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If ACORN disappeared, who would aid the poorest of us?
The New York Daily News ^ | September 29, 2009 | NY State Assemblyman Rory Lancman

Posted on 10/15/2009 9:14:42 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Recent disclosures about certain questionable practices at ACORN, the left-leaning nationwide community advocacy organization, have raised questions about the organization's very legitimacy.

But as ACORN rightly moves to get its house in order and restore its credibility, it might be worth taking a few moments to ask some other questions, not about ACORN but about ourselves, and our commitment to lifting up the millions of our fellow Americans who live in a netherworld of poverty, hopelessness and victimization.

You cannot understand the ACORN videos (understand, not condone), without making some honest effort to understand this netherworld in which ACORN and too few other hardy, modern day missionaries work to improve the lives of people most of us never see and never want to see.

Wasn't it odd that so many ACORN workers hardly blinked an eye when a woman identifying herself as a prostitute showed up in their offices ostensibly to ask for guidance on how to buy a house? It's as if such people - prostitutes, people with substance abuse problems, young men with criminal records - show up at ACORN offices all the time asking for help.

Crazy, no? Or maybe that's what ACORN does. That and helping high school dropouts prepare for a job, building affordable housing for single mothers, signing kids up for health insurance, counseling homeowners facing foreclosure, and encouraging every American to exercise their right to vote. The uncomfortable truth is that tens of millions of Americans live the kind of lives where the availability of help from groups like ACORN is the difference between having food on the table or not, having a roof over their heads or not, seeing a doctor or not, and having a voice in the political process or not.

Which is crazier, we should ask ourselves: that there is an organization like ACORN that tries to counsel people in dismal circumstances so that they too might find a way into the middle class, an honest life, a clean life? Or that so many desperate people still live in our country, side-by-side with us, but almost completely invisible to us?

We know who is there to counsel those on the other end of the economic and social spectrum - the super wealthy instead of the super poor - on their schemes to avoid taxes, defraud stockholders and cheat taxpayers. Oh, the lawyers and accountants and bankers were fawning over Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay and John Rigas and Dennis Kozlowski and AIG and ... the list goes on and on.

But even the lives of middle-class Americans are light-years - light-years - away from the void in which the entrenched poor live. I can walk into any Chase bank, where I've had an account since graduating college (even when I had $10 dollars in it, I still had an account), produce three years' worth of tax returns, a driver's license, a birth certificate, a passport, you name it, and get all the counseling I need on how to take out a home loan. I would probably even leave with some viable options for financing, despite these difficult times.

Who will counsel the people working in the back of our favorite restaurant, on the construction site around the corner, working off the books without health insurance, overtime, pensions or even the promise of receiving Social Security after a lifetime of labor?

I'm rooting for ACORN to right itself, as it is aggressively moving to do, because for me the biggest question is this one: if not ACORN, who? Who will counsel and advocate for the "other half," whom Jacob Riis shone a light on over a century ago, that great swath of society which today occupies that same netherworld of poverty, hopelessness and victimization?

Understanding that world is the key to understanding ACORN, and why ACORN is such a vital organization for so many Americans.

*********

Rory Lancman represents the 25th District, comprising part of north central Queens, in the New York State Assembly.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: acorn; congress; corruption; cra; democrats; economy; obama
Yes, of course he's a Democrat, although there's no mention of it here. The comments are not what you'd expect in a New York paper.
1 posted on 10/15/2009 9:14:42 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

LOL! Love the title! Maybe the commies would support us... Oh wait, that ideology wen bankrupt in the 1960s and again in the 80s. I guess ACORN will just have to make sure no one takes them down.


2 posted on 10/15/2009 9:19:19 PM PDT by GoodLookingPatriot
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To: GoodLookingPatriot

Uhh, their relatives.


3 posted on 10/15/2009 9:20:39 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I mean, really,....who’s going to take care of the tax-dodging pimps who want to exploit 13 year old girls?


4 posted on 10/15/2009 9:22:55 PM PDT by BookmanTheJanitor
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

How about you don’t have 8 kids you can’t afford. Then you’re helping yourself.


5 posted on 10/15/2009 9:23:02 PM PDT by CaptRon
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"If ACORN disappeared, who would aid the poorest of us?"

Logical fallacy of the false choice. Presumes ACORN helps anyone except themselves...
6 posted on 10/15/2009 9:23:10 PM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Churches? Relatives? Salvation Army? St. Vincent de Paul? Red Cross?


7 posted on 10/15/2009 9:24:06 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (This tagline excerpted. To read more, click on MyOverratedBlog.com)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Is it really so surprising that lawbreakers wouldn’t bat an eye when other lawbreakers come in to ask for help breaking the law?


8 posted on 10/15/2009 9:25:29 PM PDT by Cinnamon Girl (G-d Bless President Bush. He kept us safe.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Any mob boss could handle the job.


9 posted on 10/15/2009 9:27:43 PM PDT by Mark (Don't argue with my posts. I typed while under sniper fire..)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"If ACORN disappeared, who would aid the poorest of us?"


10 posted on 10/15/2009 9:27:43 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well there you have it: poor people (especially minorities) are too stupid to take care of themselves.

That’s why they need liberal Democrats and corrupt organizations that aid liberal Democrats.


11 posted on 10/15/2009 9:35:58 PM PDT by Tzimisce (No thanks. We have enough government already. - The Tick)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Duhhh, I dunno, Rory. Were they keeling over in the streets before ACORN came along??


12 posted on 10/15/2009 9:49:28 PM PDT by GnuHere
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Crazy, no? Or maybe that's what ACORN does.

Oh my. Just because they are poor, it makes it all ok.

13 posted on 10/15/2009 9:49:57 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Who? Not Acorn, they lost their right to help when they showed they believed that stealing from the public was an OK practice. When instead of getting these pimp/prostitutes the real help they needed to go straight, they felt the best thing to do was to support pedophilia, child abuse, tax evasion, and immigration offenses.

As an organization, Acorn has neither moral nor legal nor ethical conscience. That means they can cannot be trusted with our money or to even truly help anyone other than themselves and their crooked cronies. That this clown is even thinking about arguing in their favor shows a severe lack of judgment on his part.

The churches and local government should handle who takes care of the people in their locality. The federal govt’s support of a nationwide community organization should end.


14 posted on 10/15/2009 9:51:52 PM PDT by Waryone (II Chronicles 7:14)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Now that the light is being shown on the cockeroaches of ACORN, Americans are only just realizing the hornets nest of extremism that is festering in many urban areas. Hearing the rants of Rev. Wright, the marxist tripe of Anita Dunn, and the communist insanity of dozens of wackjob appointees have wakened Americans from their stupor.


15 posted on 10/15/2009 9:56:01 PM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

ACORN’s not watching out for them now so what difference would it make.


16 posted on 10/15/2009 10:10:22 PM PDT by freedomfiter2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Outfits like ACORN keep the “poorest of us” in the poor house.

If nobody did everything for them and paid their way they would get up off their dead asses and make something of themselves.


17 posted on 10/15/2009 10:13:17 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The poor are only used as mascots for these control freaks’ self aggrandizement - modern day secular pharisees the lot of ‘em.


18 posted on 10/15/2009 10:17:48 PM PDT by eclecticEel (The Most High rules in the kingdom of men ... and sets over it the basest of men.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This clown would paint Judas as a saint...


19 posted on 10/15/2009 10:22:26 PM PDT by pankot
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

How about the churches and the private homeless charities you see on every corner in every downtown in America? Or... how about they help themselves by getting up off their fat Twinkie butts, turn off the TV and get a job.


20 posted on 10/15/2009 11:40:41 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied, the economy died)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

So how much money did Rep Lancman receive from Acorn? He is in favor of aiding and abetting criminal activity.


21 posted on 10/16/2009 12:18:11 AM PDT by Roy Tucker ("You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."--Ayn Rand)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
if not ACORN, who?

Legitimate charities?

22 posted on 10/16/2009 12:59:20 AM PDT by GVnana ("Obama is incredibly naive and grossly egotistical." Sarkozy)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Liberal Garbage


23 posted on 10/16/2009 5:43:40 AM PDT by RoadTest ( But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This idiot paints ACORN as a "vital" organization, but I would bet that he was in line to criticize the Bush faith-based charities initiative -- designed to support churches and other charities that have been doing this as a way of service and life for decades... and STILL do without government support.

This article illustrates exactly why the liberal media is so useless and despised anymore: present one side and do no research -- ignoring the possibility that the message delivered might be wrong.

24 posted on 10/16/2009 6:28:38 AM PDT by alancarp (Obama: treat the unborn with AT LEAST as much respect as you do terrorists!!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Wow, he's really confused.

If ACORN disappeared, who would aid the poorest of us?

The church (broadly speaking) did a fine job of that for centuries/millenia. If not for excessive taxation and legislation, it still would. ACORN is hardly the all-saving boon to the poor he portrays.

But even the lives of middle-class Americans are light-years - light-years - away from the void in which the entrenched poor live. I can walk into any Chase bank, where I've had an account since graduating college (even when I had $10 dollars in it, I still had an account), produce three years' worth of tax returns, a driver's license, a birth certificate, a passport, you name it, and get all the counseling I need on how to take out a home loan.

What he utterly fails to realize is that he just totally eviscerated ACORN's purpose. Yes, indeed, anyone CAN walk into any Chase bank, deposit $10 to open an account, and get all kinds of financial advice & official information.

Fact is, IT'S ALL THERE FOR THE ASKING. You just have to ask for it - persistently. High-class education? ocw.mit.edu for the content of any MIT class or degree (diploma extra). Banking/investing? $1 will open an account anywhere; I've had a Fidelity account open for _years_ with only $0.03 in it (I kid you not). Housing too expensive? MOVE already - $100 will get you cheap luggage and a ticket to somewhere affordable (too much stuff to move? sell!) Hungry? ACORN does _not_ have a monopoly on soup kitchens and free pantries. Driver's license? birth certificate? passport? you name it? DMV, Vital Records, Post Office, Department Of You Name It - go there, ask, pay the modest fees (c'mon, you can get >$7/hr to friggin' _sweep_floors_).

if not ACORN, who?

Family.
Church.
State (the rest of us are paying enough in taxes!).

ACORN is not the end-all of helping the "poor".
The real problem is that help starts with the individual; there's plenty of people, food, money, etc. just waiting for the request.

25 posted on 10/16/2009 6:50:17 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (Mr. Obama, I will not join your plantation.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

You can’t “Fix” ACORN. All you can do is kill it. As for the poorest of us, they are about 1000 times the wealthier than the poor of say... China, India, Bangladesh, African... Our Poor would be filthy stinking rich there. Who will take care of the poorest of us? How about those people start TAKING CARE OF THEMSELVES instead of waiting got a HANDOUT?!

How about get up off your fat butt and go create something out of nothing!


26 posted on 10/16/2009 6:53:38 AM PDT by Danae (No political party should pick candidates. That's the voters job.)
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