Is the ACORN Scandal America’s ADSCAM?

Short answer: no, not yet, but if we keep digging, it just might be.

What is ADSCAM?  Well, it was a political scandal from Canada’s recent past that led to the ouster of the Liberal Party from their seats of power in that country’s government.  I’ll let Ed Morrisey, formerly of Captain’s Quarters and presently from, go into detail:

A political scandal involving the Public Works Ministry, a government effort called the Sponsorship Program, and allegations of corruption in the ruling Liberal Party has Canada abuzz with rumors of payoffs, Mob ties, and snap elections. For the last two years, Canadian politics has been gripped by the so-called “sponsorship scandal”– tens of millions of dollars in government contracts which were funneled into advertizing firms closely connected with the Liberal government for little or no work, but with shadowy rumours that much of the money found its way back into Liberal coffers. Prime Minister Paul Martin, himself a Liberal, appointed the Gomery Commission to investigate these charges and determine whether to bring charges against government officials for corruption and malfeasance. (See the blog Small Dead Animals for some excellent background on the case.)

At the time that the post quoted above was written the scandal was just becoming widely known in America.  Over the course of the next year evidence mounted implicating individuals from all corners of the Liberal Party in systematic corruption.  The rot went all the way to the Prime Minister.  Being prudent voters, the Canadian electorate bounced the party from its governing position and the Conservatives were given the reigns.

I won’t go into a point-by-point break down of how ADSCAM played out.  You can get that from Mr. Morrisey here:  However, from just what I included above you can see the framework of corruption: the party in power awards a contract, contractor shifts money to a favored group, and the favored group contributes to the party in power.

So, how does this relate to ACORN in the US?

Over the past few years when you found a Democrat on the campaign trail ACORN was right behind getting out the vote.  Likewise, if ACORN needed to beef up its “community organizing” a union was by their side.  And, when a Democrat presses a political agenda it takes almost no effort to see the benefits that the unions will reap.  If one goes down it will surely pull the others down with it.

Several videos have been released (with more promised) showing how truly corrupt the ACORN organization is.  As the names of the individuals involved are released, journalists (most likely of the blogger variety) will begin to investigate.  Connections will be drawn between politicians and ACORN staff,  between ACORN staff and union personnel, and between union personnel and politicians.  Slowly but almost surely a web of corrupt quid pro quo will be revealed.  People at all levels of government and across the country will be implicated.  How far the web reaches and how tight the connections turn out to be will determine if this scandal becomes the type to force a ruling party out of power.