Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who Funded ACORN the most...Would you believe the GOP?


The chart linked above reproduced on House Republican Leader John Boehner's (R-OH) website shows it all. Please note that most of the money ACORN received from the Federal Government occurred under Republican administrations.

1. This includes those years (2000-2006) when the GOP more often than not handily controlled Congress (as the Democrats do today). It was a problem with Congressional GOP.

2. G.W. Bush (in)famously had only 12 vetoes in eight years. Curiously, all of them came after July 2006 when GOP congressional power was waning. It was a problem with the Executive Branch GOP.

3. The root philosophical difference between the two parties here again is zero. See below for more explanation, but the vast majority of both parties incorrectly clearly believe that community grants are a legal, Constitutional, moral use of your taxpayer money. Thus you get "compassionate conservatism" and taxpayer money flowing to "faith-based organizations." Do some of the organizations do good things? Undoubtedly. However, the taxpayer should not by force have money removed from her wallet only to have it transferred, in an un-Constitutional manner, to another party. Rather we should all applaud these community and faith organizations and support liberty of each of us to give to them of our own free will, not by force.

ACORN money received through the years from taxpayers ($53 million) and its money flows through or from HUD (Housing and Urban Development) and its Community Development Block Grants. Bills passed by Congress alot funding for HUD grants which ACORN and other groups may be eligible to apply for and receive. All of the posturing in late 2008 and 2009 by GOP and Dems alike to take a stand and "de-fund" ACORN holds little teeth in the long run. Why? The real solution is to cease allowing taxpayer money for community grants to any non-profit or better yet, cease funding and close the doors on HUD. Are you holding your breathe to see a real difference between the two parties? I'm not. Liberalism, under the banner of "compassionate conservatism," will not allow it until the voters require it and push the issue.

Until the GOP voter realizes that while surface differences appear every step of the way...Yes, ACORN is accused of voter fraud on behalf of Barack Obama and Democrats, among many other things...the root philosophical problem of why an ACORN (or any other receiver of government grant) gets money to begin with is shared very clearly by both parties. Stop that and you have something! It all boils down to the Constitution and what is legal and moral. The GOP and Dems clearly engage in taking money from you and giving some of that to ACORN and a host of other community grant organizations, apparently the rest of which the GOP and Democrats feel no ill will toward at this time. Perhaps ACORN will just rename itself and reapply next year! Now, that sounds nuts, but because nothing has truly changed amidst all the ballyhoo it is altogether possible.


Republicans are all over the ACORN scandal and calling for an end to federal subsidies for the group. Well that’s great, but it’s not exactly going out on a limb and pushing for a major budget reform.

Why doesn’t the GOP use this as an opportunity to call for completely ending the programs that funded ACORN? Wouldn’t it be better to save the $13 billion a year that HUD spends on so-called “community development” programs, rather than just the few million dollars a year that taxpayers spend on ACORN?

The federal programs that funded ACORN are particularly wasteful ones, including Community Development Block Grants, Housing Counseling Assistance, and others as Tad DeHaven has explained.

At a minimum, the GOP should be arguing that with deficits of $1 trillion the federal government cannot afford to intervene in classic local and private activities such as community development. Boehner and Canter want the IRS to cut ties with ACORN, but they should be leading the charge to end porky “community development” spending altogether.

ACORN was founded in 1970 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Since 1994, it has received $53 million in Federal tax money. According to the report from the GOP staff on the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, "nearly 70 ACORN employees have been convicted in 12 states for voter registration fraud..."

Claire Suddath in her October 14, 2008 Time magazine article, "A Brief History of ACORN" outlines some of the problems were apparent along the way, yet it continued to get funded, including under GOP dominated congresses and Executive branch.

• In 1995, it unsuccessfully sued the state of California, claiming that it should be exempted from minimum wage laws because paying its workers more would require the group to reduce headcount and would make its workers less sympathetic to the poor. (ACORN publicly supports the living wage and has led coalitions to win minimum wage increases in several states.)

• In 1999 and 2000, Dale Rathke, Wade's brother, (note: Wade Rathke founded ACORN in 1970) embezzled almost $1 million from ACORN and affiliated organizations. When his actions were discovered, the Rathke family agreed to pay the money back, but ACORN didn't alert members of its board or law enforcement; Dale Rathke remained on the company's payroll until June 2008 when the news of his wrongdoing came out. Wade Rathke resigned from his post, although he remains chief organizer for ACORN International.

• In 1998, an Arkansas employee was arrested for falsifying voter registration forms. A year later, Philadelphia authorities flagged hundreds of registration forms, alleging that they were all written by the same person. In 2007, more than 2,000 fraudulent voter registration cards were submitted in Washington; three ACORN employees pleaded guilty to the crime.

In 2007, prosecutors in Washington state uncovered 7 ACORN employees involved in the largest case of voter fraud in that state's history.
It's interesting to note that John McCain has connections to ACORN as well; he was the keynote speaker at a 2006 rally co-sponsored by the organization, to build support for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that he co-sponsored with Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Michelle Malkin outlined GOP politicians in Illinois accepting campaign donations from ACORN affiliated SEIU (also founded by Wade Rathke)

The U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to end funding for ACORN via HUD. The House passed a bill 346-75 to end all Federal funding.

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