The community organizing group ACORN announced Tuesday that it was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy following two years of bruising legal battles and a coordinated assault on the organization by conservative opponents.
The move not only means that one of the nation’s oldest community organizing groups will be shutting its doors but it also brings to an end one of the most divisive chapters of the 2008 election — on the same day ACORN’s Democratic allies could suffer deep losses in midterm elections.
Following charges of voter fraud involving ACORN in 2008, the organization’s name became a rallying cry for tea party activists and other conservatives unhappy with the electoral victories of President Barack Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate.
In 2009, a group of young conservatives also caught ACORN activists in heavily edited videos that purported to show them helping a pimp avoid filing taxes, among other illegal activities.
ACORN, the New Black Panther Party and Obama’s push for health care quickly became symbols of the dangers of Obama’s liberal policies for Republicans and other conservatives, and the episode helped crystallize the conservative anger that has fueled the tea party movement.
In a statement posted on the group’s website, CEO Bertha Lewis praised the group’s work over its 40-year history, but said it was no longer viable as an organization following the recent scandals.
“The ongoing political onslaught caused irreparable harm. This effort was a clear attempt to cast a shadow over the historic 2008 Presidential election, and set up a far right counter offense,” Lewis said.
“The pressure and cost of defending ourselves in multiple investigations as a result of the falsified videos has eroded our organization. As a result we will be filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy by close of business today,” she added.