Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Acorn, a liberal activist group, comes under scrutiny

OpinionJournal - John Fund on the Trail: "The Democratic oak has grown, in part, from Acorn, a feisty, union-backed activist group. The organization says on its Web site that it "registered over 540,000 low-income and minority voters" and deployed over 4,000 get-out-the-vote workers for yesterday's elections. But after years of scandal involving its election efforts and misuse of government grants, Acorn is finally coming under scrutiny, with four of its Kansas City, Mo., workers under indictment for submitting false voter registrations. (As of this writing, all are at large.) Other states--including Pennsylvania and Maryland--are also conducting probes.

Founded by union organizer Wade Rathke in 1970, Acorn boasts an annual budget of some $40 million and operates everything from "social justice" radio stations to an affordable-housing arm. Still run after 36 years by Mr. Rathke as "chief organizer," it is best known for its campaigns against Wal-Mart, and for leading initiatives in six states to raise the minimum wage."

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