JP Morgan Chase has been challenged to sever its financial support for ACORN.
As more video tapes are released of ACORN workers discussing illicit financial schemes, the bank has been called out for funding activities in violation of its own polices. Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), in a letter addressed to JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, warns that continued support could jeopardize the institution’s credibility.
“Continued identification with ACORN harms the company’s brand name and reputation, and carries special risks for this company, a recipient of taxpayer TARP funds,” he wrote. “The New York Times has identified you as President Obama’s `favorite banker.’”
Flaherty also points out that donations to the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) and its affiliates actually run counter to the bank’s own policy statements. Financial support is restricted from “programs designed to promote religious or political doctrines,” according to the JP Morgan Chase web site.
“ACORN and its affiliates have a very definite political doctrine,” Flaherty wrote. “It is to undermine democracy and smash capitalism. Videotapes made at ACORN offices in New York City and Washington, DC suggest that the Baltimore episode was not an isolated event. Even before these incidents, ACORN and its affiliates were accused of voter registration fraud in 14 states.”
More videotapes have been released of ACORN workers in Brooklyn and San Bernardino, Calif. telling undercover investigators posing as a pimp and a prostitute how to circumvent tax laws. Earlier this month, federal and state officials in Miami, Florida also moved to arrest 11 ACORN workers who allegedly falsified hundreds of voter registration forms.
ACORN’s housing affiliate has received over $5 million from JP Morgan Chase, since 1998, according to the Capital Research Center (CRC). Other corporate supporters include Bank of America, which has donated almost $3 million, since 2005, financial records show.
The letter was sent the day after the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to bar grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ACORN. The House also voted later in the week to cut off funding in a 347-75 vote.
“If it is inappropriate for HUD to fund ACORN, it is also inappropriate for a public company like JP Morgan Chase to do so,” Flaherty wrote.