Acorn Fells Obama Tree?
Stanley Kurtz, NRO has another blockbuster report, (previously on the Rev. Wright) this time on Acorn and Barack Obama. For background on Acorn, Kurtz cites Sol Stern‘s 2003 piece in City Journal. They first drew my notice when they were harassing the University of Chicago hospitals.
Kurtz explores in depth Barack Obama’s community organizing experience with Acorn–read this as organizing demonstrations–useful stuff, huh–really improves people’s lives. No, the actual work is left to others, who actually care for indigent sick people, for example. Probably good training for a political campaign, though. Note this is Obama’s sole claim to experience for the presidency, other than his juiced up state-legislative record for a year in Springfield , oh and his degree in international relations.
Radical Acorn, starting out against welfare reform with loony LaRouche-like beliefs, now mostly under the radar in urban America. Read it all, but here a few excerpts:
Acorn’s new goals are municipal “living wage” laws targeting “big-box” stores like Wal-Mart, rolling back welfare reform, and regulating banks — efforts styled as combating “predatory lending.” Unfortunately, instead of helping workers, Acorn’s living-wage campaigns drive businesses out of the very neighborhoods where jobs are needed most. Acorn’s opposition to welfare reform only threatens to worsen the self-reinforcing cycle of urban poverty and family breakdown. Perhaps most mischievously, says Stern, Acorn uses banking regulations to pressure financial institutions into massive “donations” that it uses to finance supposedly non-partisan voter turn-out drives.
Yes, they’ve implemented this strategy in Chicago, with their attacks on Wal-Mart, forcing it out of the city limits with the consequent job loss, to the point that the city relaxed its stance. But then the unions targeted those alderman who voted for Wal-Mart and brought down many in the next election. Acorn Chicago’s former president, Ted Thomas, has been alderman for some time. And of course, the banks have been pushed into making a lot of iffy home loans, courtesy of Acorn, part of the housing bubble bursting that we see now. Kurtz on their tactics:
Chicago is home to one of its strongest chapters, and Acorn has burst into a closed city council meeting there. Acorn protestors in Baltimore disrupted a bankers’ dinner and sent four busloads of profanity-screaming protestors against the mayor’s home, terrifying his wife and kids. Even a Baltimore city council member who generally supports Acorn said their intimidation tactics had crossed the line.