Back when Freddy got an endorsement from the activist group New York ACORN, the group’s leaders made clear that the endorsement actually came from APAC, ACORN’s affiliated political action committee.

This struck one legally astute reader as being significantly less than meets the eye: APAC doesn’t actually exist on paper — it’s not registered with city or state campaign finance authorities — and, thus, can’t actually put any resources behind that endorsement — no money, no troops, etc.

The ways of ACORN have always been something of a mystery to me, so I called ACORN’s John Kest to sort this out.

Kest acknowledged that APAC is, in essence, just a name, and said that indeed, ACORN is not, as yet, signed on to do any work for Ferrer beyond legally permitted “member-to-member” communication and organizing.

And if ACORN were to come out in force for Ferrer — as it did for Green four years ago — it would be in the form of ACORN Associates, the arm that takes political clients for pay. (ACORN itself, meanwhile, is a for-profit corporation, but not — as critics sometimes say — a 501(c)3; it pays taxes, and has more leeway than tax-exempt groups.)

Kest didn’t rule out that ACORN Associates might wind up doing some work for Ferrer, but noted that they have various other campaigns underway that make anything of the scale of 2001 impossible.

“Last time round the whole world was different,” he said. A-Who?