Paterson suspends ACORN contracts in New York

Well, what does he care?  David Paterson has as much chance of winning re-election in New York as George W Bush has of becoming governor of California, even with ACORN at his side.  Suspending their contracts won’t do any damage, and even ACORN publicly supports the idea for now:

In another blow to ACORN, Gov. Paterson put a hold Friday on all state contracts with the embattled anti-poverty agency.

Paterson’s budget director and director of state operations ordered agencies not to move forward on contracts with the group.

The hold will stay in place during a 30-day review of $400,000 worth of state contracts with ACORN and its parent, New York Agency for Community Affairs.

While the national spokesperson, Bertha “Baghdad Bob” Lewis, fulminates over the latent racism of suspending federal funds to an organization caught on tape in numerous locations offering advice on tax evasion, the New York ACORN office appears to be playing long ball:

NY ACORN President Pat Boone said he has no problem with Paterson’s move.

“We welcome the governor’s review and are confident he will find that every state dollar we’ve received went directly to combating New York’s foreclosure crisis and helping tens of thousands of low-income New Yorkers access the Earned Income Tax Credit,” Boone said.

Boone has grasped the mood more clearly than Lewis and is strategizing for the next round of Survivor: Community Organizer.  Lewis has made herself into a national joke with bold assertions of ACORN offices that sniffed out the hoax, only to get humiliated as offices she named — New York City and San Diego among them — got burned on video.  Boone will play along for a while to see how bad the damage gets, and leave his credibility intact when the time is right to pressure Paterson to restore funding.

ACORN should consider giving Lewis the boot and promoting Boone to the top spot.  If more of Lewis’ predictions blow up in her face, I don’t doubt they will.  If they want to get the funding spigot reopened, ACORN will have to make some public changes, and that would be the first place a rational organization would choose.

Eventually, though, New York will reinstate the contracts regardless.  The Democrats need ACORN too badly to let them starve for funds, and Democrats control the state purse.  However, it’s a mark of how far ACORN has fallen that Paterson would cut the funds off even temporarily — and ACORN would support the decision.