Great news: ACORN chief doing an awesome job, says … Michael Steele; Report: Embezzlement scandal involved $5 million, not $1 million

posted at 7:13 pm on October 5, 2009 by Allahpundit

It’s come to this.

On September 15, after the Senate voted to defund the community organizing group, Steele released a statement accusing ACORN of “nefarious activities,” saying it uses “illegal means to achieve its ends.” A few days later, on September 24, Steele called for congressional Democrats to investigate the “corrupt organization” and said damage control efforts by ACORN officials were “insulting.”

But during a speaking appearance in the days between issuing those two statements, Steele had kind words for ACORN and its CEO, Bertha Wilson, who happened to be guiding that so-called damage control.

Appearing September 21 at Philander Smith College, a historically black college in Arkansas, the RNC chairman spoke diplomatically of the group and its history of organizing in low-income communities.

“The organization has a problem that it needs to deal with,” Steele told the audience in remarks that were recorded and posted on YouTube over the weekend. “I will say that current head of the organization, she has done a phenomenal job of getting out in front of it. I applaud her. I take her at her word that she wants to make sure that the bad apples are thrown out.”

She did a phenomenal job getting out in front of it by … lying about the offices that turned O’Keefe and Giles away and then calling them racists during her media tour? And those bad apples — how exactly are they going to get thrown out when the internal audit committee is stacked with political cronies? I don’t know how to explain this except to note that Steele’s conscientious about improving minority outreach by the GOP (and rightly so) and maybe figured a full-scale assault on ACORN at a historically black college isn’t the smartest way to do that. But even so, it’s one thing to soft-pedal your criticism — e.g., “I’m sure there are plenty of fine, well-meaning people there” — and another to, um, lie. What happened?

Update: Hey, remember when ACORN founder Wade Rathke was forced out for failing to tell ACORN’s board of directors that his brother embezzled a million dollars? Well, funny thing:

An internal review by the board of directors of the community organization ACORN determined that the amount allegedly embezzled from the community organization was $5 million, well more than the previously reported amount of nearly $1 million, according to a new subpoena in an investigation by Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.

The subpoena, released this afternoon, says, “It is still unclear if some of the monies embezzled are from state, federal or private funds.”…

“Current high ranking members of ACORN have publicly acknowledged that embezzlement did in fact occur, but the exact amount of the embezzlement was unknown until it was recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on Oct. 17, 2008, by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5 million,” the new subpoena says.

“Completely false,” says new ACORN chief Bertha Lewis. Care to comment, Michael Steele?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

The $5 million ACORN embezzlement figure is not new — and the NYT knows it

Michelle on October 5, 2009 at 11:18 PM

Michelle posted this on the QOTD.

FloatingRock on October 5, 2009 at 11:30 PM

But during a speaking appearance in the days between issuing those two statements, Steele had kind words for ACORN and its CEO, Bertha Wilson, who happened to be guiding that so-called damage control

Aha! I’m sure he agrees that Bertha Lewis is a rotten apple. Thank you CNN for your fine investigative reporting! Why, if not for you we’d know nothing about this Bertha Wilson person.

/

Buy Danish on October 5, 2009 at 11:57 PM

But even so, it’s one thing to soft-pedal your criticism — e.g., “I’m sure there are plenty of fine, well-meaning people there” — and another to, um, lie. What happened?

The brothas (and sistas) gotsta stick tagetha.

2Brave2Bscared on October 6, 2009 at 1:13 AM

Heckuva job, Berthie!

Grafted on October 6, 2009 at 1:14 AM

It’s called giving credit where credit is due. ACORN is dead as an organization. It’s over.

That doesn’t mean she didn’t handle it well.

AnninCA on October 5, 2009 at 7:29 PM

What new name will they choose for themselves?

“The king is dead; long live the king!”

unclesmrgol on October 6, 2009 at 1:34 AM

That’s it.

I’m officially for dumping Steele.

Where’s Ken Blackwell?

Where’s Anuzis?

We need to get somebody who KNOWS the VISION and DOES NOT DEVIATE for any reason.

The RNC is a fundraising job primarily.

Sapwolf on October 6, 2009 at 1:35 AM

Oh, Michael, how could you?

gocatholic on October 6, 2009 at 1:48 AM

He is a clean, articulate black man. Isn’t that what Biden said? Oh sorry, wrong one.

leftnomore on October 6, 2009 at 1:53 AM

Jerri Thompson for RNC Chief, STAT!

This guy’s OUR epic fail…

SuperCool on October 6, 2009 at 2:24 AM

But during a speaking appearance in the days between issuing those two statements, Steele had kind words for ACORN and its CEO, Bertha Wilson, who happened to be guiding that so-called damage control

Aha! I’m sure he agrees that Bertha Lewis is a rotten apple. Thank you CNN for your fine investigative reporting! Why, if not for you we’d know nothing about this Bertha Wilson person.

/

Buy Danish on October 5, 2009 at 11:57 PM

Doing the NYT fact checking that Breitbart wont do…

the_nile on October 6, 2009 at 5:08 AM

His remarks do not make sense to be applauding her.
Are Steele and ACORN chief Bertha Lewis personal friends?
Is Steele trying to set up a deal for ACORN to work for Republican candidates?

albill on October 6, 2009 at 6:47 AM

I think something has been taken out of context here. I get all this email stuff from Steele etc and they have been sending me something about ACORN being very naughty and all that.

Terrye on October 6, 2009 at 6:57 AM

There was a time in our land that the Republican Party was made up of people with strong principles. In fact it was founded by people that were willing to give up much, to support those principles.
While rank & file member may still have strong principles to support, to the actual party apparatchik it’s become no more than a corporate job. Those members care more for the corporate pay check & benefits, than any principle.

Jeff from WI on October 6, 2009 at 7:06 AM

sheChoose your prominent conservative voice and insert here wants to make sure that the bad apples are thrown out.”

Mr Steele could have said the same thing in support of a lot of other conservatives. Can you imagine him defending Rush, Hannity, Glen, Michelle, or Joe Wilson by saying “They just want to make sure the bad apples are thrown out of congress!”
RINO’s will say nicer things about libs than they will about those supposedly on their own side.

“… for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” Luke 6:45

JellyToast on October 6, 2009 at 7:36 AM

This guy’s OUR epic fail…

SuperCool on October 6, 2009 at 2:24 AM

The GOP (not to be confused with “we”) is doing the same thing with this talentless liberal schmuck that the Dems are doing with O’Bozo: affirmative action and the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Steele would have a hard time getting my vote for Illinois Governor out of a crowded field in the GOP primary. He’s not a conservative, and he exhibits no particular talent for anything.

Jaibones on October 6, 2009 at 7:42 AM

Exit questions:

If a New Whig party forms (under any name), who will run on the ticket? And will they get more than 20% of the vote?

skydaddy on October 6, 2009 at 8:27 AM

I understand tailoring your words to your audience, but this goes beyond that. It is pandering and that is a sign of weakness. We don’t need weakness at the RNC right now. We need the kind of strength that people can depend on. I’m not seeing that here.

SKYFOX on October 6, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Not a surprize. Someone needs to tell the GOP they’re done.

hogfat on October 6, 2009 at 9:05 AM

http://www.veteranoutrage.com

This is EXATLY why all americans want
to clean out the house and senate
And get rid of ALL of the politiicians

They dont have to balls to do the right thing
They now are also so corrupt they refuse to identify evil
They really think that we will just vote them back in
because they are crappy republicans..

Im serious i also want a third party..
I am sick to death of the corrupt republicans..
i am scared to death of the traitorous democrats..

I want a third party with a viable candidate..

veteranoutrage on October 6, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Micheal…you suck!

will sass u on October 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Only one word sums up Michael Steele…

NEOCON!

BobAnthony on October 6, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3