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“The bottom line is, there’s no transparency in ACORN,” said Mr. Issa, who also was on Fox.

“Here we have literally hundreds of organizations tied under the ACORN umbrella, and you can’t even find out what their incorporation is, whether they pay taxes, who makes what,” Mr. Issa said.

Ms. Lewis said she has made sure, since becoming chief executive last year, that affiliates have “firewalls” between them. “I’ve completely overhauled all of our finances, all of our controls,” she said.

She also said founder Wade Rathke was fired immediately after it was discovered his brother, Dale, stole nearly $1 million from the organization nine years ago. In fact, Wade Rathke learned of the embezzlement in 2000, told only a few people but failed to report the embezzlement to law enforcement. An anonymous donor compensated the group for the missing money.