Watch out! ACORN is back -- in all but its name.I guess the fact the First Lady has teamed up with Wal-Mart hasn't helped their image yet. You would think giving "working people" shopping options isn't in the best interest of the unions. Well, not everybody is looking the other way.
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.
NYCC agreed. "Fix Our Schools, Don't Close 'Em," it declared.
I'm glad we can help people who provide a valuable service. I'll take help wherever I can get it to help working people. God knows the mayor isn't looking after them," UFT president Michael Mulgrew said.
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."Well, most of the media will be. Or they'll just ignore this story. As they do with Walmart philanthropy that does far more to help New Yorkers than these union goons do.
Walmart has spread its philanthropic wealth to local community groups ahead of its campaign to open its first megastore in New York City, The Post has learned.No wonder the teacher's unions so desperately want to stop them.
The Walmart Foundation has contributed $9 million to 40 Big Apple organizations over the past three years.
And the Walton Foundation -- a separate arm of Walmart's founding family -- has contributed more than $3 million to New York charter schools and education-reform groups in recent years, records show.