Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Watching ACORN Get Chopped Down

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Chip WoodThere’s a wonderful German word, “schadenfreude,” which translates roughly as “taking pleasure in the misfortune of others.” Normally that would be a pretty petty thing to feel. But I’ve got to admit, I’ve been enjoying a lot of schadenfreude lately, as I witness the problems the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has created for itself.

The radical agitators who run this so-called “association of community organizers” are finally being exposed as the criminals and swindlers they’ve always been. As a result, it looks almost certain that they will lose the billions of dollars in federal subsidies they were promised by their good friend and generous benefactor, Barack Hussein Obama.

First, the background. I know you’ve probably heard all of this before, but please bear with me while I repeat the story of ACORN’s support of a pimp, a prostitute and a child sex-slave ring. Seldom have I taken such pleasure in seeing some Marxist revolutionaries get their come-uppance.

ACORN’s exposure started when two independent filmmakers visited their offices in Brooklyn, N.Y., Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md. In each case, they posed as a pimp and a prostitute who wanted advice on how they could obtain a federal housing loan (they wanted their own brothel) and how they could avoid taxes on their ill-gotten gains (they planned to be extremely profitable, don’t you know).

And oh, by the way, they also planned to import 13-year-old girls from El Salvador and turn them into prostitutes. Did ACORN have any advice on how they could get away with all of this?

Time after time, ACORN officials were only too glad to help. And thanks to some hidden recording equipment, it was all caught on tape. As you might guess, Fox News had a field day with the footage.

ACORN reacted by claiming that the videos had been “doctored.” It also accused its critics of “racist coverage” and running a smear campaign. And oh, by the way, it also fired four of the employees who were caught on the incriminating videos.

Before you could say “oh my,” the Senate voted 83 to 7 to deny ACORN some $1.6 million in federal housing subsidies it was supposed to receive. And the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it was cancelling a contract it had with the community organizing group to assist in next year’s census. Let us hope this is just the first of many setbacks ACORN will receive, as its friends in Congress and the White House scurry for cover.

(Let me note in passing that the seven senators who voted against the measure included both leftist legislators from Illinois, Roland Burris and Dick Durbin; the outright socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders; and Hillary Clinton’s replacement from New York, Kirsten Gillebrand. Completing the sorry seven were Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Pat Leahy of Vermont, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. May their constituents vote to retire all of them at the next available opportunity.)

Yes, the publicity has hurt ACORN. But what’s really going to frost their petunias is what will happen next. ACORN was in line to receive a staggering $8.5 billion in stimulus funds from the Obama Administration. Color that money gone.

And the bad news for ACORN just keeps pouring in. Last month 11 ACORN workers in Florida were accused by prosecutors of falsifying information on 888 voter registration forms. The month before, ACORN’s former field director in Las Vegas agreed to testify against the group’s activities there. Las Vegas election officials say that up to 48 percent of the voter registration forms the group submitted were “clearly fraudulent.” Although it has barely been mentioned by the mainstream media, to date some 70 ACORN employees in 12 states have been convicted of voter-registration fraud. Expect those numbers to grow.

Earlier this summer, Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released an 88-page staff report on ACORN’s activities. Here’s how that damning document began:

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has repeatedly and deliberately engaged in systemic fraud. Both structurally and operationally, ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American public.

The report goes on to note that “since 1994, more than $53 million in Federal funds have been pumped into ACORN, and under the Obama Administration, ACORN stands to receive a whopping $8.5 billion in stimulus funds.”

Not any more, I’m very happy to report.

Republicans in Congress are urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate ACORN. Nonsense! The agency that should be conducting an investigation is the Justice Department. ACORN is not merely a bunch of liberal do-gooders run amuck. They are criminal conspirators with a blatant disregard for the laws of this country.

Back in March, Rep. John Conyers, the liberal congressman from Michigan who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, recommended that a hearing be held on ACORN’s abuses. His suggestion was immediately shot down by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Conyers was later heard to mutter that “the powers that be decided against it.”

President Obama has already proven, in his cold-blooded dismissal of many former friends (remember Rev. Jeremiah Wright?), that he won’t hesitate to toss an ally under the bus if it becomes politically necessary. I’ll know we’ve won this battle when ACORN’s former attorney turns his back on these radical friends.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen. But don’t let your congressman give these professional agitators another dime of your money, either.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest, where his Straight Talk column appears twice a month. This article first appeared in PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.

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