Chicago's ACORN Fell From Tree

Leaders saw trouble coming

By Steve Rhodes
|  Saturday, Sep 26, 2009  |  Updated 1:41 PM CDT
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Chicago's ACORN Fell From Tree

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Chicago's ACORN chapter policed itself.

Controversy continues to swirl around ACORN nationally, and investigations into various local chapters continue apace.

But not here.

Why?

Because last year, the local ACORN folks got queasy about the national office and bailed.

"We just felt things were not right at the top," former Chicago ACORN head Madeline Talbott told CBS2.

"I'm so relieved not to be part of the organization anymore," Talbott told the Los Angeles Times.

Former Illinois ACORN director Denise Dixon walked out with her, along with a board, paid staff and more than 365 volunteers.

Talbott now heads Action Now, a community organization similar to ACORN. She doesn't mention ACORN on her website.

It's not clear whether Talbott made an ethical move, though, or just saw the handwriting on the wall, given what she knew about the national office as ACORN began to become an issue - on the right, at least - during the presidential campaign.

"When you have this big a mess, it takes time to clean up and your funders drop like flies," Talbott told the L.A. Times.

If nothing else, what Talbott and her colleagues did was savvy; they're still in business while ACORN and many of its local chapters are teetering.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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