Commentary Magazine



As the full extent of ACORN’s corruption and criminality is revealed, we are also learning about ACORN’s special friend, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the most militant and active unions in the country. It turns out that the two organizations are quite chummy:

The SEIU’s parent organization has paid ACORN for training, voter registration and other organizing work, and SEIU locals have paid ACORN affiliates for their services, according to union reports. ACORN founder Wade Rathke was a top member of the SEIU’s board until last year and founded two SEIU locals — in Chicago and New Orleans. SEIU President Andy Stern serves on an advisory panel that was supposed to help ACORN fix financial problems after an embezzlement was discovered last year. Other leaders have served both ACORN and the SEIU, including Keith Kelleher, who headed SEIU Local 880 and also served in an ACORN staff position, and whose wife ran the ACORN office in Illinois.

Republicans are now calling for the federal government to sever its ties with not just ACORN but SEIU as well. That may be a tough order considering that Stern is very close to the president, bragging about meeting him every week. (Gen. McChrystal should be so lucky.) And consider that SEIU is so wired into the Democratic party that it played a critical role — one captured on tape, we are told — in the Blago corruption case. In fact, SEIU has had more than its share of scandals lately, so perhaps this should all come as no surprise.

But it does make it that much stickier for Big Labor’s friendly legislators to be doling out too many favors. Even card-check lite is going to be hard to bring up so long as the main beneficiaries are entwined in scandal after scandal. And those who received gobs of money from SEIU (Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds took in $200,000 from SEIU, for example) might consider whether they really want to be receiving funds from an ACORN partner.