Acorn is back — in all but its name.
Backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars in union donations, New York Communities for Change — a rebranded version of the controversial organization that closed up shop amid several scandals — is acting again as labor’s attack dog on controversial issues.
NYCC took over ACORN’s office on Nevins Street in Brooklyn, shares some of the same board members and uses its membership lists and other resources.
The “new” organization also fights to provide and preserve affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers.
But when NYCC has to choose between low-income consumers and unions, it dances to Big Labor’s tune.
Consider Walmart’s bid to open in New York City. It would offer discounted prices, which would disproportionately benefit the poorest New Yorkers.
But instead NYCC has joined the campaign to block Walmart because it is a non-union shop that would compete with unionized stores. That puts NYCC on the same page as Stuart Appelbaum, head of the National Retail, Wholesale and Department Store union — not all those low-income consumers.
“A Walmart in Brooklyn?!? NO THANKS,” NYCC says on its Web site.
Meanwhile the United Federation of Teachers gave NYCC more than $200,000 last year — a big chunk of the advocacy group’s budget — to help organize child-care workers and parents.
NYCC’s views on education mirrors the UFT’s.
The UFT last year opposed the city’s attempt to close 20 failing schools and replace them with new schools with new principals and teachers.
According to NYCC documents, unions pumped about $300,000 into its coffers last year, and the group expects them to contribute $473,915 this year and $651,633 next year, a significant portion of its budget.
Lawyer Randy Mastro, who has battled leaders of the ACORN-tied Working Families Party in court over alleged campaign finance violations, said, “It takes more than a name change to avoid the stigma of ACORN. Nobody is going to be fooled.”
*****Wrong, The American Public has been fooled again by this President and his handlers.*****