Mighty Oafs From Little ACORNs Grow
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From the San Antonio Express-News:
Cisneros advising ACORN in crisis
By Gilbert Garcia - Express-News

Former Mayor Henry Cisneros said Friday he accepted a request to serve on an advisory council for ACORN in order to help the community organizing group recently rocked by allegations of corruption.

Cisneros, who worked closely with ACORN on housing issues during his stint as HUD secretary, said ACORN representatives approached him ”about six weeks ago” to help the organization deal with the voter-registration crisis. He added that his advisory role simply took on greater urgency this week with the emergence of the video....

Cisneros said the advisory council consists of ”five or six people” and is attempting to recruit a prominent individual who can conduct a thorough review of ACORN.

”We're advising that they find someone who is regarded by the country as beyond reproach, a very high-level person, like a Sen. (George) Mitchell, who did this with baseball, or Warren Christopher, who weighed in after the riots in Los Angeles. Someone whose recommendations would be accepted.”


I know of a very high-level person who has worked closely with ACORN over the last 17 years: Barack Obama. He'd be perfect!

Cisneros, of course, is a poster child for how much destruction the corporate - community organizing - political connection can do. As Bill Clinton's HUD secretary, he signed the 1994 deal with Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide that Countrywide would behave like it was covered by the Community Reinvestment Act, then later joined Countrywide's board. As perhaps the best known Mexican-American politician, Cisneros provided Countrywide with "regulatory air cover" as it ran amok with ridiculous loans, all in the name of closing the minority homeownership gap.

From Mozilo's January 2005 press release:

"The $1 trillion We House America Challenge, expanded from $600 billion announced in 2003, embodies Countrywide's long-standing commitment to lead the mortgage industry in closing the homeownership gap for minority and lower-income families and communities," said Countrywide Financial Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo. ...

"We have also called upon one of our esteemed directors, the Honorable Henry Cisneros, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a former mayor of San Antonio. Henry will put to use his long and respected experience as an advocate for affordable housing who understands the benefits to communities of homeownership."

That sure worked out well for all concerned.
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