Editorial Boards Unite in Condemning ACORN

The ACORN scandal grows, and editorial boards condemn liberal inattention

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It's Day Two of ACORN's worst nightmare: continuing the trend we reported Wednesday, three major editorial boards chimed in this morning condemning the group and calling for an investigation into the recent video scandal. The Los Angeles Times retains some sympathy for the advocacy group, whose funding has been cut by the Senate. But as the ACORN scandal grows, a sense of outrage is spreading. The organization was already under scrutiny, many write. Why did the government need a sting operation and a mess-up this major to take notice?

  • Time for ACORN to 'Clean House'  The Los Angeles Times called the videos of ACORN workers giving tax advice to a supposed prostitution business "truly shocking," particularly in light of previous bad press. "Given all the scrutiny," the editorial board wrote, "one would have expected ACORN to be doing everything in its power to make sure its activities were squeaky clean." The editors called the loss of federal funds as "a shame, because ACORN does worthwhile work in poor communities," condemned ACORN leadership, and suggested resignations in order to ensure the group's survival.
  • Time for Serious Washington and Mainstream Media Soul-Searching  Conservative publication the National Review went a step farther."two guerilla documentarians," the editorial began, "have accomplished what neither the Republican party’s sense of outrage nor the Democratic party’s sense of decency could." The opinion piece denounced mainstream media inattention to the story, as well as President Obama for his ties to the organization.
Why would any government agency have anything to do with this motley crew? Heads already are rolling at ACORN, and they should be rolling in the offices of the government agencies that approved these relationships. HUD is bad enough, but letting ACORN within spitting distance of the IRS bespeaks defective judgment.
  • Conservatives Were Right  The Wall Street Journal's editorial board was similarly troubled, noting that "allegations of fraud have dogged Acorn for years." They continued, expressing disbelief that, even after the videos were made public, "six Democratic Senators and one liberal INdependent still voted against barring the group from receiving federal housing money." Calling the proposed Congressional investigation "a good start," the Journal argued that "a Justice Department criminal investigation is also needed. Meanwhile," the editors concluded, "the House and the Obama Administration should follow the Senate's lead and bar Acorn from receiving any more taxpayer money."

Update, 12:28p.m.: Denunciations of ACORN are continuing across the blogosphere as well, and liberals aren't holding back. The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates has made his position clear: "I think if we can't request that our allies not employ people who would aid and abet a prostitution scheme ... we are in trouble," he wrote. He cut the group no slack.

Conservative activists have been after ACORN for over a year now. Bertha Lewis notes that activists tried the same stunt several times before they got a bite. In some people's eyes this is exonerating. In my eyes it's more damning. Lewis admits ACORN was aware of the setup, and yet her people still got caught. Twice.

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