Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Concerns about CCHD and ACORN Funding

As the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development approaches, several news organizations are reporting on the Campaign's past funding of ACORN. Earlier this year, CCHD suspended all funding of ACORN upon learning of a $1 million embezzlement scheme by Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN's founder Wade Rathke. ACORN leadership had hidden the embezzelment which took place in 1999-2000 from members of its own board until June of this year.

More than $1 million in grants from CCHD had been earmarked for ACORN from the 2007 collection. None of that money was delivered as all CCHD grants to ACORN were suspended when the embezzelment was discovered in June. Following more recent investigations into massive voter registration fraud by ACORN, the USCCB announced at its meeting this week that the 2007 grants are permanently barred and assured that no monies from the 2008 collection will go to ACORN.

Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph Director of Human Rights and local CCHD coordinator Jude Huntz told the Key that no CCHD money has ever been given to ACORN in this diocese.

In fact, CCHD grants in the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph are allocated to organizations that directly assist the poor to raise themselves from poverty. Please see Marty Denzer's August 28 article on the very worthy beneficiaries of CCHD grants in our diocese. A further article on one of the local CCHD beneficiaries, Hispanic Outreach of St. Joseph, is in the upcoming edition of The Catholic Key.