NEW YORK – Long-time ACORN advocate Bill de Blasio has taken a commanding lead in the New York City mayor’s race, according to the latest poll.
De Blasio, perhaps the most far-left candidate in the race, has a long history with ACORN, the former radical community organizing group that collapsed under scandal in 2010, only to be reborn under various names in cities around the country.
As you may recall, ACORN was defunded several years ago by Congress after a series of videos produced by James O’Keefe showed ACORN employees offering advice to an actor presenting himself as a pimp. One of its affiliates – Project Vote – was caught paying people for the number of voter registrations they collected, which caused some of the canvassers to fabricate registrations.
But ACORN lives on. Its renamed New York branch, New York Communities for Change, has endorsed de Blasio’s candidacy. And why wouldn’t it? He’s been very good to the group.
When de Blasio was a member of the city council, he “sponsored or co-sponsored a total of $115,000 in taxpayer dollars for ACORN and an affiliate, New York Agency for Community Affairs,” according to a 2009 story in the Daily News.
He also hired ACORN’s campaign arm, Citizens Services, Inc. for “field staff,” “consulting,” and “canvassing,” according to the newspaper.
De Blasio has gained the endorsement of the ACORN-created Working Families Party, and subsequently hired the party’s for-profit arm, Data and Field Services, to work on his campaign. He personally was paid $33,000 as a “consultant” for a party affiliate.
In March, Bertha Lewis, the former executive director of ACORN, spoke at a “Women for de Blasio” event.
“I’ve known Bill for decades and we’ve fought on the front lines together. We’ve organized together,” Lewis said.
“[He’s] proud to say he’s liberal. [He’s] proud to say he is severely progressive and was proud to stand with me, to back me, to back ACORN, and said ‘We will march down the street together and I dare you, I dare you, to say something against my friend!’” Lewis shouted.
“We’re going to fight our way to victory,” she added.
With a de Blasio win, ACORN will have a key ally in the mayor’s mansion and an apologist in one of the most influential offices in America.