Smear Buster

Found a smear? Forward it to smears@mediamattersaction.org

Smear: Patrick Gaspard Is "ACORN's Man In The White House"

September 29, 2009 12:12 pm ET

The right wing is jubilant over a report stating that White House political affairs director Patrick Gaspard used to work for ACORN.  However, the report calling Gaspard a "longtime ACORN operative" is false: Gaspard never worked for ACORN.

Smear: White House Political Affairs Director Patrick Gaspard Worked For ACORN

The American Spectator:

Newly discovered evidence shows the radical advocacy group ACORN has a man in the Obama White House.

This power behind the throne is longtime ACORN operative Patrick Gaspard. He holds the title of White House political affairs director, the same title Karl Rove held in President Bush's White House. [The American Spectator, 9/28/09]

Sources

The American Spectator
BigGovernment.com (Andrew Breitbart)
Newsmax.com
National Review Online
Erick Erickson

Truth

Gaspard Never Worked For ACORN.

Politico:

The Spectator (accurately) quotes ACORN founder Wade Rathke claiming that Gaspard was political director at the group's New York chapter at some point before 2003.

I covered New York politics at the time, and that was news to me; the also White House denies it. But just to be sure, I checked checked just now with Gaspard's former boss, whom he ultimately replaced as the political director of the giant New York SEIU local, 1199, Jennifer Cunningham. Cunningham confirmed to me that he'd worked for her starting in 1999; that he'd worked for a City Council member before that; and before that, for the Dinkins Administration.

The fact that Rathke got this wrong does provide more evidence of how totally decentralized and disorganized -- contrary to the claims of both fans and detractors -- the group is, but that's all it says.

The Spectator piece is a model of the sort of guilt-by-association Google work in which partisans of both sides specialize. [Politico, 9/29/09]

ACORN Founder Wade Rathke Corrected His Misstatement. 

Rathke:

My "friends" on the right seem to be using me as a source for an attack at yet another new target: Patrick Gaspard, political director at the White House.

I have huge admiration for Patrick and have enjoyed my dealings with him over the years. In almost 1400 blogs I've done, sometimes I don't get it right, call it a senior moment or whatever it might be, but reading the blogsphere with me as a source took me back searching for whether or not I could be causing a problem here inadvertently. Patrick was never on the staff of ACORN. I double checked with people I still know there, and it appears that I dropped a stitch there. Hopefully my misstatement won't lead to the White House throwing him in front of the bus in this rush to neo-McCarthyism that has become so prominent. In this case, my memory tricked me. I'm glad to carry the weight and simply say I made a mistake, and damned if I'm not sorry and hope no damage is done to a good man doing a hard job. [Rathke Statement via Politico, 9/29/09]



 


Posted in