From little ACORNs, new state-level organizations grow

ACORN’s state chapter in Missouri is the latest to rebrand itself as part of ACORN’s national strategy to distance itself from its negative public image.

The creation of the St. Louis-based Missourians Organizing for Reform Empowerment Inc. (MORE) brings to five the number of ACORN’s state chapters that have shut down and incorporated themselves separately under new names.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is gearing up to begin funding ACORN again despite a congressional ban and an unresolved lawsuit. In a March 16 memo Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Peter Orszag quietly ordered federal agencies to resume funding the group whose employees were caught on hidden camera videos last year apparently encouraging illegal behavior. The memo came after federal judge Nina Gershon of the Eastern District of New York, a Bill Clinton appointee, made permanent her temporary injunction prohibiting Congress from cutting off funding for ACORN. Gershon found the denial of funding to ACORN to be an unconstitutional “bill of attainder.”

The memo also came despite the fact that the Department of Justice is planning to appeal Gershon’s ruling and seek a stay pending appeal. In other words, the administration is pressing ahead with restoring funding to a group that President Obama worked for and represented as a legal client even though the legal case has yet to fully work its way through the judicial system.

The rebrandings come after ACORN was hit by a tsunami of adverse publicity in the fall related to hidden camera videos showing its employees encouraging illegal behavior. After Congress voted to cut off funding to the group and various federal agencies severed ties, ACORN’s leadership resolved to abandon its damaged brand.

Critics say the rebranding process is a ruse.

For decades ACORN has maintained tight control over its supposedly independent network of affiliates through interlocking directorates and massive intra-network financial transfers. There is every indication it plans to use the same top-down management techniques under the new organizational arrangement, they say.

MORE was registered as a nonprofit advocacy group with the Missouri secretary of state’s office in Jefferson City on Dec. 3. MORE doesn’t appear to have a functioning Web site yet, but it does have its own Facebook page. The group registered the domain name organizemo.org on Jan. 13.

Longtime senior ACORN organizer Jeff Ordower recently told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “In the next couple weeks, there will be no ACORN in St. Louis.” He added, “It was pretty clear that ACORN was dying and there was no way to save it. It was time to do new things.”

It turns out MORE is one of the new “things” to which Ordower was referring.

“If Jeff’s involved in MORE, then it is absolutely 100% certain it is an ACORN front,” an ACORN insider who did not wish to be identified told me. “He’s a true believer all the way.”

Ordower did not respond to requests for comment left for him at MORE’s office. The woman answering the phone said he had “just stepped out.”

MORE has already participated in at least one ACORN-style anti-business protest. Members of the group disrupted the annual dinner of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, the Post-Dispatch reported Jan. 13. About two dozen activists leaped onto a stage and chanted about jobs while waving giant resumes.

Additional spinoffs are expected in coming weeks

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  • Heiko

    These groups are no different than the Republican party.

    • jackbailey

      Unbelievable…..where do these people come from

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  • johnnyu

    Gee, why would ACORN have a negitive public relations problem. There just doing what good, well trained Gustopo workers do. Strong arm bully tactics, steal the taxpayers money, lie, cheat, and help under age girls become prostitutes and get citizenship in this country so the democrates can have a voting base. Poor things these little acorns. They have such a solid and honest way of signing up voters. Real cute ones, like Micky and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and all the dead people they can still get a vote from. And they even taught them how to vote 4,5,6 or more times. Gee ain’t voting fun.

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  • billbrady

    This gang of thieves is morphing faster than a flu virus.

  • brunnegd

    State of OH made an agreement with ACORN that forbids the organization from reentering the state under a different name. It will be interesting to see what ACORN does to get around the agreement.

    • thebigodoopedu2

      For sure though I admire their desire to keep ACORN out. I seriously doubt it will work. Fight fire with Fire. Replace ACORN with more affective service that not only exposes ACORN and its Alias’s for the criminals they are, You can supply them with a better service. One that instead of giving you a hand out or showing you how to cheat the government, It educates you on how to get the schooling you need, how to file for grants and loans and how to start a business. Productive services that teach and support self reliance and financial security. instead of entitlement programs that turn you into a scrounging zombie.

  • moira1987

    Re-branding? Please. A lot of criminals use aliases…doesn’t make them invisible.

  • thebigodoopedu2

    We need to keep exposing these new Identities and making sure they don’t continue on ACORN Style.