Congressional Democrats to Grant Indicted ACORN More Federal Funding

Under the guise of due process concerns, congressional Democrats have opened the way for organizations with criminal histories to gain greater access to taxpayer funds. Exhibit A here is the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), now under investigation in at least 14 states for voter registration fraud.

Earlier this month, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, sponsored an amendment to the $140 million Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. The Frank measure allowed organizations being investigated by state or federal authorities on corruption charges to receive federal funds as long as they avoid conviction. Frank argued that his amendment, which was approved by the House, protected the presumption of innocence in federal spending.

But federal ethics rules have long stipulated that either an actual or apparent conflict of interest can put a government employee at risk of prosecution for ethics violations. So, if the Frank amendment becomes law, the federal government will have a double standard, ignoring the presumption of innocence for its employees with apparent conflicts of interest, but extending the presumption to its funding recipients.

ACORN claims to be non-partisan, but it and its many affiliates have ardently supported Democratic incumbents and candidates at all levels of government. For example, the Obama campaign in 2008 paid more than $880,000 to Citizen Services Incorporated, an ACORN affiliate that helps organize get-out-the-vote efforts that always seem to focus on heavily Democratic precincts. Seen in this light, the Frank amendment has the look of a pay-back from grateful Democrats, especially since, as The Examiner has previously reported, ACORN is eligible for billions of dollars under the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has crafted legislation to block ACORN from receiving such funding, but Frank and his Democratic colleagues are determined to block her effort. Only four Democrats voted against Frank’s amendment, which overturned an earlier amendment from Bachmann that would have precluded ACORN from receiving funds. This means 245 House members are on record supporting – or are unconcerned – about federal funding going to groups suspected of criminal behavior. “It is not only legitimate for Congress to decide the threshold for accessing taxpayer funds; it is incumbent upon us to do so,” Bachmann said. “And, for far too long, Congress has cavalierly distributed taxpayer money.” This is a shameful abdication of our fiduciary duties.” We couldn’t agree more.

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Indeed, since January 20, 2009, the headlong rush to socialism–and some would contend worse–that Obama has engineered, aided and abetted by a sycophantic and obedient media and by a Congress that has completely forgotten the meaning of democracy, is truly frightening. Any one of the dozens of unconstitutional power-grabs and democratic abuses Obama’s fingerprints have been smeared across since the inauguration would have produced 130 decibel howls from liberals, the ACLU and the MSA had they been even suggested by a Republican. And yet, when committed by the weird combination Messiah/rocker/squatter at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not a single raised left eyebrow is to be seen. Yikes.

Worse, the linkages and connections between and among Obama and people you’d not want your daughter dating and organizations you’d not want your son palling around with are becoming more and more troubling, a matter noted here both before and after last year’s general election.

If you doubt that, just consider as but one example, the unfolding, metastasizing tale of ACORN, that “community organizing” hydra which was the recipient of Obama’s tutelage–based, of course, on the teachings of Marx, Engels and Alinsky–before he entered public life. The “Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now,” or ACORN, now stands indicted or under criminal investigation in no fewer than fourteen states on charges of voter registration fraud. Not one . . . not two . . . not three . . . fourteen. Including (get this), Nevada at the hands of a Democrat Attorney General.

Whoa. If you’re under indictment by a Democrat in the same state that not only pins its economy on a business founded by Bugsy Siegel but also gave us Harry Reid, you know, as they say, you’ve got a problem.

Problematically, ACORN also stands poised to be a recipient of perhaps as much as $8 billion in federal taxpayer “stimulus” money under the socialistic, misleading and woefully misnamed (as are virtually all Democrat-sponsored bills) “American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.” That act, of course, was Obama’s out-of-the-gate pet project engineered not to stimulate the economy but rather designed instead to spread the tentacles of the government deeper and deeper into the fabric of the nation and its private enterprise businesses. What better way to “spread the wealth” than by redistributing it to favored persons and entities? And among the prime favored recipients of federal taxpayer dollars in this plan are “community organizing organizations” like ACORN. But there’s a fly in the ointment.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal by John Fund, because of the widening spectrum of indictments, criminal investigations and lingering aromas of fraud surrounding ACORN, Rep. John Conyers (D. Mich.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, initially requested Representative Gerald “No Neck” Nadler (D. N.Y.), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, to hold a hearing on the organization and try to get to the bottom of these troublesome questions. Conyers characterized the charges against ACORN as “serious” and, apparently, Mr. Nadler initially agreed to consider the request. However, reports Fund, Nadler’s office now says there will be no hearing on ACORN “because Mr. Conyers has changed his mind.” Right.

Fund also reports: “Mr. Conyers’s office released a statement on Monday [May 18, 2009] saying that ‘after reviewing the complaints against ACORN, I [Conyers] have concluded that a hearing on this matter appears unwarranted at this time.'” A Democratic staffer told Fund he believes the House leadership put pressure on Mr. Conyers to back down. (Hmmm . . . who might be the leader of the House leadership these days?) Fund notes that Conyers’s office says it was “unaware of any contacts with House leaders.” That depends, of course, on what the definition of “unaware” is. Or, considering the House, the definition of “leader” for that matter. Read Fund’s article . . . it is good.

Meanwhile, the Republicans in the House proposed an amendment to another bill, the “Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act,” which would have precluded organizations under indictment from receiving taxpayer monies until a resolution of the charges. But, seeing that an entity that helped Obama’s occupation of the White House might lose out on taxpayer loot, the Democrats in the House, led by Congressperson Barney “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are Financially Sound” Frank, and being a useful idiot totally unfamiliar with the phrase “where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire,” overrode the Republican amendment . . . which had previously passed with Frank’s support. The bill passed out of the House on a party-line vote–Republicans voting for transparency and truth, Democrats voting to perpetuate a cover-up and potential fraud–and will likely breeze through the Senate too, landing on the Squatter-in-Chief’s desk sometime next month.

So, ACORN’s eligibility (more on that concept later) to get its mitts on taxpayer dollars under the stimulus bill will remain intact, despite the indictments and criminal investigations that already exist and will likely continue to bloom like wildflowers after a rainstorm. Thanks to the Democrats. Now that, my friends, is community organizing.

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