notes Edward-Isaac Dovere of New York’s City Hall News.
The party has sister WFP-branded parties in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, South Carolina, and Vermont. Like ACORN, WFP advocates more government spending, higher taxes, universal government-run healthcare, campaign finance restrictions, free universal higher education, rent control, same-sex marriage, an immigration amnesty for illegal aliens, and “greening” the economy by creating heavily subsidized union jobs in the energy sector.
Meanwhile, new front groups created by ACORN are also deeply involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. They include New York Communities for Change, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Action United (Pennsylvania), Organize Now (Florida), and New England United for Justice (Massachusetts).
The protests, which have spread to several large U.S. cities, are part of what ACORN’s neo-communist founder Wade Rathke calls an “anti-banking jihad.” ACORN allies are also involved in the protests, which aim to destabilize the nation’s financial system. SEIU board member Stephen Lerner said he wants to “bring down the stock market” through a campaign of disruption. He said last week that SEIU plans to terrorize bank executives at their homes.
With paid professional assistance from ACORN, Lerner’s work has become that much easier.
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