In the latest twist to the ongoing ACORN saga, a California branch of the community outreach organization is considering changing its name, according to a Politico report
The report cites a memo
it claims was found among a horde of papers a blogger and former Republican candidate for the California State Assembly recovered from a Dumpster
outside a San Diego office of ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now
. The memo tells ACORN members the group is considering a name change and solicits comments.
“The name ACORN has been dragged through the mud, and we are coming across a number of people and groups who want to work with us, want to support the work we have been doing, but feel that they can only do so if we change our name,” the memo says.
The blogger, Derrick Roach, said he is a licensed private investigator and conducted surveillance on the office after a video released
on the Internet purportedly showed ACORN Housing employees advising a couple who claimed to be a pimp and prostitute on how to establish a brothel and evade taxes.
ACORN fired the employees in the video and called it an isolated incident not consistent with the group’s standards. It even created a public relations campaign the “Faces of ACORN,” profiling employees that it said are helping disadvantaged people.
Among the documents Roach said he recovered from the trash include employment documents for individuals paid to encourage voter action. In the name-changing memo, a bullet-point list provides the pros and cons for keeping the ACORN name. The group said its spent “39 years building the reputation and track record of ACORN,” and abandoning the name might imply the group did something wrong or allow “the right-wing attackers to say they won.” The memo also notes that fund raising has become more difficult, as is working with elected officials who “are worried that the same people who are attacking us, will attack them, if they work with us,” the memo says.
Tuesday, Republican Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Lamar Smith of Texas will host a Republican Congressional forum
on ACORN, where the name changing memo will be one of the topics discussed.
Write to Austin Kilgore