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Report Raises Questions About Use of ACORN's Funds (Fox News)

Author: FoxNews.com
Date Published: October 22nd, 2008

ACORN was drawing new scrutiny Wednesday after an internal memo surfaced that raised concerns about whether the low-income advocacy organization improperly used charitable dollars for political purposes.
The memo, written by Washington lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley, delved into ACORN's relationship with Project Vote, a group Barack Obama worked with in Chicago in the mid-'90s.

The memo, according to a report in The New York Times, said the close ACORN-Project Vote ties make it impossible to determine whether Project Vote's funds were used only for non-partisan purposes, as the law requires. The two organizations work together on voter registration drives.

The memo also addressed concerns about money transfers among ACORN affiliates and potential conflicts caused by employees of multiple affiliates, and it gave a different account from the organization of the embezzlement of almost $1 million by the brother of ACORN's founder, according to the Times report.

Bertha Lewis, ACORN's top executive, told the Times the group is looking into the report and has "taken everything [Kingsley] said in the report very seriously."

ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson released a statement Wednesday saying the memo shows the organization was taking a responsible look at its own operation.

"Contrary to the implications of today's story, this internal report is an example of an organization and its board taking comprehensive steps to improve its governance and ensure that its work is conducted in accordance with all appropriate laws. Nowhere in the report is there any hint that our work was being conducted outside the letter of the law," he said.


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