Friday, September 12, 2008

Wade- Wading in high water-over head

So how does it feel Wade? To bust your ass to build ACORN and have it turn and rip your lungs out? Guess what? Now you know how it feels to be treated the way you have treated so many good organizers over the years. The difference? You deserve it!

Let us be clear. Wade has cut so many good honest organizers loose over the years for being honest. He has cut them loose for building memberships that were independent strong and out of his control. He has cut them loose for merely asking critical questions. Now? He has been cut loose by neccessity as a result of his felonious and injurious self serving bullshit.

How does it feel to have Bertha Lewis state to the NY Times "we asked him to leave and he just keeps hanging around"? How does it feel to have the board turn against you? Maybe some organizing went on in ACORN over the years after all. Seems like that organizing was done by someone else not you. Guess who?

Wade, find a good bar or a drug dealer to self medicate yourself. So many of us have sat on the outside of the work we built looking in, while you have defamed and desecrated the work we have done and worse kept us from getting new jobs. Now it is your turn. At first I thought it was kind of sad to see you in this position (guess the brain washing hadn't worn off yet) now I am sad that you aren't in jail. At the end of the day Wade, this confirms what so many on the left have said about the ACORN house you built. That employees are being treated like sweatshop workers. That local organizations are expendable when you need thier money. That organizers routinely are asked to lie to their members and like it or they are sent packing.

Many people are right now being black listed by other liberal groups that still have ties to you Wade. They are being shit talked by you and your minions and treated like they are the ones that committed a crime. Well my friend, the WORM HAS TURNED. Your shit talking will now be more like an endorsement. Some of us didn't sit and cry inour beer Wade! Some of us have decided to continue organizing the communities they worked in and organizing within ACORN. So what do yhou think? Do you get it yet?

Below is the newest from the NY Times:

stated here two months ago that Rahtke was refusing to go! NY TIMES REPORTS:Lawsuit Adds to Turmoil for Community GroupBy STEPHANIE STROMPublished: September 9, 2008Correction AppendedIn the wake of an embezzlement scandal that rocked the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn, two of its board members are seeking a court order to force it to hand over financial documents.They also are seeking to sever what they describe as continuing ties between Acorn and its founder, Wade Rathke, who resigned after it became public this summer that his brother had embezzled almost $1 million from the organization eight years ago. They contend that Mr. Rathke continues to direct the staff and expenditures.“Acorn will suffer irreparable harm if the defendants are not restrained from contact with employees, expending and receiving, destroying or prohibiting the review of accounting and other data necessary to fulfill the fiduciary responsibility of the interim management committee,” the board members, Marcel Reid and Karen Inman, stated in the petition. Both serve on a committee established to lead Acorn.The suit cites their concerns that money is being spent improperly and that important documents are being destroyed. It was filed on behalf of the entire 51-member board, but Acorn executives and some board members say Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman had no authority to file the suit or to claim to represent the board.Acorn contends that Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman are trying to engineer a takeover, and on Tuesday, it demanded that the petition be withdrawn.“We found ourselves after the fact having filed a lawsuit against ourselves,” said the Rev. Gloria Swieringa, a board member who leads the Maryland affiliate. “It was not authorized nor did we know anything about it until this firestorm over it erupted.”The suit is a sign of the turmoil that has rocked Acorn since the embezzlement by Dale Rathke, Wade Rathke’s brother, was revealed to the board in June.The embezzlement, which Acorn said involved $948,607.50, was discovered in 2000 but concealed by senior executives until a whistle-blower told a foundation leader about it in May.Wade Rathke was forced to step down as chief organizer, the top executive position. However he remained the chief organizer of Acorn International, which shares offices in Acorn’s headquarters in New Orleans. The Rathke family pledged to repay Acorn.“Even though his relationship with Acorn has been terminated,” the petition says of Wade Rathke, “he continues to meet with staff members regarding this” — the embezzlement — “and other governance issues which impeded the ability of the interim management committee to perform its function.”Bertha Lewis, who was appointed interim chief organizer when Mr. Rathke stepped down, said the lawsuit was unnecessary. But Ms. Lewis echoed concerns about Mr. Rathke’s continued involvement, saying Acorn had asked him to leave its offices.“Mr. Rathke stubbornly refuses to do that, so he sort of haunts that office, tries to talk to folks doing their work,” she said.Mr. Rathke said he had no role in managing Acorn. “I was with the organization for 38 years, and there are many people I hired and supervised, and I have great relationships with them,” he said. “I haven’t been involved in supervising them. Are they saying that simply because I breathe, I exist, they have a problem?”The suit put the extent of Dale Rathke’s embezzlement at “an amount that may exceed one million dollars,” more than the amount disclosed this summer.James Austin Gray II, the lawyer who filed the petition, said the board had passed two resolutions in the summer authorizing the management committee to hire legal counsel. “The board is just trying to do its fiduciary duty,” Mr. Gray said.Ms. Reid declined to comment, and Ms. Inman did not respond to messages on her mobile phone.Coya Mobley, a board member representing Ohio, said that she recalled those resolutions and that in her mind, they gave Ms. Inman and Ms. Reid authority to file the petition for the board.Acorn executives and some board members, however, said the resolutions did not give permission for a lawsuit. Over the last couple of weeks, Ms. Lewis has worked to get board members to withdraw the petition through a process under Acorn’s bylaws that allows polling by phone. She said 35 members had submitted written forms ordering the petition’s withdrawal, while 12 elected to continue seeking court intervention. Three members could not be reached, and one refused to cast a vote.“I want answers,” said Ms. Mobley, who first opposed the suit but then voted to continue it. “Why are they still negotiating with Wade Rathke? Why are the people on staff who knew about this embezzlement still on the staff?”Ms. Lewis said that she understood that some board members were impatient but that the committee and board were working as fast as they could.“I think the people who filed this petition probably had very good intentions,” she said, “and I lay this at the feet of a lawyer who acted precipitously.”

Sunday, August 17, 2008


ACORN Whistle Blowers Multiply, Drummond Pike Buys Off Embezzlement, Rathke takes leave of absence from Tides Foundation

Head of Foundation Bailed Out Nonprofit Group After Its Funds Were Embezzled
New article from NY TImes revelas multiple Whistle Blowers working to shed light on Rathke attempt to avoid the Embezzlement issue:


Published: August 16, 2008When the embezzlement of almost $1 million by the brother of the founder of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as Acorn, surfaced last month, the organization announced that an anonymous supporter had agreed to make it whole.That supporter was Drummond Pike, the founder and chief executive of the Tides Foundation, which channels money to what it describes as progressive nonprofits, including some Acorn charitable affiliates.Mr. Pike is a friend of Wade Rathke, the founder of Acorn and its leader until the scandal broke, and he agreed to buy the promissory note that required the Rathke family to repay Acorn the money that Mr. Rathke’s brother, Dale, had stolen.Mr. Rathke is a member of the board of the Tides Foundation and other Tides-related organizations.Since 2000, the Tides Foundation has provided more than $400 million to nonprofit groups, with much of that money flowing out of donor-controlled accounts it manages in the same way that the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund or a community foundation does.John A. Powell, board chairman of the Tides Network, the umbrella organization for various Tides affiliates, wrote in an e-mail message to The Times that Tides had no involvement in the matter and that none of its money was used to buy the Rathke family’s debt to Acorn.He said Mr. Rathke was on a leave of absence from all Tides boards.In 2000, Acorn discovered that Dale Rathke had embezzled $948,507.50 from it and affiliated charitable organizations. The management committee that controlled the organization decided not to alert law enforcement officials, and negotiated an agreement with the Rathke family to repay the money.That agreement was carried on the books of an affiliate, Citizens Consulting Inc., as a loan to an officer. Sometime in June, Mr. Pike bought the loan from the affiliate, according to e-mail messages between senior executives at Acorn that were provided to a reporter by Acorn employees, who requested anonymity because they feared losing their jobs.Mr. Pike refused to confirm or deny that he had bought the note. “As a rule, I do not comment on my personal finances,” he wrote in e-mail messages in answer to questions about the deal.But e-mail messages among Acorn’s senior executives discuss how to keep Mr. Pike’s identity secret, even as they acknowledge that some of the foundations and philanthropic advisers that have supported Acorn and its affiliates know that he bought the note.“Does Drummond know the word is out?” Steven Kest, the executive director of Acorn, wrote on July 4. “If not, shouldn’t someone tell him?”In a July 12 e-mail message to Mr. Kest, Acorn’s political director, Zach Pollett, wrote: “I talked to Drummond on this yesterday and had Beth Kingsley” — Acorn’s lawyer — “prepare a ‘keep your yaps shut’ confidentiality memo to people at Acorn and CCI.”Charles D. Jackson, a spokesman for Acorn, said the organization would not comment on the purchaser of the note.Acorn’s board members and senior executives have signed confidentiality pledges that forbid them from disclosing Mr. Pike’s identity or discussing the purchase agreement, according to three Acorn contributors who asked to see the agreement but were told they would have to similarly pledge confidentiality. They declined.But a handful of executives at foundations that have contributed to Acorn and Tides have learned through connections at those organizations that Mr. Pike was the buyer.