Michelle Malkin

The risk the banks bear is the price they pay to keep ACORN protesters and Hispanic lobbyists from the National Council of La Raza screaming about "predatory lending" off their backs. These professional grievance-mongers have turned the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act -- which forced lenders to sacrifice underwriting standards for "diversity" -- into lucrative "business" opportunities. Or rather, politically correct blackmail.

As the Consumer Rights League noted in a 2008 report on the group's successful shakedowns of financial institutions, "an agreement with Citibank, a significant ACORN donor and partner, showed that some activists become less active when deals are in place."

In the wake of the sting videos, ACORN officials are making a great show of clamoring for "reform." ACORN chief executive Bertha Lewis blamed the debacles across the country on the "indefensible action of a handful of our employees." But the corruption is systemic. ACORN has long thrown rank-and-file operatives under the bus to cover for its management's indefensible conduct. And ACORN's highly touted advisory watchdogs include inherently conflicted foxes guarding the henhouse:

ACORN advisory council member Henry Cisneros resigned from his post as Clinton HUD Secretary after lying to FBI agents about payments to a former mistress.

ACORN advisory council member Andy Stern is president of the SEIU, the Big Labor organization plagued by embezzlement scandals and inextricably linked to ACORN's disgraced founder Wade Rathke.

And ACORN advisory council member Eric Eve of Citigroup is a champion of the ACORN/Citibank illegal alien loan program that openly undermines immigration laws and integrity in banking.

The truth is more sordid than any fictional scenarios caught on tape: ACORN is a corrupt enterprise.

Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

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