The embattled community service organization ACORN recently considered changing its name in an effort to improve its image, according to an internal memo obtained by Politico.
The document will be released Tuesday as part of a Republican congressional forum on ACORN, Politico reports. It illustrates the internal deliberation the group has undergone after a year of embarrassing scandals, GOP lawmakers say.
This week, Republican Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Lamar Smith of Texas are holding a forum on the ACORN, which will include state government officials and a former ACORN employee.
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“The more we learn about the inner-working of ACORN and its affiliates, the more apparent it becomes that this organization is intentionally structured to deceive and mislead the American people,” Issa said in an emailed statement.
The document was found in Dumpster outside of an ACORN office in San Diego, a House Republican aide told Politico. A former Republican statehouse candidate in California, Derrick Roach, took thousands of documents last week from the trash outside the office. An ACORN spokesman confirmed the veracity of the document to Politico.
“Our members are having a vigorous discussion about how to move forward most effectively to help working families win living wage jobs, stop foreclosures, and strengthen neighborhoods,” ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson said in a response to inquiries from POLITICO.
In an emailed statement, Levenson brushed off Tuesday’s Republican hearing.
“We believe their time would be better spent solving, as ACORN is doing, the foreclosure crisis,” Levenson said.
The memo addresses, in bullet-point format, the pros and cons of a new brand, saying that it has “spent 39 years building the reputation and track record of ACORN.” ACORN officials write that the bad image would “blow over” in the next year or two, Politico reports. And they believe that even with a name change, “right-wing attackers will say we are ACORN in disguise – so do we really gain much by going with a new name?”
The group does acknowledge that working with elected officials “is much harder now” and “while some foundations are still will to fund us, more are not.”
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