Saturday, November 28, 2009

Good Old-Fashioned Cronyism

I'm no lawyer and I'm no expert in constitutional law, but from where I'm sitting, Rep. Darrell Issa sounds pretty reasonable when he says that the DOJ judgment to keep funding ACORN is "old-fashioned cronyism."

This decision was made a month ago and was posted online last week.

It appears that the acting assistant attorney general, who broke out a dictionary AND a thesaurus to look up "provided to," is interpreting the language in what he calls a "discretionary" manner to avoid being sued (again) by ACORN:

Mr. Barron said he had based his conclusion on the statute’s phrase “provided to.” This phrase, he said, has no clearly defined meaning in the realm of government spending — unlike words like “obligate” and “expend.”

Citing dictionary and thesaurus entries, he said “provided to” could be interpreted as meaning only instances in which an official was making “discretionary choices” about whether to give the group money, rather than instances in which the transfer of money to Acorn was required to satisfy contractual obligations.

Since there are two possible ways to construe the term “provided to,” Mr. Barron wrote, it makes sense to pick the interpretation that allows the government to avoid breaching contracts.

Since ACORN has already sued the United States government over the October spending bill which "included a provision that said no taxpayer money — including money authorized by previous legislation — could be 'provided to' the group or its affiliates," there is no reason to think they wouldn't continue to pursue the issue if they don't get their contractually promised cash.

So who is running this show, anyway?

It appears ACORN is.

Jake Tapper has Rep. Issa's statement:

"The bipartisan intent of Congress was clear – no more federal dollars should flow to ACORN," Issa said. "It is telling that this administration continues to look for every excuse possible to circumvent the intent of Congress. Taxpayers should not have to continue subsidizing a criminal enterprise that helped Barack Obama get elected president. The politicization of the Justice Department to pay back one of the president’s political allies is shameful and amounts to nothing more than old-fashioned cronyism.”

It's just beyond belief to me that an organization with such a large number of criminal indictments and charges and investigations (oh my) would continue to get checks from the U.S. Government. Only in Eric Holder's justice department could this happen.

H/T: Memeorandum

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