There has been an undercurrent of grumbling about pseudo charities (non-profit organisations which are largely funded by government and use a significant proportion of those funds for political lobbying and campaigning) in the right-wing and especially in the libertarian blogosphere. Mostly the complaints are about political influence and the waste of tax-payers’ money.
In America they appear to have a problem that is at least a couple of orders of magnitude beyond that. ACORN (Association of Community Organisations for Reform Now) has been shown to have been willing to assist importation of children for the purpose of sexual slavery, for profit with the aim of political campaigning. Assistance went as far as advising how to buy a brothel and to cheat the taxes on the money earned, by claiming the child prostitutes as dependents. ACORN then requested a donation.
Really. I am not kidding. Tax evasion. Mortgage fraud. Children. Slavery. Sex. Selling actual children for sexual gratification. Then claiming tax benefits because they are children. Then using the money for a political campaign.
This happened in three different states. It could possibly be worse if they start advising on how to hide the bodies once they are too old to work, but I am not sure how else it could be. Yet there are rumours that the people exposing this have something devastating to release today. WTF?
To paraphrase the article linked above, once is a bad apple, twice is an unfortunate coincidence, thrice is systematic corruption resulting from policy.
There are two things that really strike me about the response to this.
Seven senators, six Democrat and one independent, voted to carry on funding ACORN.
This has not been a huge international news story; even in the US it has been remarkably quiet. Below is what the BBC considers to be world news and Americas news at 14:00 today (click to enlarge World News).
ACORN is an organisation that has strong connections with Barack Obama which looked like having significant political influence with the Democrats in power. They were at one-time a client of Obama’s. They helped elect him, in many cases breaking electoral law, in other alleged cases breaking employment law. He had arranged for them to work on the national census (risking a constitutional challenge, which should be a big deal to a former constitutional law professor). He had arranged for them to be in the stream for government funding that was potentially to total several billion dollars.
Is Patrick Swayze’s sad but not unexpected demise really more newsworthy? Is the entirely predictable anger of Islamic fascists really more important for us to know about than a charity supporting child sexual slavery in the USA? Can you imagine the headlines if Halliburton or any other organisation with real or alleged connections with Bush had been caught on tape giving illegal advice? Three times.
Update: note I did not mention which party’s candidate ACORN thought would gain from political donations they were advising on the laundering of. Do I need to?
Update: a fourth video has been released, of a similar nature, filmed in California. It’s a good one though, naming politicians, ACORN employee offering to kill anyone exposing the brothel, suggesting violence against the underage girl, admitting killing her husband. It’s … wow, just watch it.
One ellipsis here hints at more videos to come …
Oh, and it appears that Acorn was breaking the law even operating in Maryland where the first video was shot.
Update: Hot Air has more on the embarrassed silence of the media.
Update: The co-founder of ACORN Wade Rathke, has responded, claiming that this is a “…fake issue”. My response warranted a new post …
Thanks to Instapundit for some of the links.