10.09.2011 0

ACORN re-emerges in Washington money game

By Kevin Mooney and Rick Manning — Tired of bipartisan Republicans who compromise the farm away on domestic policy? Frustrated with Republican presidents who allow far left Democrats to re-craft their legislation?

If so, now would be an opportune moment to revisit conservative congressional Republican efforts to halt federal funding for ACORN.

Several months before the videotapes were released that showed workers offering financial advice to undercover investigators, ACORN came under fire in the House Financial Services Committee, then chaired by Barney Frank (D-Mass).  An amendment to the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act to stop the flow of federal dollars into the ACORN network was passed by a unanimous voice vote in the Committee.

The amendment would have prevented any organization indicted for voter registration or vote fraud from receiving housing counseling grants and legal assistance, making ACORN ineligible for one of its major sources of taxpayer money.

Sometime later, it became apparent to Chairman Frank that he had cut off ACORN and proceeded to reverse himself.

“I did not read it carefully, and it was in the last minute that the amendment was accepted,” he said at the time. “It is a deeply flawed amendment and I am opposed to it. Banning people from possible participation in government programs based on an indictment is a violation of the basic principles of due process.”

A clever argument from an agile mind.

But Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) had the better argument. “Congress,” she reminded colleagues, “has a fiduciary responsibility,” where groups competing for federal dollars are concerned. Put another way, why hold such low stands where the public’s money is concerned.

Later that year, the political terrain shifted against ACORN (known in full as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) thanks to the efforts of investigative journalists James O’Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles. Suddenly, Democrats who felt they needed to distance themselves from ACORN joined with Republicans to cut off funding; albeit temporarily.

Unfortunately, even with the Republicans now control of the House, it would seem that the federal sources for the renamed ACORN have been restored, according to a new report from Matthew Vadum, a senior editor with the Capital Research Center (CRC).

“President Obama has given ACORN $729,849 so far this year and billions more in federal cash may be in the pipeline,” Vadum wrote.

“The president’s new economic stimulus package, the so-called ‘jobs bill,’ contains as much as $15 billion for radical left-wing groups such as ACORN (his former employer). Obama has been using his presidential bully pulpit to demand that Republicans in Congress ‘pass this bill,’ without hearings, without examination.”

Vadum also reports that many of ACORN’s former leaders are coming out of the closet as leaders of the anti-Wall Street protests known as “Occupy Wall Street.”

An ironic positioning given ACORN’s role in leading the political fight to have Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Authority force those very banks to provide mortgages to people who they knew could not afford them, under the umbrella of economic equality.

Vadum is the author of a new book on ACORN, its history and its impact on the electoral process entitled: Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.

Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government.  Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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