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ACORN filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

The community organization was not able to recover from a scandal over video that purported to show staff helping activists posing as a pimp and prostitute.

November 02, 2010|Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington — ACORN, a national organization whose mission included registering and turning out low-income and minority voters, announced on this election day that it was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Founded in 1970, the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now had in recent years become a target of conservatives who accused the group of engaging in widespread voter fraud. It was forced to scale back its efforts after a scandal erupted, centered around undercover video footage that purported to show ACORN staff helping young activists posing as a pimp and prostitute engage in illegal activity.

Subsequent investigations found that the footage had been substantially edited, but the damage was done. Congress ultimately passed Republican-backed amendments to appropriations legislation that ended federal funding for the group.

"For over 40 years ACORN has fought the good fight," Bertha Lewis, the group's CEO, said in a news release today. But a "barrage of unmitigated accusations certainly took its toll," and the "ongoing political onslaught caused irreparable harm."

"We have spent our remaining resources trying to dissolve the organization with integrity, while continuing to respond to the extremist attacks," she said. "Let us all learn from the past, and march boldly into the future."

mmemoli@tribune.com

twitter.com/mikememoli

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