A full-page ad in the New York Times "accuses ACORN of a list of abuses that suggest hypocrisy on some of the group's signature issues: intimidating and firing its own employees if they try to unionize, misappropriating millions of dollars from taxpayer-funded government grants and advocating minimum wage hides while paying its own employees less than minimum wage." While the ad "does not indicate who or what organization paid for it," it comes from one of lobbyist Rick Berman's many front groups, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI). For years, Berman "has been fighting ACORN's efforts to increase the minimum wage at the state and federal levels." Tim Miller, the spokesman for EPI and Berman's Center for Consumer Freedom, said they placed the ad because after the election, "a lot of the coverage of ACORN is going to go away, but they are going to continue the same corrupt and fraudulent practices." ACORN says the charges in EPI's ad are untrue. For example, ACORN "pledged complete neutrality" when one of its offices "wanted to form a union," said ACORN's Steve Kest. The employees eventually "decided not to pursue [the union], so nothing came of it."
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