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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  October 1, 2009
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Topic category:  Government/Politics

All Should Know What John Honey Knows About ACORN's History and Money

This was the [Wade] Rat[h]ke I knew, brow beating, condescending, demeaning, and yes racist. As if he deserved to talk to organizers of color (who had comparable experience) in the way that he did simply because he helped some black folks. Or because he had read some Alinsky. There was no excuse for the way he treated his staf[f].

Have you been wondering whether ACORN was created with good intentions and went bad or was bad from the start?

ACORN 8 head Marcel Reid sings the "ACORN is a wonderful organization that was hijacked" song.

But Ms. Reid joined ACORN only after it had been functioning for decades.

Actually, ACORN was created as a subversive organization to cause chaos by overwhelming the system and structured so that an elite group of white folks would be the only people that could manage ACORN and radical [white] Chief Organizer Wade Rathke was in control.

There ARE persons with personal knowledge of ACORN's origin and early years, but, to the best of my knowledge, excepting Wade Rathke (who is not to be trusted), they have not been on television or radio sharing it.

Glenn Beck should talk to John Honey.

Who is John Honey?

Honey's a "progressive" who served as ACORN's certified public accountant for its first twenty-five years, now retired.

He has posted revealing comments on the Internet that merit attention.

On July 28, 2008, Rick Cohen, Nonprofit Quarterlyís national correspondent, posted a piece titled "ACORNís Dilemma and Ours" in The Cohen Report on the Intersection of Non-profits, Politics, and Public Policy.

To date, that piece has received 47 comments, 45 in 2008 and two last month.

In the last comment, posted on September 27, 2009, John Honey provided his last name and expressed childlike faith that ACORN's current Chief Organizer, Bertha Lewis, will make ACORN "accountable and transparent."

Honey: "Over the last year or so I have personally received and sent email, phone calls, blogs, twitters and a small mountain of Facebook messages to and from friends with 'inside information'. I saved none of it from my side, but I have satisfied myself, at least informally, that it is now possible for ACORN to become accountable and transparent and I have assurance that Bertha Lewis, present CEO of ACORN has now arranged to make that happen. All of the audit reports and tax returns that I signed from inception to the Duplantier era are now engraved in stone as far as I am concerned and no further 'forensic' accounting or auditing is likely without a TARP type bailout. I welcome any further comments or questions. Thanks Rick for getting me started on this matter."

There are several noteworthy comments posted by two persons who used the name "John" last year.

Judge for yourself whether Honey is "John" posting these comments last year.

"John" on 07/30/2008:

"Thank you [for] your insightful and in my opinion rather calm analysis of the situation at ACORN.

"I am a former Head Organizer of ACORN. I have some thoughts I would like to share on these matters. The main thrust of my point here is that ACORN unfortunately and according to people on the inside, cannot get rid of Rathke and feel as if they are merely rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic. The Capt[ai]n moved to another seat but he is still on deck. Let me flush this out a little bit.

"The basic premise is this, Wade is now head of World ACORN! A promotion. He keeps his office at Elysian Fields and the only person who is probably really gone is Dale. The staff who went along with the coverup are still (most[ly]) there. The way this went down how do we know Wade and Dale did not conspire to steal the money? Why arenít they being indicted? Most importantly, Wade Rathkeís organizing from Chief Organizer down to the members instead of the other way around must also be addressed or ACORNís habitual systems will lend themselves to the same conclusion.

"Wade is not letting go of ACORN in the least. This is a lie and everyone at ACORN knows it. In fact, they are at a loss for what to do about it. Lets get some facts out before I continue.

"A part of this story many may have missed is so crucial.

"1) Rathke is staying in ACORN as Chief Organizer of ďACORN InternationalĒ his contact info from ACORN Internationalís website?

"Contact Wade Rathke Wade Rathke 1024 Elysian Fields Avenue New Orleans, Louisiana 70117 (504) 943-0044

"Now hope you will see what I see here[.]

"Notice anything interesting about this?

"SEIU 100 in New Orleans 1024 Elysian Fields Ave. New Orleans, LA 70117 504-872-0480 ext 118 504-617-6045 FAX

"Now here is the address for Citizens Consulting Inc: This was Daleís for profit accounting and lobbying firm 1024 Elysian Fields Ave New Orleans, LA , 70117-8402

"Now [h]ere is the address of ACORN National in New Orelans (Wadeís offi[c]e)

"ACORN National Louisiana 1024 Elysian Fields Ave. New Orleans, LA 70117 Phone: 504-943-0044

"ACORN Housing Corp 1024 Elysian Fields Ave. New Orleans, LA 70117 Phone: (504) 301-3112 Fax: (504) 218-7176

"And his ACORN international office is in the same building.

"Now the office ACORN members report to in New Orleans have as a resource is craftily at another site.

"Still feel the winds of change blowing through ACORN?

"It is fascinating to watch the transition. Wade started organizing a separate entity with a separate board with him as Chief Organizer shortly after people in ACORN (staff) became aware of the embezzlement. What a coincidence? Wow, wonder how hard it would be to extradite him from Argentina or India on embezzlement charges?

"ACORN International is in place and Wade hasnít missed a beat and he talked one of his rich friends into donating the 800,000 that hasnít been paid by Dale. SO heck they can split the 800 grand and walk around like they own the joint?

"So International ACORN is not part of ACORN? It is part of the ACORN fam[i]ly but sep[a]rated by Wadeís maze of legal firewalls. Just as the American Institu[t]e FO[R] Justice and the ACORN Institute are separate from ACORN but it is an intrinsic part of ACORNís funding and structure giving them 501c3 coverage.

"Where did the start up capital come from?

"We know where it came from.

"ACORN International reports at Head Organ[i]zer and Management meetings.

"They come [to] the Year Year Beginning yea[rl]y meetings.

"Why is that if they are a separate Organization?

"Now this is a website I just went and what do you call this?


"Now on this website I found this?

"International Offices

"ACORN International is building community organizations of low-income families, and partnering with grassroots organizations outside of the United States. ACORN International aims to strengthen democratic movements for social change, as well as build connections between community-based organizations across borders and cultures.

"ACORN International has offices in Argentina, Canada, Peru, and Mexico, and facilitates the India FDI Watch Campaign. We are establishing direct membership chapters in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Kenya, and Nigeria and are exploring partnerships with established membership-based organizations in Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Korea.

"> ACORN Argentina > ACORN Peru > ACORN Dominican Republic > ACORN Canada > ACORN Mexico

"Now what is that[?]. I searched the site and found that.

"Now when I go to this site, the offices link? I find this[:][. Now on this site the US offices, the national, and the international! I donít know if you know it or not but that is pissing a lot of people off. Especially since this is linked as well:

"So Sorry, we ACORNISTAS arenít buying it. Also why am I able to reach Wadeís Chief Organizer page f[ro]m the ACORN page?

"Either he is gone or not. If ACORN is a[n] out [of] control freight train that has already left the station. Then USA ACORN will sue them for all resources drained from our members and will demand they change their name!

"Wadeís dream of a Walmart of Organizing is coming true on our sweat and dimes. Whether the members and staff like it or not.

"A very important read on ACORN will give us much insight into the problems at ACORN now[:] Gary Delgadoís 'Organizing the Movement The Roots and Growth of ACORN'[.]

"Delgado spent 14 years from the beginning with ACORN. The analysis then was the same today.

"His analysis that ACORN was structured so that an elite group of white folks would be the only people that could manage ACORN and that they acted upon Rathkeís and not the memberís orders meant that ACORN would be a to[]p down operation.

"As a person of color. A former ACORN staff member, and as a radical, and in light recent revelations of Wade Rathkeís coverup of the theft of 1,000,000USD I just gotta say amen. Wade doesnít allow dissent within ACORN.

"Here is what I can tell you, you gotta read Gery DelGadoís ACORN: Growing the movement. DelGado, a founding organizer pushed out by Rathke detailed almost 30 years ago that ACORN had an all white management staff. Until Wade was pushed out of Chief Organizer USA by the board this month? Now Bertha Lewis is heading up the management team to clean up the mess?

"Wade pushes her under the bus and into the drivers seat as it is teetering on the edge of a cliff? I have not published my real name and I hope you can appreciate why. I am just a lowly organizer who can be easily smashed by Wadeís long arms in the Democratic party.

"The kicker for me is that in light of Wadeís racism towards CLU (Great Article about this, the embezzlement of 1,000,00 and in my opinion more importantly the horrible treatment of ACORN staff who were from the working class? He is getting promoted to Chief Organizer of ACORN International? Chief Organizer of the World? Are people in LA going to stomach that?

"I remember once at a staff of color caucus there were maybe 150 of us in a room. Bertha Lewis asked all staff who had been there over 5 years to stand. Only two people were standing. Then she asked everyone there over two years to stand and literally like 10 stood up. They then asked everyone over a year to stand and maybe 20 stood. The other 115 stood. I remember the resistance the management staff had to us even having a staff of color caucus and remember hovering outside the door nonchalantly. We all resolved to call Wade and others out on several issues. Wade never even acknowledged our resolve.

"There are good people at ACORN. Unfortunately they are overshadowed by things like office riots when people who havenít been paid in over a month from poor communities explode. They are overshadowed by staff directives that do not allow for true community organizing. The way it is set up working class staff canít hang with the 60 to 100 hour weeks, the low mileage stipend, the ridiculous fund raising goals set etc.

"If you have a kid? And you werenít born from money you can forget about working for ACORN. The Democratic party and Unions are helping to feed this beast. The outsourcing to ACORN for low wage campaign workers at 7-8 bucks an hour to do VR and GOTV with no minimum standards that workers get paid the Living Wage ACORN has out fighting for? This just feeds the beast. PIRG is doing it, Move on does it and so do others. The only people who survive between campaigns are North East liberals from often times Ivy League or private liberal colleges that are using ACORN as a resume stuffer in their climb up the ladder to be an Exec Dir or Dem party operative. What about all those people from black, Latino and other communities of color that really could have excelled at ACORN had they been paid a living wage.

"When I read the letter circulated about Community Labor Union by Wade Ratke shortly after the unrest that was a result of CLU organized actions in New Orleans by people of color. When I saw that Wade said 'these people couldnít organize a two car funeral'? HE compared them to the CIA mole Chalabi who falsely claimed to represent the Iraqi people (are we a little over the top Wade?). I couldnít believe the white chauvinism that dripped from this hypocrite. DelGado has it right. A change has to come about in community organizing. Where people form directly affected communities control the work. It has to happen. This was the [Wade] Rat[h]ke I knew, brow beating, condescending, demeaning, and yes racist. As if he deserved to talk to organizers of color (who had comparable experience) in the way that he did simply because he helped some black folks. Or because he had read some Alinsky. There was no excuse for the way he treated his staf[f].

"Working for ACORN and watching some of the white folks in the field made me feel like we were putting poor communities in a skinner box to see how they would react if we gave this toy or that stimulus etc. Or worse like some zoologist trying to get close to a lion or monkey in the jungle and acting proud if they were able to sit and eat with the animals. I am serious that is how it felt.

"I hope the people of New Orleans LA take this opportunity to force ACORN to reverse the methods, tactics, and employment policies of ACORN. Save that other 115 organizers out there from souring on organizing for ever.

"Also, SEIU you need to tell ACORN they have to pay a living wage or they canít do SEIU work. Yes SEIU outsourced work to us often, if the Dems, SEIU, or any other progressive group is going to outsource any of their work to anyone. This business of not getting a contract that ensures the workers will be treated fairly has to stop. I have video I have never released of employees rioting in offices who were not paid for over a month. How embarrassing for them, for me, for the movement.

"When I found out about the million? I wasnít even one bit surprised. I have personally seen that much money thrown out the window on nothing in a week at ACORN. By the way, if you leave ACORN the standard line is 'Fók them, they left', you have to secretly leave. It is like a cult. If you do good you canít get a reference, your supervisor will hint that you are a problem worker. I know it. It is hard to re-enter the field of organizing because you are burned out and you are white listed by ACORN.

"The real problem now is changing the systems Wade put in place that allow for disempowerment of members, a failure to build minority leadership, and for he and his brother to steal from the people."

"John" on July 30, 2008:

"Well personally, if what we are being told is true The Staff caught this problem and shared it with one Board member, Maude Hurde who agreed after being talked into it by the management team into keeping it quiet.

"As far as more fiduciary oversight? Wade organized his board to be a board that acted on his recommendations from day one. It is interesting how for years we were told to tell people '4 african American women from Little Rock Arkansas founded ACORN'.

"Today Wade has finally owned up to the truth, he a white, wealthy, upperclass, hack went to Arkansas and after his friend George Wiley passed on proceeded to found, shape, and design ACORN to serve him. He brags that he founded ACORN today. Well guess what? The reputable true grassroots orgs I know of were indigenous developments that were started by residents of directly affected communities. They werenít founded by some carpet bagger that picked a spot on a map and said I think I will organize this community to build a non-profit. As sad and prophetic as it it might be of what came to pass over 38 years, the modus operandi never changed.

"My first drive went down like this. I was told to pick a block of 1000 households and go there and begin recruiting members who would work with me to organize an ACORN chapter. They had never heard of ACORN and they never got a chance to hire me. They had no say in who or how the drive would be structured because Wade designed the drive to be a certain way over a 10-12 week period. T[h]e members would have 4 organizing committee meetings. If the members wanted to have six I was told by my supervisor to cut it off at four. To organize the 'members' to want to do it in 4 or 5 tops. I was told to get them to identify an issue that was winnable and small. When they wanted to go for something that was a systemic big issue I was told to get them to do something like a speed bump or a stop sign. Then I was told they would do a big meeting and then they had to do an action. Regardless of how they felt about it. Regardless of what was going on in the community. I was told to have the officers identified before they were elected so even though at the big meeting elections were called for, it was really to be an acceptance of predetermined outcomes. This is the big rub a[n]d it has everything to do with why the board did not have oversight. ACORN has always been about predetermined outcomes. Go and read Gary Delgado[']s book about ACORN. It was that way when he left and it is that way now. How can that be considered a member run organization. It isnít it never was. I was organizing a year before my members were asked if they wanted to hire me.. That is a little ridiculous. I organized them for a year and then asked the bo[a]rd to hire me? Seems like I was hired whether they liked it or not.

"John" on July 30, 2008:

"The size and discussion are not as important as to what the members want and the role organizers are directed to manipulate people to the issues the organizer wants the community to work on. That is a problem. The point isnít to say criti[c]ize speedbumps as a winnable issue. The point is that it is not the organizers role to manipulate or tell members what to do.

"I donít accept anyone not Alinsky or Paolo Friere as infallible and I donít believe all communities present themselves to any one model.

"The most important thing as Delgado points out and rightfully so. To say 'this is the correct model' while the model fails to produce strong leaders, and for 38 years by default ends up being an all white upper management team is a tragedy that only upper class white people would be comfortable making excuses for. It isnít working, it hasnít worked. It has produced a board that is disconnected from decision making, has zero transparency, but worse creates a board that didnít even know anything was wrong.

"In the end the ACORN organizing regim[e]n[] by definition pushes poor folks with children away from a[n]y possible chance of becoming a serious organizer. I refer to our experiment. Why are there so few directly affected people that are able to last more than two [y]ear[]s at ACORN[?]".

"John" on August 9, 2008:

"When I say leadership I mean the management staff. The ACORN board Wade has so carefully constructed and kept Maude in control of for 18 years does what it is told by the staff.

"That is definitely verified. I donít see how anyone could miss that.

"Furthermore, Management go out of their way to instruct Head Organizers to look for people who are going to 'go along' with the National strategy without much conversation. Wade and the management staff made a decision to keep it quiet. The whole board was never asked. I have that from umteen sources."

"John" on August 13, 2008:

"Didnít the organizations have an auditor with professional responsibilities to inform the Boards?

"What entities were credited when the loss was recorded as a receivable by Citizens Consulting Inc.?

"Did the collection of the restitution money get returned to the proper entities?"

"John" on August 16, 2008:

"CCI the company that Dale Rathke oversaw was the financial a[d]ministrative wing of ACORN. Dale was in charge of the books. In charge of when audits were done etcÖ

"IF you wanted reimbursement or to be paid for anything your request went th[]rough CCI. T[h]ere are many in ACORN who think the whole thing with the embezzlement started long before 2001. That was the time he/they got caught."

"John" on August 18, 2008:

"Dear Rick: I was the only CPA for ACORN from inception until 1995. Since reading your report and comments I have become confident of your good intentions. Therefore I have decided to open up with regard to any questions that you or your subscribers may have.

"Yes, it is quite possible that the 'misappropriations' go back before my retirement. So I have great sympathy for Wadeís torment. Even before 2001. Wade knew before I left that Dale had total domination of accounting and banking functions of all the 50-75 separate corporate entities. Each corporation had a bank account at Whitney. Dale got a consolidated daily bank statement that gave him the debit or credit balance of each account and net total. Dale was a check signer on every account. Wade was not. Thatís about all anyone knew after their only competent bookkeeper resigned about 1988. Accounting de[s]cended into chaos and I was in a constant helpless depression after that until 1995. Hearsay from a former insider informed me in 2001 that Dale got caught making $1 million improper payments to American Express but they would recover from his inheritance some day and my successor auditors were all over it. I thought, thank God, not on my watch. I perked up but held my tongue.

"After thinking it over, I think I agree with the cover up strategy in 2001. I guess I participated in it by remaining silent. I believe that itís the only way ult[i]mate restitution was probable at the time. But I remain curious. Why shouldnít restitution be made for the $38,000 per annum paid Dale since 2001? Surely the firing would have taken place in 2001 except for the cover up.

"I should confine my comments to the situation as I knew it prior to 1995. I defer all other questions as to subsequent events and transactions to my successors who were em[]inently qualified and informed of all problems that needed attention after my departure. I believe that they know every thing that is significant about this matter. I wish they would get permission to publish a case study on this matter. I have had no communications with them since 1995.

"Somebody said 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely'."

"John" on August 19, 2008:

"Did you see the newest story in the NY TImes stating that Drummond Pike was the person who bailed the Rathkeís out and that more whistle blowers brought the info forward? I told more would be coming."

"John" on August 20, 2008:

"Dear Rick (of your comment of 8/19 at (9:08 pm): Answers to two questions: (1) After 1988, with the resignation of the very competent Sue B., the accounting system quickly disintegrated. There were no computers. It had all been done by hand. Sue had trained a payroll clerk and bank reconciler, JoAnn B., who had learned to make payroll tax deposits, quarterly payroll tax reports, individual earnings records and annual W-2 forms and reports. But all cash and general journals and ledgers fell behind and contained thousands of uncorrected errors due to inability or failure to hire enough accountants with the capacity to cope with the challenges. Forget the usual forms of internal control. There were virtually none possible. Dale trusted no one but himself. Or trusted completely in those incompet[e]nt for the task. Forget transparency and disclosure on a timely basis. It was not possible. Donít ask me, I still live in Little Rock where the whole thing started. Sue B. started in Little Rock under Wade and moved all the financial records to New Orleans when Wade moved. Dale started later in New Orleans, with quickly increasing financial authority, after graduating from Yale (Phd.English), but before Sue B. left. Sue B. and Dale finally had issues which could not be reconciled. She told me, ďI hate my job and I hate my lifeĒ and always had a headache, but could do or find anything I needed . After Sue B.ís departure in 1988 the bank statements and cancel[]ed checks and check book stubs and bank reconciliations were the only reliable records. When it came time to prepare annual federal and state forms 990 and 1120 it was up to me. If financial statements had to be reconstructed from the bank statements and cancel[]ed checks I did the minimum necessary one entity at a time. I had about 50 file boxes with working papers that I carted back and forth between Little Rock and New Orleans until finally Dale provided some used filing cabinets for me in New Orleans. Extensions were filed when necessary but the task of filing often fell 2-3 years behind. By the time I got finished the reports and returns were ancient history. The IRS never examined. No taxes were ever due so there were no penalties or interest. If anybody was dissatisfied they never contacted me. My name and signature were on all reports and returns. There were very serious deficiencies which I could not correct. They had to do with obvious co[m]mingling of funds between the separate corporations, much of which was impossible to correct retroactively if not discovered immediately. Some probably innocent errors. Some probably deliberate and unauthorized cash transfers. I had nobody to tell but Dale. I wanted to resign or be fired. My commuting time and expenses were unbearable. Dale was up to a year past due in paying my monthly invoices. My capital was way inadequate for this. I was financing my life with credit cards. They needed to get a New Orleans CPA firm to take over. But with this mess who would accept it? About 1990 Dale agreed to meet with Arthur Andersen consulting experts I talked into coming down from Chicago to tell us what to do. Hey, that was cool, they even had a New Orleans office who could take over all the audit and tax work when new syste[m]s got things under control. Andersen spent one day in New Orleans talking to Dale and me and knew exactly what to do. A few days later Dale called and said Andersen had submitted a detailed proposal with a fee estimate of $100,000 for installing a computer system. He said no, too expensive. I should have resigned immediately, but I could not resign without getting paid. Everybody knows what later happened to Andersen for not resigning from Enron when they had conflicts regarding material differences of opinion and judgement affecting the audit reports, disclosures and transparency. Next thing I knew, Dale allowed a Great Plains computer accounting system to be installed. How they got it up and running Iíll never know. What I was interested in was the output. I quickly learned the saying, 'Garbage in, garbage out'. The first thing that had to be created was a chart of accounts and account numbers. I think Dale did it all by himself. With abo[u]t 75 corporations and who knows how many restricted and unrestricted funds it must have been a daunting task. The chart was about the size of the N. O. phone book and growing daily. If the first coding of an entry was incorrect, too bad, it could not be deleted and reentered correctly. Instead a new entry had to be made transferring the transaction from the incorrect account to the correct account. And if that correction was not done correctly yet another correcting entry had to be made. I just could not enjoy this. I hated my job and hated my life. Yup, depressed. After a couple of years like this, I discovered the very fine old N. O. CPA firm of Duplantier et al. They had some expertise with the Great Plains system and were willing to come in and survey the situation. Dale agreed. Right away I gave them complete access to all my files and even gave them all the tax returns to prepare. Whatever they wanted to do. They did a lot of tax work in a few months while I finished up a couple of audits. I asked them if they were getting paid for what they had done so far. They said yes and they had the ability to go do something else if not. I told them that my unpaid bills were substantial but that I wanted out. One day in Dece[m]ber, 1994, I was in Daleís office briefly and at a glance I saw a whole pile of Engagement Letters on his desk. I knew immediately they were from Duplantier and a separate letter for each corporation. Hallaluia, I had been delivered. In January, 1995, Dale ordered me out of his office and we havenít spoken since. Neither have I heard from Wade. In 1996 I sued to collect the balances due on my accounts. The defense had no defense and I was awarded a judgement of $200,000. The next step, to collect the judgement, was disappointing. I was persuaded to settle for $140,000. This enabled me to pay off all my secured creditors, but I wrote off $60,000 and was done with it. Easy come, easy go.

"(2) I think I approve of the 'cover up strategy' because I knew that the Duplantier firm was on the job and had seen the evidence and chose to join in. My source said that Wade had seen a report that caused him to question why the payments to American Express were so high? So they searched for the American Express statements and found that Dale had them all in his possession. He still must have had the power to pay without restrictions by anybody. He agreed to restitution that was probable someday. His motive may never be known. If Dale were fired in 2001, Wade probably would have been forced to resign at the same time. I donít know when Acorn International was formed. At least there has been 8 years to prepare for both departures at once. I think that the life of the associated organizations bearing the ACORN brand is more likely to survive after these preparations than if both departures were sudden and without warning in 2001. There are about 500,000 members that probably want them to survive too."

"John" on October 18, 2008: "Dear [J]ohn (of your comment AT: 8/23/2008, AT 12:19 am): The only way one would know that Wade got none of the embezzled funds is to accept Daleís word for it, in the absence of proof otherwise. In my opinion Dale was incompetent to do his job properly and had an attitude of entitlement because of his family ties, the result of nepotism. This became more clear as the organizations grew. Apparently because of the obvious nepotism, Wade disqualified himself and accepted a small inner circleís decision to cover up the fraud in exchange for a formal restituton and cover-up agreement. This small inner circle, at least one of whom included the Board Member and President, Maude Hurd, was able to cover up this 'situation' simply by not informing the full Board. How would they know that the incident would become an issue of world wide knowledge in the 2008 presidential campaign?"

"John" on October 18, 2008:

"Dear Rick, [J]ohn and Helene Saucet: Now with more perfect hindsight I have changed my mind regarding my statement 'I think I agree with the cover up'. When the cover up was uncovered the Board took swift action just as they probably would have done back in 2000. The authorities probably would have been informed and 'the rule of law' applied. All this would be behind us and hopefully all the wounds healed."

If only "John" knew the whole story of how "the Board" behaved in 2008! The Board did NOT hasten to inform "authorities" or apply "the rule of law." Not even then ACORN national board members and now ACORN 8 leaders Marcel Reid and Karen Inman.

There is a telltale sign on the ACORN 8 webpage: "Members Fighting for Truth, Transparency and Accountability within ACORN."

Those last two words--"within ACORN"--tell plenty.

Sharing the whole truth with and being fully transparent to and accountable to the public are NOT on the agenda.

Check the minutes of the ACORN ISM Meeting in Chicago held on July 29, 2008.

Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman are listed among the four ACORN members present.

Under "Wade Rathke's Labilities and other Liabilities Matters," it is stated:

"The Government will and can go after ACORN"

"ACORN could [go] after Wade for being on various boards and conflicts of interest and for mismanagement of funds and for the financial structures and that conflict of interests."

"IF the idea for ACORN to go after Wade is decided upon--the recommendation is to wait until after December--elections, ACORN needs to get their corporation in order, clean house in terms of getting paperwork in order, etc."

Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman wanted Wade Rathke replaced, but they did not necessarily want to go after him publicly ("IF") and certainly not before Election Day 2008!

In addition, the minutes state under "Wade Rathke's Labilities and other Liabilities Matters": "These matters are an issue not to be discussed with other board members, management staff UNLESS they have officially signed the joint defense agreement".

So much for "truth, transparency and accountability" even "within ACORN"!

That joint defense agreement is designed to conceal, not to reveal.

"Drafting the Joint Defense Agreement (With Sample Provisions)," by Daralyn J. Durie:

"It is generally assumed that a party supplying privileged information pursuant to a joint defense agreement retains the right to prevent disclosure of such information by the other participants even after a joint defense agreement is terminated....As a result, the joint defense privilege ordinarily will protect communications between parties unless and until the parties to the communication become actual adversaries in litigation....joint defense privilege cannot be waived without the consent of all parties to the defense, except when one of the joint defendants becomes an adverse party in the litigation...Because cooperating with the government, and even testifying against a former joint defense member, is generally not deemed 'actually adverse' to the interests of the other joint defense members, it does not trigger a waiver of the privilege. Instead, even when one defendant agrees to cooperate with the government and testify against his co-defendants, the assumption is that joint defense information will remain privileged, and will not be useable against the producing party."

When ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief wrote of what happened at ACORN last year as a "cover up of the cover up," she put it perfectly.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to,,, and and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is

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