Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dangerous and unfair Work Conditions? Walmart? Try ACORN!!

ACORN Organizers MUST:

Go door to door ALONE in the dark in high crime neighborhoods.

Work 10 hours a day and 11-4 on Saturday with no overtime.

Work 60 hours (sometimes more) a week for 25,000 a year. (That's 8.68 an hour which is not a living wage anywhere in the Unitied States)

Go door to door no matter the weather conditions (that includes lightning).

Get two members a day in low income neighborhoods who have bank accounts and commit to give $10.00 a month regardless of income.

Collect cash and carry it with them until the end of their workday.

Get arrested when called upon to do so.

BAIL themselves OUT!

Shake down local businesses for money.

Not carry personal protection.

Even when sick go door to door alone no matter the neighborhood.

Work while Sick.

Work without overtime.

Not organize a union.

Manipulate members when necessary.

Not complain about sexual harrassment.

Allow themselves to be the subjects of homophobia, sexual oppression, and even racism by superiors.

Lie to funders.

Lie to members.
Work with other organizers who are abusive and sexist.

Abandon chapters when the members are too poor to raise large amounts of money.

Do outsourced work for Unions at wages that are below union wages and living wages.

Wait for their paychecks for months after they resign, quit, or are fired.

Tolerate never getting reimbursed for personal expenses (mileage,cell phone,copies)

Tolerate money for community organizing being placed into accounts set aside for political action.

Allow their staff to be hired guns for whatever effort their supervisor determines important.

to be continued..............

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Rath of Wade

A typical staff meeting with Rathke or any of his sychophants (Helene O'Brien, any of the regional heads, etc...), usually involves Wade rolling out his latest political brainstorm ala George Lucas with him as the emporer and Helene as Darth Vadar. He then stops at the end and says "so what do people think" "anyone have any other ideas". Some fool raises their hand (usually on staff under two years) and asks for a clarification in a way that hints critique or worse someone says "hey I've got an idea". Helene's eyes look past the person with disdain. The peanut gallery starts to chuckle and then Wade says something like "anyone else" totally ignoring the person or he rips them to shreds with some statement like "any ther creative ideas" with a smirk. You see from this point on it is as if Vadars mind grip starts to stranglke the person, everyone else stops talking ot the person, they aren't invited to lunch anymore.

ACORN is a dictatorship of the petit bourgeoisie and the select members of the trust fund inteligensia. Dilettantes at best, rich kids playing revolutionary while they can afford to. Rathke is no true "organizer" nor has he ever been. You see no grassroots organizer goes into a community and creates a groundswell to support his or her own agenda. An organizer is called on by a group indigenous and legitimately representative of it's demographic. ACORN started wrong and has been wrong ever since. ACORN has always been an alien invader. Like the Nile Perch destroys Lake Victoria in Tanzania ACORN usually creates politically brckish conditions and chokes out indigenous grassroots groups.

If Rathke wants something he will throw organizers at it until it sticks. Proclaiming either they are with us or against us. Sound familiar? He treats staff the same. ACORN organizers often joke about drinking the kool aid. Wonder what they are talking about? Lets see.

Cult characteristics:
Work for little or nothing
Put yourself in danger for the group or be pushed out
Give all connection to any former friends or family
Be willing to move anywhere your told or be pushed aside
New recruits are preferably green with no previous thoughts or experience
Recruits are sponges for the commands of others and have little impule to think for themselves

Wow sounds like ACORN.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What Wade Rathke and Rudy have in common

Lets see,

Rudy was told not to put the command center in the trade centers after it was attacked and he did so anyway.

People have questioned the intelligence of the centralized power of ACORN in one office of ryears and Wade refused to listen.

A catclysmic event hit New York and Rudy was shut down and took months to get the city moving again.

Wade Rathke centralized all pay roll, benefits, bank accounts, communications (email), and operations in New Orleans. Result ACORN on it's knees for months. Paychecks for hundreds late, communication sucks, the whole organization frozen. Reaction? Let's rebuild it the same way?

Rudy flies along with America's sympathy because he happened to be Mayor during 911. Wade is bleeding the foundations dry by being the non profit that weathered Katrina. Getting all kinds of cash to rebuild. Rolling out staff members (paid staff) to speak on camera and in documentaries as affected ACORN members. In fact if anyone dares us we can point out how almost every ACORN picture consists of ACORN staff holding signs and leading the way. They actually are shit when it comes to engaging members.

Most Liberty tax protests involved staff swarming an office and releasing it as "spontaneous public anger". We know. One of the first things we ever did as staff was get ordered to go by oneself and disrupt Liberty tax site so the boss could claim it as yet another protest in the nationwide movement against Liberty.

Object as Wade has said? "Get them to give us money change a couple of corporate policies and we will go away".
What is amazing is that no one has seemed to be willing to call his bluff. I know this a gimme to the opposition but somebody tell this a$$hole NO!!. Why as a progressive do I say that? Shakedowns aren't progressive. No power is built like that. Further? ACORN has walked away winning nothing but money in the past. No moral victory. Wade should earn his paycheck.

Wade is using Hurricane Katrina to excuse away ACORN bullsh#t that happened before Katrina. Staff retention, office closures 1000 miles away? All problems before the storm.

Rudy and Wade are peanut butter and jelly.

ACORN doesn't fall far from the tree

Vertical Management? How could something called ACORN be governed from the top. An ACORN gtows from the bottom up.

Not this ACORN. This ACORN mandates cookie cutter production from every orifice. Also, ACORNs sprout individual trees. Not this ACORN. This ACORN ecpects every tree to grow the same no matter the soil, availability of water, sunlight etc..

Translation? ACORN mandates all organizers go door to door and get two members a day by getting a bank acount number or 30 bucks from every member. Period. No matter the community. No matter the unemployment rate, no matter the danger, no mattter the demographic make up of the area.

All organizers must organize a chapter with 100 members, a meeting that yields 100 participants, and a victory in a neighborhood with 1000 affected households.
No matter that some communities have 25 percent unemployment, no matter that some communties do not contain neighborhoods of 1000 working class households.

Now you go and look at an area that is mostly migrant workers. These are poor people, right? These are affected people right? Well not according to top management at ACORN. Why are you organizing "those people" is the cry. "They are transient, and they don't have bank accounts". "You need to focus on homeowners and citizens."

You think ACORN will ever own up to that one in public? Not likely. In fact they brag about great work done to organize immigrant communities and then shut down the operations. Look into it. See if it is true.

ACORN looses Project Vote money in an area? Offices start to close like falling dominos. Now if ACORN is going to be a move one .org or the like then fine. BUT, if they want to continue to pretend to be a "grassroots organization" THAT is BULLSH#T. What many critics say is true about ACORN being a tool of the Democratic Party. The ironic part is that ACORN is screwing the Dems and the GOP. How? They don't do a thorough job of any of the crap they sell the Dems. IF the GOP were smart they would shut up. ACORN is ripping off the Dems blind and we can prove it.

Money for organizing shuffled in to ACORN political accounts (a big no no) and money for project vote shifted to organizing (another no no). They do it all the time. Their accountants fix it later.

In the end shitty VR and Get out the vote operations and lame organizing are the result. If the Dems were smart they would invest their money in traditional grassroots orgs with a track record of performance in one geographic area that sticks. ACORN moves into Ohio or Colorado like gangbusters and promises the Dems the moon and the stars and what do they get? A bunch of idiots trading crack for fake signatures and protesting offices demanding pay. And did it win Ohio for them in 2004? I would say not.

They promised the Dems if they funded (through the back door) a minimum wage campaign in Florida in 2004 it would deliver the state. The facts? Wasn't event close. 150,000 votes? Way worse than 2000. They did raise the minimum wage in Florida and tricked the Dems into bankrolling it so I guess they can smugly claim some victory. But getting a progressive or working class liberal vote at the polls? Their Get Out The Vote Effort sucks. Vans sat in parking lots prepaid while ACORN political twiddled for three weeks becuase their logistical vertical management in New Orleans sucked. Instead of empowering the individual teams to negotiate and manage getting vehicles in their area they choose to put one idiot who had no background in procurmenent in charge. That happens all time in ACORN. People with ZERO experience doing things that should be done by professionals? Seems the Dems would want to know a certain amount of professionalism was involved.

No vehicles were stolen by staff on benders, people with no allegiance to a progressive movement hired into management positions who later show up on the Rush Limbaugh show falsely accusing ACORN of all kinds of dastardly crap. The fault here isn't the false accusations. The fault here is building a team with no training or commitment and then being suprised when they show up in the national spotlight trading crack for signatures. Do ya get it Wade? Some of us out here no what we are talking about. We lived it for ever. Wade the fault is you allow 22 year old kids with no background in this work to be catipulted into management positions in three months. Positions that require some people to training? Like Regional political Director, or Head Organizer? The crime here is the young Head organizer crying her eyes out to fellow staff saying "why am I in this position, I don't know what I am doing". Want affadavits we can get them?

The crime here is that mahy foundations have invested alot of money into trusting ACORN to build a movement. The problem is? You are tearing it down Wade. By the way, quite a liberal three decades ACORN helped to usher in. NOT!!

ACORN is like the Nick Nolte in "Thin Red Line" demanding a group of soldiers rush the top of the hill over the radio and refusing to hear the troop leader reporting back "we are pinned down, we are out of ammunition, we are dying like flies" and Nolte responding "You get the hell up that hill soldier or you will be court martialed" or better yet like the commander that sends in a airstrike that hits his own soldiers rather than the enemy. THat is ACORN, THat is Wade Rathke.

Monday, July 9, 2007

ACORN the WALMART of Community Organizations

Quote from Wade Rathke 2006 at a staff meeting:

"Do you realize we could go to India and purchase a labor union with 10,000 members for 150,00 dollars". "Now you understand why I travel to South Africa, India, Hong Kong".

Justification? This is how we fight WALMART?

Rathke actually has a dream that one day thousands of radicals will follow him like Lenin into a Gulag. That is the real truth.

The real ACORN is about building power. During training organizers are told "it doens't matter what your members want to fight for as long as ACORN builds power".

Anyone in the grassroots organizing community see a problem with this?

ACORN also only sets up shop where they will have little if any power struggle. They only set up in Big Cities that tend to have liberal Democratic City governments. Why? You think the skinflint Rathke is going ot invest in Tupelo? Aint gonna Happen. Grassroots organizing was created by white people who were allegedly trying ot find the proper role for educated and privileged whites within the movement. As Gary Delgado points out (A Latino ACORN manager) for 9 years, the structure of ACORN lends itself to the organizer having supreme control through staying behind the scenes. You don't see Bill Gates out on the street peddling Microsoft and the organizer is trained to try various methods to "get the members to do what we want, even if that means manpulation". That is from an ACORN field manual.

Rathke has structured ACORN to do his bidding from the word go.

ACORN goes into cities that have long traditions of organizing and basically pretends they don't see anyone else on the landscape. They then go about the business of trying ot run the mom and pop local organizations out of existence.

How is that different from Walmart? It isn't.
When members start talking about gay rights the organizer is instructed to act behind the scenes to steer the conversation elsewhere. Talk about choice same tactic.

Just like Walmart ACORN sells itself as good stuff for cheap to the Democratic party. The fools then invest in them. Yet they garner very little results. Their voter registration campaign in 2004 where millions upon millions were syphoned from liberal sources to get out the vote.

Are the Dems happy with the results of these efforts in 04? I should hope not. Angry staff members across the country were breaking office equipment and holding press conferences about not getting paid. Rathke response? "Conservative propaganda". I wish it were true it isn't.
Police were called in offices across the country because of angry staff. Check it out, this is true. High quality? If you call thousands of VR Cards turned in across the USA toolate to vote high quality, then go ahead keep feeding the Rathke machine.

Gee sounds kind of like WALMART. Sh!tty pay, low price products, low quality products. Disgruntled staff and customers have been took, bamboozled, ya been had. Rathke looks like a pro. With his NorthFace camping clothes and his blackberry checking into the finest hotels on the planet. What a guy. His salary? Don't even ask. He and his family have syphoned off millions.

The Real ACORN

What ACORN is? A sham. The call themselves direct ACTION. But they do staged events aimed only at extorting money out of their target. The second they get the cash they are sucking ass.

They claim to be a progressive grassroots member run organization. They are nothing of the sort.

They aren't pro-choice, they aren't pro gay rights, they aren't against the death penalty. The white trust fund IVY league managers of ACORN, mange members that can be manipulated. They also manage a staff that can't afford to disagree with the mangement. If they do they are run out on a rail.

ACORN is never an indigenous force. From the start it was a white guy driving to Little Rock AR and creating ACORN. A guy (Wade Rathke) the son of a wealthy accountant who has a Napoleon complex as thin as the Napster was short. From the start he surrounded himself with sycophants who did his bidding. His national management? White. Thirty years out and it is still white. It always will be.

ACORN tells foundations they have hundreds of chapters when applying for grants. Truth be told? Most of those chapters have been inactive for years. They show dots on maps where offices are and insiders know many of those offices are closed or only have a mortgage lending staff that hasd nothing ot do with organizing.

Their staff are sexually harrassed and often treated in an abusive manner that is characteristic of ACORN management. Staff are often told to lie to members in order to get money. Female and staff are forced to knock doors after dark in dangerous neighborhoods. This isn't done to build self confidence it is done to save money. We know staff members who have been forced to sleep with their managers with no reprimand from management. ACORN staff tend to be heavy drinkers. Stress drinkers.

What ACORN is is the exact opposite of what it pretends to be.
Grassroots? No! They go into communities where there is already community organizing going on and set up shop.
Direct Action? When? Where? Go leaflet Walmart till you get thrown out? please.
Pro-union? Every organizer who ever even suggested a union for ACORN staff was ran out on a rail.

ACORN for a living wage? Not for ACORN staff. 520.83 per week before taxes. That is a 60 hour week. That means ACORN organizers get paid 8.68 per hour. Wow what a living wage that is. What do Union organizers get paid? Don't even ask.

Retention of Minority staff? Dismal! How can struggling low income families take care of their kids? Thye can't? 60 hours? 11:00 am to 9:00 pm? Pick up the kids from school forget it. Make dineer for kids? Forget it? Make the choice to have kids? No way. Unless you are in the upper echelons of ACORN then you drag your screaming kid to staff meetings and expect everyone to go goo gaga and say "isn't that cute?" It isn't. It is insulting.

Meanwhile Wade Rathke is staying at the finest hotels on every continent.

ACORN is the WALMART of community organizing. If you watch this website. You will get the up to the minute inside dope on ACORN. This isn't coming from some conservative hack out to hurt the movement. This comes from the inside in hopes ACORN will grow up and learn that organizing isn't hundreds of yes men and women marching to the tune of one lone global traveller.