From ACORN, Some Shady Issues; Census Bureau Partners with Group Accused of Voter Fraud

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 13, 2009 | Go to article overview

From ACORN, Some Shady Issues; Census Bureau Partners with Group Accused of Voter Fraud


Byline: Michele Bachmann, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

ACORN is no stranger to the spotlight. It has been said there are certain shades of limelight that can ruin one's complexion. Yet no matter how many times prosecutors investigate and even indict ACORN and its employees, they emerge unblemished as far as the federal government is concerned.

Since 1994, ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) has received at least $53 million in tax dollars. Also, it was reported recently that the economic stimulus bill enacted in February contains $3 billion that the non-profit activist group ... could receive, and the 2010 federal budget contains another $55 billion that could also find its way into the group's coffers Plus, the Census Bureau has named ACORN a national partner. Yet simultaneously, ACORN has been linked to voter-registration fraud in more than a dozen states directly, through its employees or both.

Congress has been far too loose with your money for far too long. Accessing federal funds is a privilege, not a right. An organization that demonstrates a pattern of disrespect for our laws and the people hasn't earned a piece of the pie.

I recently offered an amendment to prevent organizations indicted for voter fraud or related crimes, or that employ individuals indicted for such criminal behavior, from receiving federal housing counseling and foreclosure legal-assistance grants. It seemed common sense to me - particularly because this very same language passed Congress last year under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. My amendment was accepted quickly by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank and adopted unanimously.

However, within hours, Mr. Frank flipped, saying he had reservations about my amendment and wanted to make changes that would gut its meaning and intent. One wonders who got his ear in the time between the flip and the flop, but ACORN most certainly was a direct beneficiary of the change.

Time and time again, ACORN attempts to deflect its involvement in voter-registration fraud, blaming the bad acts on a few rogue employees. The first time, you might be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. The second time, you might be more skeptical. But when the number of investigations and indictments climbs and spreads out over several states, Congress at the very least needs to pull the plug on taxpayer funding. We're talking about repeated accusations made by prosecutors across the political spectrum of voter-registration fraud and tax violations involving ACORN.

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