The CCHD-ACORN relationship suddenly became too embarrassing to ignore, and CCHD announced it was suspending (not canceling) the 2008 grants. But the reason given for suspension was not ACORN's partisan political activity or registration frauds, it was because Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, had embezzled nearly $1 million from the organization and its affiliates back in 1999 and 2000.
CCHD also announced that it has formed a task force to ensure that church funds are spent according to the guidelines of the Bishops Conference's poverty-fighting program. Presumably, the previous millions of dollars given to ACORN were within the conference's guidelines.
Barack Obama knows the political value of ACORN. He gave $800,000 in campaign cash disguised as payments for "advance work" to an Alinsky front group called Citizen Services Inc.
Obama admits he got his start as a community organizer in Chicago, saying it was "the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School." He tries to downplay his connection with ACORN, claiming he worked for churches, but he was trained by Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation and then spent years in the 1980s teaching the Alinsky method to others through several Alinsky offshoots such as Project Vote and Developing Communities Project in Chicago.
Saul Alinsky's son Lee David Alinsky felt compelled to remedy Obama's failure to give proper credit. In a letter to the Boston Globe in August after Obama's open-stadium rally in Denver, the younger Alinsky wrote: "Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday."
Saul Alinsky explained his community organizing tactics in his book "Rules for Radicals." His game plan was to divide the community into the Haves and the Have Nots, make the Have Nots believe they are unjustly treated by the Haves, build resentment against the American social and economic system, use church congregations to mobilize street agitators, and lobby government for higher taxes and big-spending welfare programs in order to confiscate the wealth and power of the Haves and turn it over to the Have Nots.
Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer, "the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom."
Another Alinsky quote seems remarkably prophetic: "Ego must be so all-pervading that the personality of the organizer is contagious, that it converts the people from despair to defiance, creating a mass ego."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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