Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'Warning: Do not Answer Phones Without Getting Important, New Directions from America. It Is Better to Let Them Ring!!!'

Behind the scenes at the new and improved ACORN office in Brooklyn. You think these folks are feeling a little disoriented ever since they've been exposed as a criminal enterprise?
"They're reinventing themselves," the source said. "The old brand is toxic, and so they have to reinvent themselves in order to apply for funding and start their operation all over again.

"They couldn't raise any money. All of their funders -- the money was dried up. All of their benefactors refused to give them funds under the ACORN banner."

The source said ACORN called a private meeting last month of friends and closely affiliated politicians to announce the makeover.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes launched a probe into the local ACORN branch in September after The Post revealed that two activists disguised as a pimp and a prostitute were able to solicit financial advice on starting a brothel.

Other ACORN affiliates, including offices in Baltimore, Washington and San Bernardino, Calif., were exposed in the hidden-camera sting.

A spokesman for Hynes yesterday said the investigation is ongoing.

Shortly after news of the scandal broke, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn froze all new city funds earmarked for ACORN, and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began investigating the grants state lawmakers have given the group.

Congress also shut off much of the group's public funds.

At the Brooklyn office yesterday, a makeshift sign let visitors know the office now belongs to New York Communities for Change.

A bizarre sign hung above a receptionist's phone read, "Warning: Do not answer phones without getting important, new directions from America. It is better to let them ring!!!"

Workers would not speak to a Post reporter, referring all questions to the spokesman.

ACORN last night released a statement saying that Bertha Lewis, who founded the labor-backed Working Families Party -- which is closely affiliated with ACORN -- is still the group's national CEO, but will not have a position in the new, local group.
They shouldn't be too concerned, however. They still have friends in low places.

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