The community organizing collective ACORN may be disbanded but that doesn't mean Republicans are finished crusading against its former employees and tying them to the left-wing-tinged Occupy Wall Street movement. On Monday, House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa called for an investigation into New York Communities for Change, a group that works out of ACORN's former Brooklyn offices and is staffed by many of its former employees, for engaging "in fraud through its participation in the Occupy Wall Street protests." The basic ingredients of Occupy Wall Street, ACORN and fraud make for an intoxicating cocktail of right-wing preoccupations not likely to wear off. So let's begin by taking the allegations completely and utterly seriously.
The critical allegations against New York Communities for Change (NYCC), according to Issa's letter [PDF] to the U.S. attorney general in New York, are that it "solicited donations from union members under false pretenses and misappropriated those funds to support the protesters" of Occupy Wall Street. The allegations stem from a Fox News report published on October 26 citing anonymous sources working at NYCC accusing the organization of collecting cash donations for a United Federation of Teachers fundraising drive and giving the money to Occupy Wall Street.
Sources who participated in the teachers union campaign said NYCC supervisors gave them the addresses of union members and told them to go knock on their doors and ask for contributions—and did not mention that the money would go toward Occupy Wall Street expenses. One source said the campaign raked in about $5,000. ...
Sources said staff members also collected door-to-door for NYCC’s PCB campaign — which aims to test schools for deadly toxins —but then pooled that money together with cash raised for the teachers union and other campaigns to fund Occupy Wall Street.
Citing the Fox News report in his letter to the U.S. attorney general, Issa makes two primary allegations: 1) NYCC, a community organizing nonprofit, is funneling money to Occupy Wall Street 2) It's telling donors the money is actually going to a United Federation of Teachers fundraising drive.