ACORN Falling

Not exactly a surprise:


The liberal political organizing group ACORN is on the verge of bankruptcy following a string of disclosures about mismanagement that caused funding to dry up, according to a source familiar with the organization. 

Leaders of the embattled grass-roots group and their advisers have been discussing options for weeks as donors, including foundations and government entities, have cut back on funding, according to another source, who took part in talks about ACORN's future.

I think there will be those of us who will point to ACORN's exoneration of charges of illegality, and see the organization's fate as grossly unfair. I don't know. For me the trenchant truth comes from the independent investigation conducted at ACORN's own behest:

The serious management challenges detailed in our report are the fault of ACORN's founder and a cadre of leaders who, in their drive for growth, failed to commit the organization to the basic, appropriate standards of governance and accountability. As a result, ACORN not only fell short of living its principles but also left itself vulnerable to public embarrassment. This hidden camera controversy is an apt example. 

While some of the advice and counsel given by ACORN employees and volunteers was clearly inappropriate and unprofessional, we did not find a pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN staff; in fact, there is no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers. Instead, the videos represent the byproduct of ACORN's longstanding management weaknesses, including a lack of training, a lack of procedures, and a lack of on-site supervision.

H/T to NPR's news blog. My thing on this for ACORN and all sorts of lefties who cry foul over right-wing tactics is simple. If you really believe that you're facing a vile enemy armed with an array of dirty tricks, the correct action is not to be institutionally sloppy and then decry the deep evil of your opponents. You knew that going in. The correct response is to run your ship that much tighter.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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