ACORN

As just about everyone knows by now, several ACORN employees have been caught on camera offering advice on how to evade taxes, set up brothels and smuggle illegal immigrants into the US.

Although the employees have been dutifully fired, and although there is no evidence that it is ACORN’s actual policy to offer advice on how to evade taxes, set up brothels, and smuggle illegal immigrants into the US, most of us are a bit upset — including me.  When I first heard of the scandal — especially the bit about smuggling underage girls into the US for the purposes of prostituting them — I was angry and appalled.   What kind of organization offers pimps advice on the best way to do that?

Of course, ACORN, the organization, has in place neither a policy nor guidelines to offer pimps advice on importing underage girls, or offer advice on other illegal matters.  It turns out, the folks who were doing it, were doing it on their own.

But given that ACORN does not tell it’s employees to offer advice on how to evade taxes, set up brothels, and smuggle illegal immigrants into the US, why should ACORN be punished?

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24 thoughts on “ACORN

  1. They should be punished because ACORN has made a practice of not providing guidelines for behavior nor in reporting the activities of its employees to management so that ACORN as an organization is sheltered from the deliberate actions of its employees.

    It the same thing that they did with the voter registration fraud. They never actually told anyone to do it; they just set it up so that it would be done by hiring thugs to do the work, paying them either piece-rate or setting harsh quotas, and providing them with no training or oversight.

    They thought they had mastered “plausible deniability” but they were wrong.

  2. Pingback: Why we should punish ACORN | ***Dave Does the Blog

  3. ?
    No really
    ?

    It’s an organisation’s fault if they don’t tell their employees not to break the law?

    Were they not adults? If you can show Acorn turned a blind eye, or gave a nod and a wink, that’s one thing, but I can’t find anything that says they did (I am British, so this has not been news over here).

    My guess is Fox, having failed to show any meaningful vote irregularity (well on the left anyway) in 08, wanted revenge.

  4. Last Hussar,

    Actually, voter registration fraud by ACORN was proven in several states over the course of years of malfeasance and several defendants have plead guilty to those charges.

  5. Jonolan, you’re quick link is to an article that does not actually support your allegation that voter registration fraud has been proved. Do you have a link to some article that states voter registration fraud has been proved?

  6. Paul,

    I’d say that pleading out to two counts of the “lesser charge” of conspiracy to commit compensation of registration of voters is fairly definitive proof. When you have money backing you, you plead out unless the case against you fairly solid.

  7. Yes, Jonolan, but do we know that actually happened? There are no links in the article you linked to, so we are forced to take that person’s word — but what if they are ideologically motivated to lie about the matter? Or what if they simply have got their facts wrong?

  8. @ Jonolan,

    OK, your sources look good. It seems that Christopher Edwards was paying canvassers for registering voters, which is illegal in Nevada.

    The article though, misleadingly refers to that as voter fraud. Isn’t voter fraud a term that usually refers to what happens when someone who is not qualified to vote, nevertheless votes — often under an assumed name? At least that was what I have been asking about. Not about paying canvassers to register voters, but about voter fraud.

    By the way, I agree that Christopher Edwards should not have broken the laws of Nevada.

  9. Jonolan seems to think that because of a few bad apples the entire organization should suffer. Which yes there appears to be real voter fraud, but there seems to be little proof that the issue is systemic within the whole org.

  10. Paul,

    Voter fraud is difficult to manage, even for ACORN. By committing voter registration fraud though they’re making the more serious crime easier. They’re probably also not too concerned about the residency of the registrants, so that also lends itself to facilitating voter fraud.

    Webs,

    There are just too many bad apples in ACORN. It’s a systemic problem that must be made by design. Why else create the organization as a network of loosely connected cells that operate semi-autonomously?

    If you’ve built your organization in such a manner, there is likely a nefarious reason for it.

  11. Voter fraud is difficult to manage, even for ACORN. By committing voter registration fraud though they’re making the more serious crime easier.

    You give one link of ONE person in trouble for pay to vote and suddenly the entire organization is the problem. Sorry, but you need more than that to convince anyone.

    They’re probably also not too concerned about the residency of the registrants, so that also lends itself to facilitating voter fraud.

    Oh really, I don’t suppose you have a link for that too? Again… not convinced.

    There are just too many bad apples in ACORN. It’s a systemic problem that must be made by design. Why else create the organization as a network of loosely connected cells that operate semi-autonomously?

    Really? So was the entire organization of Enron at fault for what happened? Should we put all of it’s 50 some thousand employees in prison or fine them? Probably not is my guess as white collar crime rarely gets punished. This kind of thing is only an issue when it comes to a liberal organization. Which is really what this is.

    If you’ve built your organization in such a manner, there is likely a nefarious reason for it.

    Or because it’s the system that makes sense. Organizations are arranged in all types of different ways and this is normal. But you are somehow suggesting that one specific arrangement leads to nefarious behavior. Have you heard of Post-hoc ergo propter hoc? Just because a precedes b doesn’t mean a caused b.

  12. Webs,

    You and those like you – or me for that matter – don’t HAVE to be convinced. Americans have already woken up to ACORN’s evil and even the Liberals in Congress have been forced to take action.

    And yes, ACORN’s system makes sense for them in the same way that it makes sense for Al-Qaeda and other groups who operate outside the law.

  13. Hello All,

    I’m sorry to say this, but I think you are missing the point. ACORN is an organization that, among its many functions, helps the working poor have a voice within government by registering them to vote. The working poor are statistically more likely to vote for the Democratic Candidates. The epicenter of these allegations against ACORN all originate within the Republican Party. The majority of these allegations have been blown so out of proportion that no right thinking state attorney would waste their time trying them in court.

    … Unless they were pressured, as happened under the Bush administration. Several state attorney generals refused to prosecute ACORN on phony voter fraud charges and were fired by the Bush Justice department shortly after the 2006 election cycle. Karl Rove and other Bush administration insiders are currently under investigation for firing these state attorney generals.

    The drum beat over ACORN is about nothing more than politics. It is really that simple. If you cut the people who are registering left-leaning voters and mobilizing them to vote, you cut off the source of the recent Democratic wins of 2006 and 2008.

    Namaste.

  14. Businesses are often liable for illegal acts committed by employees on company time or using the company as a platform to commit those acts even if the company wasn’t supportive of the behavior.

    The courts frown on firms that don’t have, or have and don’t enforce, clear policies against employee misconduct. Entire books are published about these sorts of things. Even something as simple as email misuse and abuse by an employee can cause a firm big bucks.

  15. Zeus, I think what makes this ACORN case special is that in any other case, with the businesses and organizations you reference, said business or organization is fined or slapped on the wrist. With this ACORN case the Republicans are trying to completely shut them down for a crime that was never committed, voter fraud. Was there some bad activity committed by a very few individuals? Sure, but there are very few, if any cases of a business being shut down for low level employees committing bad acts. Usually the business fires them and washes their hands clean. Nope, not with ACORN. We have to turn it into a political witch hunt.

    On another note, businesses and LLCs have different liability than some non-profits, so I am not sure ACORN the organization can be held accountable the same way legally. Been awhile since my Business Law class though so I might be off.

  16. MSNBC? Rachel Maddow? That’s a “source” with even less credibility than World Net Daily!

    ACORN is being defunded because they have a pervasive history of crimes of all sorts that has stretched back for decades.

    It shocks me sometimes how people can so hate Republicans – and therefor America – so much that they would side with any criminal, terrorist, or cultural enemy just because they too hate Republicans and America.

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