The “Real Threat” of ACORN

We’ve long said here that the right-wing attacks on ACORN are rooted in fear: fear of voter registration, fear of increased wages for working people, fear of empowering certain demographics, and so on.

So it was good (well, not “good,” per se) to read Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Karen Heller’s important piece on ACORN discussing the post-mortems of the ACORN smear job, including a now-nearly-vacant ACORN office in Philly:

At the threadbare location at Broad and Parrish, the first-floor ACORN Housing office is dead, addressing only emergency cases. In March 2008, ACORN stopped the sheriff from selling owner-occupied homes that had punitive loans, helping well-intentioned residents keep their properties.

Last tax season, local staffers completed 2,812 returns gratis, netting $4.3 million in refunds flowing back into the neighborhoods, and almost $1.7 million in earned-income tax credits, according to legislative director Ian Phillips. Now free tax preparation for the poor is on hold, too.

Heller goes on to cite the report, “Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was in the News, and What the News Got Wrong,” prepared by Occidental College’s Peter Dreier (an NHI board member) and Christopher Martin, a journalism professor at the University of Northern Iowa that points to the imbalanced media coverage of ACORN framed by the conservative “media echo chamber.”

Read Heller’s piece here

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


  1. I am a lifelong democrat who believes that ACORN helped Barack Obama defeat Hillary Clinton by A, overvoting in the democratic caucus contests, and B, by filling out valid credit card accounts and then adding in fake credit card names, ( ACORN is also being accused of using similar fake names in Nevada for voter registration.).

    The New York Times reported that Barack Obama’s favorite banker is Jamie Dimon of Chase Bank, who is generally regarded by many as the worst banker on Wall Street when it comes to helping middle america with their debt issues.

    I’m not happy with either political party right now. Until lobbyists can no longer meet in private with politicians, nothing real can change.


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