Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who earlier cut off the federal funding spigot for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – the organization for whom Barack Obama worked – now have decided to put successor organizations behind the same barrier.
U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, warned this week of the continuing danger that election fraud-prone ACORN poses to American democracy, and the House subsequently voted to cut off federal funding to the still-functioning group.
“ACORN is a corrupt criminal enterprise that threatens our democratic system of government by systematically committing voter registration fraud,” said King, a longtime ACORN critic. “American taxpayers should not be asked to fund an organization that is dedicated to corrupting the sanctity of every American’s vote.”
Get the book that reveals the ongoing criminal enterprise known as ACORN. This book is so explosive, copies have been provided to all 535 members of the House and Senate in hopes of prompting further investigation of the subversive activity it exposes.
In the Thursday action, the House voted 231-188 to bar existing ACORN affiliates and its renamed successor groups from receiving funding under the $42.3 billion Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill for fiscal 2012 (H.R. 2017).
The ACORN defunding language was inserted into the bill when an amendment King offered was adopted on a vote of 251 to 168. It is unclear when the Senate will begin consideration of the full spending bill.
The fiscal measure identifies several ACORN affiliates by name and prevents government money from being provided to them. A King aide said without the funding prohibition some DHS grants could find their way into ACORN’s coffers.
King previously described the scandals involving ACORN, which used to employ Obama as organizer, lecturer, and attorney, as “the largest corruption crisis in the history of America.”
In September 2009 Obama tried to distance himself from ACORN after undercover videos surfaced showing two conservative activists receiving advice from ACORN employees on how to establish a brothel for pedophiles.
In a TV interview at the time, the president ducked a question from reporter George Stephanopoulos about whether federal funding of ACORN should be terminated.
“Frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money,” Obama said.
When pressed by Stephanopoulos, Obama refused to commit to defunding the group. “George, this is not the biggest issue facing the country. It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to.”
Despite Obama’s newly professed indifference to ACORN, the scandals surrounding the violent, in-your-face activist group are “thousands of times bigger than Watergate because Watergate was only a little break-in by a couple of guys,” King said.
“By the time we pull ACORN out by its roots America’s going to understand just how big this is,” said King, according to a stunning new book, “Subversion Inc.,” by award-winning investigative journalist Matthew Vadum.
Vadum, senior editor at Capital Research Center, a think tank that studies left-wing advocacy groups and their funders, has assembled the information from nearly three years of research and hundreds of interviews.
King has demanded “an all-out, full court press federal investigation” in order “to bring ACORN to heel.”
The lawmaker has urged the IRS and the Justice Department to jointly investigate ACORN and carry out a complete forensic analysis of its convoluted finances. A special prosecutor should be appointed to probe the group that has long depended on government grants to fund its operations, he said.
“People need to go to jail for criminal activities,” King said previously.
According to Vadum’s book, ACORN may be guilty of pension fraud, extortion, racketeering and a host of other federal crimes.
Significantly, the book reports, the push for a racketeering probe got a boost in April when ACORN was convicted in a massive voter fraud conspiracy in Nevada.
The book contends that ACORN’s “anti-democratic, un-American activities are not legitimate political advocacy protected by the First Amendment. They cry out for prosecution under federal racketeering laws.”
As predicted in the book, ACORN hasn’t gone away. The national ACORN organization filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Election Day 2010 but ACORN leaders quietly have been restructuring the ACORN network. They acknowledge in the book that their goal is to have a “new” ACORN network in place to help reelect Obama next year. Many of ACORN’s state chapters have already incorporated themselves separately under new names.
One ACORN affiliate singled out for a funding cutoff in H.R. 2017 is Affordable Housing Centers of America, which until last year was called ACORN Housing Corp. The Chicago-based entity operates in 19 cities, 14 states, and the District of Columbia.
Another affiliate that would be barred from receiving federal funding is Community Organizations International, which is known outside the United States as ACORN International. ACORN International is headed by ACORN founder Wade Rathke and has active branches in Canada, Peru, Mexico, India, Kenya, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere. Rathke was dismissed by ACORN’s national board in June 2008 after it was revealed he had engineered an eight-year-long cover-up of a million dollar embezzlement apparently committed by his brother Dale.
The “new” state-level ACORN chapters that would be barred under the House-approved spending legislation from receiving federal funding are:
- New York Communities for Change
- Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
- New England United for Justice
- Action Now (a registered business name of Pennsylvania Communities Organizing for Change)
- Texas Organizing Project
- Arkansas Community Organizations
- Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
- Organization United for Reform (Washington State)
- Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
- A Community Voice (Louisiana)
Meanwhile, Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s national chief organizer, has started an ACORN-like group called the Black Institute.
Steve Kest, who was ACORN’s longtime national executive director, accepted a “senior fellow” post alongside former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The liberal pressure group run by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta receives extensive funding from radical left-wing philanthropists including hedge fund manager George Soros, Progressive Insurance founder Peter B. Lewis, and subprime mortgage tycoons Herb and Marion Sandler.
Because of the potentially criminal activity documented in this explosive book, copies of “Subversion Inc.,” by Matthew Vadum have been sent by the publisher, WND Books, to all 535 members of the House and Senate in hopes of prompting further investigation of ACORN and its tentacles.