ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, touts itself as being the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families. But the corrupted organization and loyal Democrat ally has proven itself once again to be a mere front for groups to undermine democracy, the economy and civility-all at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers. The activist group became infamous last year when it was investigated for voter registration fraud in 15 states. To date, some 70 ACORN workers have been convicted for voter fraud registration.
On July 23, 2009, Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued an in-depth report on the structure and operation of ACORN. The report, Is ACORN Intentionally Structured As A Criminal Enterprise states, "The evidence contained in this report proves that ACORN's stated purpose to promote grassroots civic participation has been perverted through fraudulent and illegal acts. The weight of evidence against ACORN and its affiliates is astounding. This syndicate of tax-exempt organizations has coordinated and implemented a nation-wide strategy of tax fraud, racketeering, money-laundering and manipulating the American electorate."
The Democrats' ties to ACORN are strong. In October of 2008, The Wall Street Journal reported, "[T]he Obama campaign paid $832,000 to an ACORN affiliate. The campaign initially told the Federal Election Commission this money was for ‘staging, sound, lighting.' It later admitted the cash was to get out the vote." In Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly blocked attempts restrict ACORN's access to federal funds. And according to the Wall Street Journal's John Fund, President Obama "ran a voter-registration program for an Acorn partner (Project Vote) and then worked for Acorn as a lawyer on key cases."
There have been numerous media reports on ACORNS activities. On September 9, 2009, CNN reported, "Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday for 11 Florida voter registration workers who are suspected of submitting false information on hundreds of voter registration cards, according to court documents. The FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were serving the warrants in Miami. Six people are already in custody, officials said. The workers were employed by ACORN to canvass neighborhoods in Florida and assist people in registering to vote ahead of the 2008 election...Authorities allege the workers submitted false information on the cards, which were to be submitted to the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections."
On September 10, 2009, Fox News reported, "ACORN officials videotaped telling a 'pimp and prostitute' how to lie to the IRS." The videotape documented ACORN officials in its Baltimore, Maryland, Brooklyn, NY, Washington, DC and San Bernardino, CA offices advising "the pimp" on how to get a housing loan, launder money, and falsify tax documents for a proposed brothel that would employ underage girls smuggled into the U.S. from a foreign country.
Unfortunately, ACORN receives both taxpayer funding and assistance in recruitment. According to Rep. Issa's report, ACORN affiliates have received more than $53 million in federal funds from 1994 to 2008 and substantially more indirectly from federal block grants that States and cities receive. The group could also get a portion of up to $8.5 billion more tax dollars from the economic stimulus bill enacted in February and the 2010 federal budget.
The Washington Examiner reported, "An ACORN affiliate has just submitted applications for over $6 million in government funding...ACORN Institute has filed two separate [applications] with the Commerce Department...One in the amount of $3,172,042 and the other in amount of $2,999,903." Additionally, on June 26, 2009, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, introduced legislation (H.R. 3068), to direct $2.5 billion in TARP dividends to two housing trust funds and $4 billion of the remaining $700 billion original TARP funds to subsidize foreclosure prevention-funds that would be assessable to ACORN through neighborhood stabilization programs.
On September 15, 2009, Republicans introduced the Defund ACORN Act (H.R. 3571). The legislation would prohibit any organization, including ACORN, that has been indicted for violations of State or federal election laws, or that employs an individual who has been indicted for violations of state or federal election laws, from accessing federal taxpayer dollars.