ACORN must root out its problems

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 25, 2009

ACORN has a lot of work to do if it wants to restore its image, regain credibility and continue receiving public funding in the wake of the latest public scandal that has tarnished the liberal-leaning advocacy group.

ACORN short for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has received $54 million in federal funds since 1994.

But the funding is in jeopardy after a highly publicized and damaging video surfaced.

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Hidden cameras captured ACORN workers assisting a pair of conservative filmmakers posing as a pimp and prostitute on how to obtain fraudulent loans to operate a brothel, evade taxes and smuggle underage illegal immigrants from El Salvador to engage in prostitution.

The group’s leaders initially claimed the videos were doctored, and accused right-wing critics of a smear. But last week its CEO acknowledged “the indefensible action of a handful of our employees” and announced an independent investigation.

That was the sensible thing to do, and ACORN shouldn’t qualify for more public money until it cleans up its act. Congress also should hold a full-scale investigation to determine if ACORN still deserves federal funding. …

If the advocacy group wants to regain public trust and quell public criticism, it must get back to its roots of helping people in need instead of hurting itself and its public image to the benefit of those who would prefer that ACORN falls to the ground and rots away.

-Pensacola News Journal