An ACORN by any other name... 

As expected, ACORN isn't going away, it's just rebranding:

Affiliates of the once mighty liberal activist group ACORN are remaking themselves in a desperate bid to ditch the tarnished name of their parent organization and restore federal grants and other revenue streams that ran dry in the wake of a video scandal.

The letters A, C, O, R and N are coming off office doors from New York to California. Business cards are being reprinted. New signs with new names are popping up in front of offices.

The breakaways are trying to shed the scandal that emerged six months ago when videos showed some ACORN workers giving tax tips to conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute. But while their names are different, most groups have kept the same offices and staff.

That, critics say, means the groups really haven't started anew and severed all ties to ACORN, which faced accusations of mismanagement and rampant voter registration fraud well before the video brouhaha sent even longtime Democratic backers scattering.

And this is all consciously being done with the approval of the organization's leadership:

Even the national office of ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, doesn't blame affiliates for bolting from under its umbrella -- conceding its entire 40-state network has been devastated by what backers characterize as right-wing attacks.

"It is true that these range of attacks do damage to your brand and your good name," said Kevin Whelan, ACORN's communication's director. "The other reality is that we are starting to win some vindication on the facts. But vindication doesn't necessarily pay the rent."

ACORN is starting to win some vindication? Really?

 

 

 

Politico has the story:

The economy is still limping along, but some members of Congress are nevertheless riding in style: At least 10 House members are spending more than $1,000 a month in taxpayer money to lease cars.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver appears to be the biggest spender.

In the last quarter of 2009, the Missouri Democrat doled out $2,900 a month to lease a WiFi-equipped, handicap-accessible mobile office that runs on used cooking oil.

“Rather than paying for an additional office, the congressman has a mobile office, with all the capabilities to do casework across the district,” Cleaver spokesman Danny Rotert wrote in an e-mail. “We can go where our constituents are and accommodate those in wheelchairs with the mobile office’s lift.”

But at least nine other members are paying more than $1,000 a month for more basic rides.

Some lawmakers blame their high lease costs on a policy, enacted in a 2007 energy bill, requiring that the vehicles they choose be fuel efficient. Others say their two-year terms in office prevent them from taking advantage of lower-cost, longer-term leases.  

 They can't possibly find cheaper transportation tha $1,000 a month? (Heck, I purchased my very reliable Honda Civic for less than that.) And then they blame the outrageous cost on a law that they themselves passed? Please.

 

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Mark Hemingway

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