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Sunday, October 26, 2008
Vadum Falsely Smears ACORN As Linked to Weather Underground
Topic: The ConWeb

The Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum likens ACORN to terrorists by titling his new CRC report "ACORN: Who Funds the Weather Underground's Little Brother?" Vadum doesn't bother to support his suggestion that ACORN is tied to terrorism -- in fact, he demonstrates it's not true.

(Vadum promoted his report in an Oct. 25 NewsBusters post.) 

The sole piece of evidence Vadum provides that's even related to the claim: ACORN founder Wade Rathke was a member in the 1960s of Sudents for a Democratic Society, a group that later splintered, one faction becoming the Weather Undreground. But Vadum specifically states that Rathke was among "[t]hose who rejected terrorist violence" -- that is, he was not a part of the Weather Underground.

Nevertheless, Vadum goes on to smear ACORN as a "sibling" of the Weather Underground.

Vadum also clings to the discredited idea that the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act -- which he claims "opened up banking to ACORN-style
agitation" -- led to the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, only about 20 percent of today's subprime housing loans were made by lending institutions not subject to the CRA.

Vadum again claims that Project Vote was "an ACORN affiliate" in 1992 when Barack Obama directed a Project Vote voter registration drive," adding that "Obama supporters tried to confuse the issue" by claiming otherwise. In his NewsBusters post, he writes that the claim is " fave of Seth Colter Walls at the Huffington Post." That's a reference to Walls ciriticizing and debunking Vadum's previous attacks on ACORN (which, peripherally, resulted in Vadum attempting a lame beatdown on us for agreeing with Walls).

But now, as then, Vadum offers no evidence to support his claim that Project Vote was "part of ACORN" in 1992. As ACORN itself stated, "At that time, Project Vote had no more connection to ACORN than it did with dozens of other national and local organizations with which it partnered on local registration drives. In 1994, over a year after Obama left Project Vote, ACORN and Project Vote began working much more closely together." Vadum neither mentions nor contradicts ACORN's statement; instead, he claims that such factual defenses are an effort "to confuse the issue."

That Vadum thinks facts "confuse the issue" -- on top of his headline smear -- says all we need to know about Vadum's partisan agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 26, 2008 12:31 PM EDT

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