ACORN to McCain: Have You Lost That Loving Feeling?
Senator Allied with ACORN as Recently as 2006, Now Turns Cold Shoulder
October 13, 2008, Miami, FL - U.S. Senator John McCain's recent attacks on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) are puzzling given his historic support for the organization and its efforts on behalf of immigrant Americans. As recently as February 20, 2006, Senator McCain was the keynote speaker at an ACORN-sponsored Immigration Rally in Miami, Florida at Miami Dade College – Wolfson Campus.
The rally, co-sponsored by ACORN in partnership with the New American Opportunity campaign (NAOC), Catholic League Services – Archdiocese of Miami, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Miami Dade College, People for the American Way/Mi Familia/Vota en Accion, the Service Employees International Union, and UNITE/HERE, was intended to call attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Senator McCain spoke at the rally attended by hundreds of ACORN members, most of whom were dressed in the red shirts typical of its members. Senator McCain's speech focused on the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, a bipartisan, comprehensive reform bill, which McCain sponsored with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA).
Bertha Lewis, Chief Organizer of ACORN, said, "It has deeply saddened us to see Senator McCain abandon his historic support for ACORN and our efforts to support the goals of low-income Americans. Maybe it is out of desperation that Senator McCain has forgotten that he was for ACORN before he was against ACORN; he was for immigration reform before he was against immigration reform; and he was a maverick before he became erratic. We were thrilled to partner with him to help reform the outdated immigration laws in this country, and were pleased to work closely with him on this issue."
Lewis continued, "We expected Senator McCain to support our efforts to give voice to millions of Americans who have never participated in an election before. We are surprised at his efforts to vilify an organization that, until recently, he saw as an ally. Maybe this surprise attack and change of heart is indicative of his state of mind, and the way he would govern."
Senator McCain and his campaign have recently launched a series of coordinated attacks on ACORN, the nation’s largest community organization of low-and moderate-income families.
Ms. Lewis went on to say that, "We are sure that the extremists he is trying to get into a froth will be even more excited to learn that John McCain stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN, at an ACORN co-sponsored event, to promote immigration reform."
Senator McCain was joined at the rally by Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), leaders from both political parties, immigrant communities, and members of labor, business, and religious organizations.