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September 17, 2009

Bertha the Hutt: "We've seen this behavior before. They used to lynch us."

ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis says so in part 5 of this interview on a leftwing Sirius channel.

Yesterday I said that ACORN was merely following the corporate crisis management playbook. That was wrong for two reasons.

First of all, I implied that the crisis management was nothing but PR spin. In most cases, that's not true -- the PR aspect works in tandem with the actually-fixing-the-problem aspect. Most corporations, unless they are fundamentally unreformable, fundamentlally corrupt, or fundamentally suicidal, will endeavor to fix the problem that's caused the existential crisis. They are working hard behind the scenes, which you can't see, to fix things; the PR effort is there to convince the public they're working hard behind the scenes. In most cases this is not merely spin or deception; it's just the only way to communicate what is, by its nature, invisible and unseen by the public.

In most cases, that is. Not in ACORN's case, which brings up the second point.

ACORN is not in fact following the crisis management playbook, because among the rules of crisis management are:

1) Don't spin.

2) Don't blame others for your mistakes.

3) Accept full responsibility.

And the reason for those rules is simple: 1, you have to convince the public you're really serious about fixing the crisis-causing problem, and 2, you have to actually be really serious about fixing the problem if you're actually going to fix it, and obviously if you're tossing out a series of excuses and external scapegoats, how serious can you really be? The fact you're doing that is proof positive you have not in fact come to terms with the fact that you are at fault and you need to change.

ACORN puts on a show about an "independent audit" (conducted by a couple of people actually on ACORN's board, and a Soros-paid idiot, and etc., etc.) but is simultaneously telling other audiences that there is no problem here except the problems that racists are causing.

This is not Big Bertha's first claim to this effect -- and it's not her first claim since supposedly ACORN Got Right With Jesus and decided to reform itself. Even as she's putting out press releases claiming that in three months time, she'll fix all the problems her damn self, she's out there claiming to left-wing audiences that this is nothing but a lynching.

I think we can see from that precisely how series Big Bertie is about fixing the problem.

Unlike genuine crisis management, this effort is purely PR. There is no behind the scenes will to fix things. Oh, I'm sure her workers will be told "Don't talk to white kids posing as improbably fresh-faced street-whores."

But that is not fixing the problem. That is simply attempting to protect the organization from further exposure of the problems.

I have to say, once again, ACORN is being paid to provide tax advice. Even if you toss out the fact that their workers were providing tax advice to child sex-slavers, did anyone get the feeling these were competent individuals giving out sound tax advice?

Or did it seem like these were people with two hours of training and handbook which they had to consult every ten minutes?

The latter, of course. And on top of all that, the advice consisted chiefly of methods of tax evasion and fraudulent filings.

We're supposed to pay for this service? Wouldn't any low-income tax filer have a better chance of getting things right working it out on his own? Even such a person's mistakes would be closer to the mark than what these "IRS partners" advise.

One last point: ACORN crows about how many people it has helped get affordable housing. By "partnering" with banks and helping people fill out mortgage applications and so forth.

Consider the advice they gave regarding taxes.

Now consider all the fraudulent mortgage applications filed by low-income people who bought homes they couldn't possibly afford.

Now consider that such people seemed to know the "right" things to claim on their mortgage applications, the "right" level of income that would justify a mortgage without seeming absurd, etc.

I do not think it is too speculative to hazard a guess that the sort of lie-to-beat-the-system tax "advice" that we as taxpayers paid for is precisely the same kind of lie-to-beat-the-system mortgage application advice.

That we also paid for. Twice. Once when we paid ACORN to provide it, five years later when the system collapsed due to a massive wave of nonpayment of mortgages.


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posted by Ace at 11:51 AM

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