[COMM-ORG] More on ACORN
Discussion list for COMM-ORG
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Mon Jan 4 09:12:50 CST 2010
From: Steve Kest & Bertha Lewis <newsacorn at acorn.org>
Congressional report clears ACORN on voting and federal funds
We want to make sure you have seen the good news that ran late last
week: a report by the Congressional Research Service has helped clear
the air about partisan attacks against ACORN. The article which ran on
the New York Times' website (below and at
"Report Finds Acorn Broke No Laws" summarizes the report's findings.
Also worth adding to your holiday season reading is an insightful
Huffington Post article by Peter Drier "Pass the Health Care Bill - Then
). Drier argues that right wing attacks on community organizations have
made it more difficult to pass serious health care reform; he credits
organizing by the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) coalition for much
the progress that has been made so far in the health care fight.
For our part, we are proud to report that ACORN members in several key
states have continued to work with allies to give a crucial push for for
fair and effective health care reform right into the holiday season.
Best wishes for the New Year,
Steve Kest, ACORN Executive Director
Bertha Lewis, ACORN CEO and Chief Organizer
New York Times
The Caucus: The Politics and Government Blog of the Times
DECEMBER 23, 2009
Report Finds Acorn Broke No Laws
By JANIE LORBER
The controversial community organizing group Acorn has not broken any
laws in the last five years, according to a Congressional Research
Service report released Tuesday evening.
The report, requested by Representative John Conyers, Democrat of
Michigan, said that federal agencies, mainly the Departments of Justice
and Housing and Urban Development, have awarded money to the group 48
times since 2005. But, in none of those instances did Acorn violate the
terms of their funding, the report said.
Since the 2008 elections, the group, which works primarily to expand
voter registration and affordable housing, has become a key Republican
target. A series of scandals brought to light by conservative activists
led to multiple Congressional hearings and repeated attempts to deny it
Acorn has been the subject of scores of investigations-a total of 46
inquiries by federal, state, and local agencies, including the FBI and
the Treasury Department, and five by Congress as of October 2009,
according to the report.
The report found no evidence that voters attempting to cast ballots at
the polls had been improperly registered by Acorn, a chief Republican
The report also said that a sting-style effort to publicize the group's
allegedly illegal activities, may have broken state laws. Two
conservative activists set off a firestorm in September when they posed
as a pimp and a prostitute seeking financial advice and secretly
videotaped Acorn employees offering advice on how the couple could hide
their illicit activities and avoid paying taxes.
Also on Tuesday, a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, rejected the
administration's request to reconsider its ruling that a House
resolution barring the group from receiving federal funding was
unconstitutional. Earlier this month a judge ruled that the law
constituted a "bill of attainder," legislation intended to punish
specific people or groups.
In November the Justice Department also concluded that the Obama
administration can legally pay the group.
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