Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Congressional ACORN Investigation

In Culture of Corrpuption, Michelle Malkin opens her chapter on ACORN (the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now) with the story of a woman in Baltimore who "liberates" her foreclosed house from the bank by breaking the bank's padlock off the door, moving back into the home, and installing her own lock. ACORN called the act disobedience, but the police didn't see it that way.

ACORN receives millions from the Department of Housing and Development to fight poverty. That may be about to change with last night's Senate vote to cut funding. Of course, the media isn't really covering the ACORN story, so lots of folks may not even know about it. According to Hot Air, the New York Times only covered it on the web edition, in the Caucus blog, so print customers won't know anything about the vote.

Today, The Washington Examiner has an editorial calling for Congressional investigation of ACORN citing the fact that dozens of states, including Louisiana, have charged ACORN employees with voter registration fraud and other scurrilous crimes.

What crimes?

1986: In Missouri, 12 ACORN members convicted of voter fraud.
December 2004: six St. Louis volunteers for ACORN plead guilty to registration fraud.
2005-2006: Multiple voter registration fraud charges against ACORN in Missouri.
2007: Washington state prosecutors fined ACORN for voter registration fraud.
2008: Over a dozen states investigation ACORN for voter registration fraud.
May 2009: Nevada officials charge ACORN with filing thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms.
May 2009: Pittsuburgh officials charge ACORN with filing hundreds of fraudulent voter registration forms.
August 2009: Louisiana officials investigating ACORN for embezzlement.

ACORN was actively involved in the campaign to force banks and lending organizations to make sub-prime loans which largely responsible for putting people into homes they ultimately couldn't afford. They would loudly protest banks that refused to make such loans. Kevin Mooney and Barbara Hollingsworth writing in July of this year for the San Francisco Examiner, outlined even more of ACORN's crimes, including the Muscle for Money program and the connections with the SEIU:

"Muscle for Money includes multiple techniques for creating highly aggressive, organized efforts both to pressure businesses and officials to support the activists’ agenda or to discredit and intimidate opponents of their agenda, according to present and former ACORN members."

In June 2008, Michelle Malkin wrote an article on ACORN for National Review, which outlines ACORN's funding, 40% of which comes from the American taxpayer. The question today is why has it taken so long for anyone to launch a serious national investigation into the group and why has our government continued to fund it?

And now we have the continuing appearance of these videos of ACORN employees giving advice to "pimp and prostitute" Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, on how to get a loan to fund a brothel featuring 13 year old Latin American sex slaves. ACORN was filmed giving this advice in Baltimore, but there are also tapes from Washington, D.C. and New York. There is word that more are coming today.

I stand with the Examiner today in asking "Now Will Congress Investigate ACORN"? How much more do they need? The Examiner writes:

"The time has come for Congress to stop evading its responsibility to conduct a full-scale investigation into ACORN operations. It's bad enough that dozens of ACORN employees and volunteers have been convicted in recent years of multiple election law violations. Now the O'Keefe/Giles videos provide graphic proof that an organization that supposedly uses its federal largess to counsel poor people on how to avoid foreclosure is using at least some of its federal dollars to encourage the most heinous of crimes against children. Congress can no longer ignore its responsibility to get at the full truth about ACORN, no matter how disgusting it may ultimately be."

Enough said.


Red said...

I'm thinking (and maybe I am wrong) that the IG investigation scandals are tied not only to Amtrak but to ACORN somehow and perhaps that is why so many IGs have been black-balled and fired over trying to do their jobs. Investigating agencies such as ACORN in an effort to hold these agencies accountable for what they do and they are being hampered by an administration that doesn't want these issues to see the light of day. Just another example of how our federal government needs a 'do-over'IMO.

Richardhg said...

At every level of Government, starting at local City and County level, up through the State and Federal justice systems, the lack of investigation in the US has become embarrassingly bad.

For example, how could the SEC miss the fact that Madoff's investment house had taken in hundreds of billions, destined for investment, and never conducted a single purchase of securities?

Bring this lack of oversight and investigation down to City, County, and State levels, and you can see the strategy of local police and prison systems ignoring the underbelly of constant crime, playing politics to garner ever more funds for ever less effective investigation.

A quick look into your local justice system will show you that there is political railroading going on, and inadequate investigation in every area of crime.

The idea of investigation is that it should uncover the truth, in as far as that is possible. The only place that this kind of investigation still plays a role is on television, on shows like "Law and order".

In most of America, the police address their investigations from the viewpoint of belief, with their conclusions already drawn, and the end result is railroading.

This fits in well with the new American Justice maxim, which is "Guilty until proven innocent".

The current economic crisis is a huge convergence of all these different elements of justice, which left the rails many years ago, and are at last coming home to roost.

And unless the fundamentals are repaired, the US economy will not recover.

Certainly, as the US becomes more exposed to the world for its lack of investigation, it loses credibility.

Since 2000, the awful blunders that resulted from this lack of investigation and oversight (the Iraq war, torture of prisoners, global fraud by America in the financial markets, lack of open investigation of 9/11, etc etc) have resulted in the rest of the world becoming very untrusting of US investigation and justice.

I am not playing a conservative or liberal card here. I am asking for better investigation of every event, and let all the cards fall where they may.

It is a sorry day when China is seen as more admirable than the US in global polls, as happened during the GWB administration!

Bob Belvedere said...

Great primer on ACORN, Teach.

Quoted from and linked to at: TCOTS