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Al Sharpton’s ACORN wannabe group in financial trouble

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Matthew Vadum
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      Matthew Vadum

      Matthew Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy with a special focus on left-wing advocacy groups. An award-winning investigative reporter, Vadum's book, <em>Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers</em>, was published in 2011.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s community organizing group is in desperate financial straits, new research suggests.

The left-wing National Action Network Inc., headquartered in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, owes at least $1,556,059 in federal taxes and $108,489 in New York taxes, according to the Nexis tax liens database. Tax agencies typically file tax liens only after taxes have become significantly overdue and other collection methods have failed.

Rachel Noerdlinger, executive vice president of communications for the 19-year-old racial grievance group, said rumors of the group’s imminent demise were greatly exaggerated.

“NAN faced tremendous challenges in 2007 and 2008 but after reaching an agreement with state and federal tax authorities the problems have been resolved and NAN will present a very robust report where the organization is financially now and moving forward at our national convention in April,” she said in an e-mail.

Noerdlinger’s comments came Monday after ACORN, one of NAN’s competitors, announced it was closing its doors on April 1. Founded in 1970, ACORN had been the leading poor people’s group in America. ACORN, whose funding dried up in the fall after hidden-camera videos showed its employees encouraging tax evasion and child prostitution, pioneered in-your-face techniques for extracting grants from corporate America that NAN eagerly copied.

The flamboyant, scandal-prone Sharpton, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, is known for his taste for luxury and for his skill in ducking creditors. He once bragged to the New York Times that he didn’t own any business suits but had “access” to some. He would admit only to owning his wristwatch and wedding ring. His group ran up huge bills with a limousine service in New Jersey and had a $51,939 civil judgment entered against it in 2003.

Critics say Sharpton is an incendiary racial demagogue who is among the most polarizing figures in the nation. He boasts that he stopped Rush Limbaugh from buying a stake in an NFL team and (temporarily) ran Don Imus off the airwaves for racially insensitive marks. He became a national figure in 1987 by participating in the Tawana Brawley case, a racially charged gang rape hoax. Sharpton falsely accused assistant prosecutor Steve Pagones of participating in the gang rape. Pagones won a libel judgment against Sharpton.

On its Web site NAN describes itself as “one of the leading civil rights organizations in the nation.” NAN says it “works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for social justice and one standard of justice and decency for all people regardless of race, religion, national origin and gender.”

Strangely, the tax returns of Sharpton’s group covering 2000, 2001 and 2002 are not publicly available at guidestar.org, the leading national repository of nonprofit tax returns.

But those tax returns that are available tell the story of a financially troubled organization that may be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

In 2007 NAN took in $2,379,376 in revenue but spent $2,481,092, generating an annual deficit of $101,716, according its most recent publicly available tax return. It ended that year with a negative fund balance of $2,075,179.

NAN tax returns show that at the end of 2007 it owed $1,848,799 in “payroll taxes and related interest & penalties,” which is down from $1,954,200 in 2006. This is ironic because payroll taxes typically fund the welfare state programs that groups like NAN campaign to expand.

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  • cl696

    This turd says “White folks was in caves while we was building empires…. We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it”

    …but yet I’m the bad guy? What you talk’in bout Willis

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  • dagtag

    Really? Does this really, truly surprise anyone?????? It’s the MO of the left. Good for me but not for thee…

  • sunshineconnie

    Rangel, Jackson, Sharpton all work at just one thing and that is PLANTATION Politics. The Blck Community needs to grow up accept resposibility and work to eradicate the enslavement of the community with the lie of Social Justice which is truly Social In-Justice. Bust the chops of entitlement mentality and glorifying race baiters and thugs. You have successful people that have been driven away by the mentality of gimme. Invite them back and learn from them, promote work ethics and personal accountability. How many more jails do you want this nation to build?

  • xfiler93

    I alone know why they are in financial trouble. IT IS BUSH’S FAULT!!!! LOL I am sure that will come up in the future, or it is the fault of the terrible mean racist homophobic Republicans, conservatives or fantatical right wing bible thumping Christians. Believe me, they will say it, not right now, but in the near future…just like the failure of Air America.

    • dagtag

      Air America? Never heard of it. Couldn’t have been very popular. Heh.

      • hurtzallot

        It was a commercial air liner that went belly up you boob!…I think?

        • davchaz

          I thought it was the CIA airlift program during Viet Nam. Didn’t Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. Make that POC back in the 90′s?

          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099005/

          You know if Big Al had just been able to keep those rent controlled apartments in Harlem, at least they would have a place to meet!

  • hughjohnson

    I thought race-baiting was big business? Or maybe his living standards are just to high.

  • sunnyr

    Sharpton’s biggest race card was the bogus Tawana Brawley story. What a travesty. I haver never respected him since then and can’t stand to listen to him on TV. He’s such a media *hore!

  • sunnyr

    ACORN is like the 3 headed Hydra. You chop off one head and another grows back. They are trying to rehabilitate their tarnished image and have opened offices in MA, CA, NY, TX, etc. using a different name in each state, but they are the same old ACORN nuts. Peter Orzag, Obummers boy, had their funding reinstated. I wonder if Obama had anything to do with it? I don’t want a nickle of my tax money going to this corrupt bunch of thugs, thieves, cheats and liars. But then Obama doesn’t really give a big rat’s patootie what anyone wants. He does as he pleases. Time to kick him OUT ASAP!

    • lafong

      Compare black culture today to what it was in the 1950s. This is what the liberal dependancy mindset has done. It has destroyed the black community in alliance with an ideolgocially bankrupt leftist media. In 1965 when LBJ started all the welfare programs and the failed “War on Poverty” blacks should have said thanks but no thanks. The elite liberals who designed the welfare and giveaway programs have only prolonged the misery of ignorance and poverty.

      Blacks cut their own throats by tearing down other blacks who want to succeed or who think outside the confined orthodoxy of the Obamas, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other corrupt black leaders. Instead they keep voting back hardcore sleazebags like Maxine Waters, Gregory Meeks, Alcee Hastings, etc.

      On the west coast there has been a rash of cop killings by black criminals. In Philadelphia we get flashmobs of black criminals who trash stores and assault whites. In NY black criminals mug elderly citizens including a 101 woman. In Tennessee a gang of killers torture and rape two kids who made the wrong turn on the street and laugh about the crime. The rate of black on white rape and black on white murder is massively greater than the opposite. The hatred at the core of this pathology comes at the continuing drumbeat of hatred promoted by the likes of Sharpton, Wright, Farrakhan and Hollywood.

      In city after city black officials are convicted of bribery. or stealing money. Michael Jackson’s African-American doctor botches a medicine injection. Tiger Woods is revealed as a mental case. The black rap scene sees an endless parade of shootings, stabbings, nightclub brawls, overdoses and debauchery that would repulse Caligula. In places like Detroit, the hint of “Obama-money” creates a riot. At black high school basketball games become massive riots.

      In short, the American black culture is a total trainwreck. Curiously, the Caribbean and African immigrant blacks are far more successful economically than the natives who feed off of hate, welfare and drugs. Caribbean blacks have higher incomes than many white subgroups.

      A black man who has real integrity and guts like Clarence Thomas is reviled by the black establishment because he is everything they are not.

      • sunnyr

        AMEN! I am sick of the race-baiters and wish they would jut Stop It! Some of these con-men will whip out the race card at the drop of a hat. It is overdone and ineffective. They need to just stop!