Monday, September 14, 2009

What in the Hell Took so Long?!?

Today I am going to go ahead and get this one out of the way. I have been avoiding this topic because of the amount of research that has to be done to get all of my facts straight, but with a third video being released today and a fourth being released tomorrow I think its time to look into ACORN.

ACORN, or Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a community-based organization in the U.S. that advocates for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other social issues. ACORN is the nation's largest grassroots community organization with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country.

ACORN is an organization that has received over $53 million of our tax dollars since its creation, including $1.6 million last year. Moreover, it was eligible for another $4 billion in stimulus money.

I believe that for the most part, ACORN has done more good then bad for its members. But in the light of recent events I believe that some sort of investigation needs to be conducted. ACORN is a federally supported organization and that means our tax dollars are paying their salaries! But what are we paying them to do? Let's go back in time.

ACORN was founded in 1970 by Wade Rathke and Gary Delgado. ACORN's priorities have included: better housing and wages for the poor, more community development investment from banks and governments, better public schools, and other social justice issues. ACORN has pursued these goals through demonstration, negotiation, lobbying for legislation, and voter participation. ACORN is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that typically champions liberal and progressive causes. It is made up of numerous legally distinct parts including local non-profits, a national lobbying organization, and the ACORN Housing Corporation.

In late 2008 the organization fell into hot water when ACORN members from several different states were accused of committing voter registration fraud. In Indiana, officials had to throw out 11,000 registrations suspected as fraudulent. In Nevada, ACORN claimed to have registered "Tony Romo" and "Terrell Owens" along with the rest of the starting offense of the Dallas Cowboys. In Wisconsin, ACORN was illegally registering felons to vote. In Florida, ACORN turned in voter registrations duplicates and multiple copies of the same form. In one Missouri county, investigators found a 12 year old registered and 10 registrations for the same name — in all, 800 phonies from ACORN.

Now most people would look at this information and think... man these people need to be shut down and investigated... but oh no. The man that they were rallying for won the election so apparently no one felt the need to dig to deep. In more recent news a duo of conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her pimp released hidden-camera videos in which ACORN employees in Baltimore gave advice on house-buying and how to account on tax forms for the woman’s income. Two other videos depict similar situations in ACORN offices in Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. so to say the least the folks at ACORN are in trouble again. But I can't help but think that if the organization had looked in on its employees back in 2008 when all the trouble started they wouldn't have had to worry about videos like this ever coming out.

On September 11th, 2009 the U.S. Census Bureau director Robert Groves announced that he was severing ties with ACORN (they were slated to help conduct the 2010 census). And today (FINALLY) the Senate voted to defund ACORN housing. The Johanns Amendment # 2355 to H.R. 3288 passed by a margin of 83 to 7. 83 to 7!! If there were this many people worried about the workings of ACORN, why did it take so long for this to happen? Can anyone say corruption?

In conclusion, the stop on funding to ACORN is better late then never but I would like to see a full, in depth investigation into ALL ACORN offices around the country and I want the American citizens to have access to all the findings. Before there funding is reinstated I want it to be convinced that all unethical employees have been terminated from the organization. No if's, and's or but's about it.

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