By Scotty Reid - Black Talk Radio Network
Ashawnita MonCrief, who goes by the alias Anita MonCrief, is a darling of conservatives whose only claim to fame is being a so-called ACORN whistleblower. Not only has she not proven her claims about Acorn’s Project Vote or revealed any massive voter fraud that led to the election of President Obama, but there is proof that anything she says is not to be trusted nor can anything published on her new website Emerging Corruption. Before her August 12, 2010 interview on Black Talk Radio News & Views, it was deeply suspected she was just another black person turned conservative or at least pretending to be in order to make money off bashing President Obama and his family and of course the now defunct ACORN which was a long time target of Conservatives because of their massive voter registration drives in Black and Latino communities.
After beginning the review of the MonCrief interview, it was not long before it became clear that Ashawnita MonCrief was lying. The first question was to find out how long she had been a conservative since her blog Anita MonCrief includes in the tag line “Ex-Liberal”, a clever word to use if you are trying to attract rabid Limbaugh “Ditto Head” types who hate all things liberal. Ms. MonCrief declared that she had been an independent but voted for President Obama in 2008 and you could not find another person more into the “Obama Rush”. It was after his inauguration in January that she began to have leanings towards conservatism because she was concerned that he was appointing corrupt people to his cabinet she stated.
Here is the problem with her claim of being an “Independent” who voted for Obama in 2008. In an October 2009
blog post, “How I Overcame Fear and Rejected the ACORN 8 Alternative”, she wrote about her ordeal as an “ardent Democrat” who was working with New York Times writer Stephanie Stromon on an “ACORN expose”. Ms. MonCrief claimed that the story was never published because she was told that Stromon’s editors had told her to “stand down,” because the ACORN/Obama story was a "game changer" and it was their policy not to print a "game changer" that close to the election. If Ms. MonCrief was an Independent caught up in the “Obama Rush” and voted for him in 2008, then why does she describe herself as an “ardent Democrat” working to get a “potentially damaging expose on ACORN/Obama” published by the New York Times prior to the 2008 Presidential election?
Among what she calls proof of efforts by the ACORN Interim Staff Management Committee to protect Obama before the election is a screenshot of bullet points discussed at an alleged meeting. The problem with her “screenshot evidence” is that it is a screenshot of a plain white piece of paper or document file with “bullet points” that anyone could have typed up. There are no ACORN logos or names of participants in this alleged meeting nor are there any signatures. Ms. MonCrief was once sued by Acorn for trademark infringement when she joined a group called Acorn 8, a group of disgruntled former Acorn employees with an axe to grind more than proving any allegations of ACORN impropriety. She then posts another screen shot of a typed letter allegedly sent to ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis from Mary Spencer, acting president of the DC chapter, but the same problem exists, anyone could have typed this letter, post it to a website and say anything they want about it.
As far as Ms. MonCrief’s contention that she was unhappy with the President’s corrupt cabinet picks, which she did not mention any names during the interview, a search of her blog Anita MonCrief
and her website Emerging Corruption
turned up no articles or blogs written about any of his cabinet picks except a recent post on both websites that continue to assert lies about ACORN and suggests that Hillary Clinton would have won the Democratic nomination if not for Obama’s corrupt campaign. Again, does this sound like something an “Independent” who voted for Obama would be publishing?
Ashawnita MonCrief alleged that ACORN was harming disadvantaged communities because it pushed poor people into bad loans from Bank of America, then came in, and helped with the refinancing when they defaulted at “enormous rates and ACORN was getting a cut”. This is a huge allegation besides the implications that ACORN played a big role in the mortgage meltdown that led to America’s near financial collapse but again, Ms. MonCrief is big on allegations but short on evidence. A Google search, as Ms. MonCrief suggested during the program if anyone wants to find out something, turned up no results for anything remotely supporting her claim. In September of 2009, the Wall Street Journal
and its sister website Fox News
, both owned by News Corp which recently donated $1 million dollars to elect Republican governors across the country, reported that “Acorn Housing for years has worked with Bank of America and some other big banks on foreclosure-prevention efforts.” Bank of America was reacting to the fake ACORN Pimp videos created by conservative activist James O’Keefe and heavily promoted by Fox News, Andrew Brietbart who is an associate of Ms. MonCrief and every conservative Blog in the western hemisphere. WSJ also reported at the time “Acorn Housing has worked with Bank of America since the 1990s and “As part of that work, the bank provided grants to pay for Acorn Housing to counsel first-time home buyers on how to handle mortgage debt. More recently, most of the work has been in representing borrowers seeking to avoid foreclosure”. Neither article mentioned any of the allegations put forth by Ms. Moncrief that Bank of America and ACORN worked together to defraud and profit from those seeking home loans.
Citibank and Bank of America both worked with Acorn Housing to provide counseling and foreclosure prevention but outside of the MonCrief interview, a web search turned up no articles mentioning any allegations or investigations that ACORN “pushed” people into bad loans and then got a cut of the profits to refinance them at “enormous rates”. In fact, what was found was a review of an Acorn Housing Loan Program authored by San Diego realtor Roberta Murphy who stated that she found out about it “almost by accident”. In the review
, the realtor lists the key points of the program.
1. Adjusted gross income less that $90,000 per year
2. Home priced under $500,000
3. One home only. Good for not only first time homebuyers, but any homebuyer who owns only one property.
4. Also good for refinancing (out of riskier mortgages, perhaps?)
1. Below-market rate with no points.
2. No PMI (private mortgage insurance)
3. Very liberal debt-to-income ratios.
4. Very low down payment required (0-5%)
5. Underwriting will credit some "cash" income and alternative sources of credit.
Murphy also wrote, “Immediately after hearing about this program, a qualified client (48k per year income) came in and we located a lovely La Costa townhome ($435k) that was ideal for her roommate situation. She had sold her home in Northern California and had a reasonable down payment (not necessarily required for the ACORN loan program). She took the one-day class on home ownership required by ACORN and afterwards met with her counselor to obtain a loan certificate. She brought that to Bank of America, who processed and funded the loan. It was amazingly simple and we were able to close within 45 days. The loan terms? At a slightly-below-market rate (no prepayment penalty or points): Ten years interest only which will automatically convert to a fully amortized 30 year loan at the same rate.”
This review, written by an independent realtor certainly does not sound like the ACORN/Bank of America scheme that Ms. MonCrief alleges.
According to The Nation, the blame ACORN game is par for course in disinformation spread by conservative media. However, it was a shock to hear Ms. MonCrief blame ACORN for the housing meltdown as conservatives usually stick to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in assigning misplaced blame. Eileen Markey of City Limits
wrote in October of 2008 that Acorn was among those sounding warnings about the lending practices that led to the meltdown. She also noted that the conservative propaganda machine was busy spreading disinformation.
“The argument, much heard of late in conservative outlets such as the Wall Street Journal's editorial page
, Rush Limbaugh's influential radio show
, and the pages of the National Review
, is that grassroots groups, empowered by the Community Reinvestment Act
, bullied banks into making irresponsible loans in low-income neighborhoods. The bad loans, then divided and repackaged into forms like "mortgage-backed securities" and other more exotic financial products, ultimately circulated into the economy like Typhoid Mary, sending modern capitalism into the sick ward.”
The Nation also wrote in an article
titled “The GOP's Blame-ACORN Game”,
“Since the 1970s ACORN, which has 400,000 low- and moderate-income "member families" in more than 100 cities in forty states, has been warning Congress to protect borrowers from the banking industry's irresponsible, risky and predatory practices--subprime loans, racial discrimination (called "redlining") and rip-off fees. ACORN has persistently called for stronger regulations on banks, private mortgage companies, mortgage brokers and rating agencies. For years, ACORN has alerted public officials that the industry was hoodwinking many families into taking out risky loans they couldn't afford and whose fine print they couldn't understand.”
It appears that since becoming an “Ex-Liberal”, Ms. Ashawnita MonCrief has been coached very well in spreading lies about who the GOP sees as it’s enemies which unfortunately seems to be anyone or any organization trying to assist poor people which are predominately in communities of color.
The next question focused on Andrew Brietbart’s posting of an excerpt of the Shirley Sherrod speech from the 1970’s given to a group of black farmers who have faced decades of discrimination at the hands of the USDA and white farmers. She went on to defend Brietbart and his method of taking clips out of context to make them fit his agenda or narrative. Most of her answer focused on attacking the NAACP saying that it has been involved in reverse racism. She cited the clapping reaction of the black farmers to Mrs. Sherrod’s revelation that a white farmer came to her for help and telling the crowd that she wanted to send him to get help from a white lawyer instead of her non-profit. Ms. MonCrief went on to say that the NAACP should be helping people see past color and even though Ms. MonCrief cited that Mrs. Sherrod told them that she went on to help the white farmer which makes no sense on MonCrief’s part because that is exactly what Mrs. Sherrod was doing with her personal story at this NAACP sponsored event, trying to help people see past color.
She would later acknowledge as much later in the interview.
She still went on to criticize the NAACP and the Obama Administration for throwing Mrs. Sherrod under the bus but failed to fully acknowledge any harm caused by Brietbart’s dishonesty which he is well known for and tried to justify his actions by claiming that Brietbart was just trying to show that in the Tea Party and NAACP there can be racism. The problem with that narrative is that Breitbart has never acknowledged any racist elements in the Tea Party. Just as she claimed the NAACP could have viewed the entire tape before jumping to conclusions, she failed to hold Brietbart to the same standard in posting the entire video of the more than hour-long speech. What Brietbart did in posting an except of the speech along with an editor's leading narrative was to try to deflect attention away from the Tea Party and it’s racists elements.
Ms. MonCrief who never once denied her affiliation with Andrew Brietbart who according to the website www.mediamatters.org
used a known racist named Dr. Kevin Pezzi
to smear Shirley Sherrod as a racist.
“In two posts on Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment website
, Dr. Kevin Pezzi smears Shirley Sherrod as a racist, claiming that "if someone deserves to be put on a pedestal for overcoming racism, it isn't Sherrod." The racism criticism is ironic coming from Pezzi, who has repeatedly used racial epithets like "Japs" and "Chinks," and claimed Native and African Americans should have been grateful for their subjugation by whites.”
Another post on Breitbart.TV and their Youtube channel featured right wing conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro who stated that even after viewing the entire Sherrod video he still believed her to be a racist. When asked is she shared his sentiments, she states that she can only guess at what Mrs. Sherrod’s views on race are now.
The mission statement of Ms. MonCrief’s new website Emerging Corruption, states, “Recognizing that when politicians start to align themselves with non-profits, it’s not always for the greater good of the people who put them in office, the goals of Emerging Corruption are that the site will be a tool that will help the American people make more informed decisions on how their elected officials should receive funds and input from lobbying organizations operating as non-profits.”
When asked if her team plans to investigate the non-profit AIPAC which exists solely to establish relationships with politicians to lobby them for Pro-Israeli policies, MonCrief states that she doesn’t know much about them except that she has heard of them but also states that Emerging Corruption is a non-partisan website willing to look at all groups whether they are left wing or right wing or if they are an ACORN like group or a conservative group, she will not turn a blind eye to investigating because they do not have an political agenda. However, it was further stated on Emerging Corruption, “While many sites exist on the left to target conservative and Republican politicians, there are relatively few investigative news sites on the right committed to exposing the pay for play politics that exists in today’s political arena.”
A few days ago a new story broke about AIPAC in which Russia Today reported that a U.S. Senate investigation turned up evidence that AIPAC paid upwards of $35 million dollars to plant pro-Israeli propaganda in the American news media, MonCrief was asked by email if she planned to investigate or turn a blind eye so to speak; MonCrief replied, “Thank you for the information, I trust that you also sent it over to NBC, MSNBC, the Huffington Post and other sites that have much more resources than my little site.”
In the same email she was asked about a story reported on her website that was repeating conservative's false assertions that First Lady Michelle Obama along with about 30 to 40 people took a trip on the tax payers dime even though this story had been debunked by Dana Perino who on Fox News stated that the First Lady and her travel companions paid for their own expenses, MonCrief replied “Sorry that you are misguided and misinformed, but I stand by my writers and their research.” However, the source of her “writers” research goes un-named leaving the “article
” to be nothing more than a string of conservative talking points bashing First Lady Obama with no facts
whatsoever as it realates to her recent trip to Spain.
The final few questions were related to Ms. MonCrief’s allegations that ACORN was engaged in widespread voter fraud that is not the same as voter registration fraud in which a few ACORN managers and temporary workers in a few isolated cases, plead guilty in filling out and turning in fake voter registration cards in order to meet quotas. Voter Fraud is when someone votes more than once and when a person ineligible to vote does so. To this day, there have been no convictions of ACORN employees or anyone acting on the behalf of ACORN in engaging in voter fraud.
In fact, there was a Justice Department scandal during the Bush administration, which was heavily criticized for politicizing it, where according to several sources, “The dismissal of U.S. Attorneys controversy was initiated by the unprecedented
midterm dismissal of seven United States Attorneys on December 7, 2006 by the George W. Bush administration's Department of Justice. Congressional investigations focused on whether the Department of Justice and the White House were using the U.S. Attorney positions for political advantage. Allegations were that some of the attorneys were targeted for dismissal to impede investigations of Republican politicians or that some were targeted
for their failure to initiate investigations that would damage Democratic politicians or hamper Democratic-leaning voters
After Congress, led by Republicans who had long targeted ACORN for its massive voter registration drives in poor communities and often those of color, voted to defund ACORN and strip it of all federal funding, the Congressional Research Service
conducted an investigation after the fact and concluded that Acorn had not misused federal funds nor did it engage in voter fraud, MonCrief made the ludicrous claim that the CRS is under Democratic control even though no Republican politician is on record disputing its finding or attacking its non-partisan nature.
When asked about the investigation of the fake ACORN Pimp tapes made by Breitbart protégé’ James O’Keefe who was convicted of a misdemeanor for attempting to illegally wiretap the offices of a sitting Louisiana Democratic Senator, MonCrief dismissed the investigation by Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger
and the current Attorney General of California, Democrat Jerry Brown
, again MonCrief claimed political bias. This is besides the fact that even Andrew Breitbart has claimed he was duped and victimized by James O’Keefe’s fake ACORN Pimp videos. MonCrief seemed to take some joy in correcting the host about a mistake in saying that James O’Keefe was convicted of a felony. What actually occurred was that O'Keefe took a deal from the prosecutor and plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Felony, misdemeanor, the fact is these are the criminals and racist
that MonCrief chooses to associate herself with and aspires to be like.
In conclusion, it is evident and well documented that Ashawnita MonCrief aka Anita MonCrief is simply the latest person of color to attempt to reap a financial windfall by spreading conservative lies and disinformation about liberals and progressives and does so at the expense of the poor black community she claims to come from. The website Emerging Corruption is just a mirror of the many conservative propaganda outlets that are staffed by conservative bloggers and online radio host that are hoping someone over at the partisan Fox "fake" News Channel notices them so they too can have a big payday like Sarah Palin by spewing ridiculous, unsubstantiated rumors and outright lies about those whom the GOP and its corporate pay masters
deem enemies which quite often turn out to be the poor and middle class families of America and anyone else who gets in the way of their profits.