Co-founder of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now Wade Rathke spoke to a small group at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday about ACORN scandals and his new book. The Washington Times spoke with him after the gathering and asked if White House staffer, Patrick Gaspard ever had a role in the currently embattled community organization. Mr. Rathke denies Mr. Gaspard ever had a role in ACORN and attributes accusations otherwise to a past “misstatement” on his blog.
American Spectator blogger Matthew Vadum found the so-called misstatement on Monday:
Because Gaspard’s employment with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is acknowledged by no less an authority than ACORN founder Wade Rathke himself. Rathke writes at his blog:
Tell me that 1199’s former political director, Patrick Gaspard (who was ACORN New York’s political director before that) didn’t reach out from the White House and help make that happen, and I’ll tell you to take some remedial classes in “politics 101.”
The “before that” time period Rathke is referring to is 2003 when Gaspard was executive vice president for political and legislative affairs for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. According to publicly available disclosure documents, Gaspard registered as a federal lobbyist for SEIU on Oct. 22, 2007. The registration and subsequent disclosures indicate he lobbied Congress on SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Mr. Rathke’s edit to the page Mr.Vadum links to says this:
Dennis delivered for SEIU and the White House in only the way that he can. Tell me that 1199’s former political director, Patrick Gaspard (EDIT: This line used to contain a reference to Patrick Gaspard working for NY ACORN. This is untrue, he never worked for ACORN. To see Wade’s correction: http://tinyurl.com/y9bscr8) didn’t reach out from the White House and help make that happen, and I’ll tell you to take some remedial classes in “politics 101.”
One thing is for sure, it is clear more former friends of ACORN are finding more distance between themselves and the community organizing group.