There’s new evidence ACORN’s announcement of “bringing its operations to a close” was just another deceptive tactic designed to take the pressure off so they can continue their scheme of using public dollars and private donations to advance their radical progressive agenda. The latest incarnation of ACORN has its NY office in the same Brooklyn building, many of the same board members, the same membership list, etc.
Backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars in union donations, New York Communities for Change — a rebranded version of the controversial organization that closed up shop amid several scandals — is acting again as labor’s attack dog on controversial issues.
The “new” organization also fights to provide and preserve affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers.
But when NYCC has to choose between low-income consumers and unions, it dances to Big Labor’s tune.
Consider Walmart’s bid to open in New York City. It would offer discounted prices, which would disproportionately benefit the poorest New Yorkers.
But instead NYCC has joined the campaign to block Walmart because it is a non-union shop that would compete with unionized stores. That puts NYCC on the same page as Stuart Appelbaum, head of the National Retail, Wholesale and Department Store union — not all those low-income consumers.
“A Walmart in Brooklyn?!? NO THANKS,” NYCC says on its Web site.
Meanwhile the United Federation of Teachers gave NYCC more than $200,000 last year — a big chunk of the advocacy group’s budget — to help organize child-care workers and parents.
NYCC’s views on education mirrors the UFT’s.
The UFT last year opposed the city’s attempt to close 20 failing schools and replace them with new schools with new principals and teachers.
NYCC agreed. “Fix Our Schools, Don’t Close ‘Em,” it declared
I’m glad we can help people who provide a valuable service. I’ll take help wherever I can get it to help working people. God knows the mayor isn’t looking after them,” UFT president Michael Mulgrew said.
According to NYCC documents, unions pumped about $300,000 into its coffers last year, and the group expects them to contribute $473,915 this year and $651,633 next year, a significant portion of its budget.
Lawyer Randy Mastro, who has battled leaders of the ACORN-tied Working Families Party in court over alleged campaign finance violations, said, “It takes more than a name change to avoid the stigma of ACORN. Nobody is going to be fooled.”
Jon Kest, NYCC’s executive director, declined to answer questions about the group’s ties to unions, saying only it supports “better, safer schools . . . living-wage jobs and affordable housing.”
Last year when ACORN announced its name change Congressman Issa talked about the supposed closing of ACORN
“Just as criminals change their aliases, ACORN is changing its name,” said Issa. “But make no mistake about it, just because they change their name, doesn’t mean anything has really changed at all. As this most recent presidential election has showed us, just because you profess change, doesn’t mean you’re going to change. The bottom line is, whatever they decide to call themselves, they are still the same corporation with the same board, staff and people. Ultimately, the real question is aside from their name, what is really going to change?
Well Congressman Issa, now that your party is in charge, what are you going to do about it?