The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) bills itself as "the nation's largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people." Its mission is typical leftist activism -- anything from advocating for a higher minimum wage and the type of home loans that precipitated the housing crisis to ballot initiatives and voter registration. We know that ACORN has also submitted fraudulent voter registration forms filled out by "Mickey Mouse" and other fictional characters. But, hey, "get out the vote" knows no bounds. Also, Barack Obama worked alongside ACORN during his own "community organizing" days.
This week, news broke that the Census Bureau, which had planned to partner with ACORN in next year's census, severed all ties with the organization. Then the U.S. House and Senate each voted to deny the group access to further federal housing funds (though who knows what will happen in Conference Committee). Even the Obama White House "distanced" itself from this taxpayer-funded organization.
So why all the fuss? If inquiring minds read only The New York Times, they might be in the same blissfully ignorant boat as ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson, who, when asked about the ACORN scandal, claimed, "I don't even know about it."
The story began when two young conservative activists, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, posed as a pimp and a prostitute seeking advice on obtaining a loan for a home to use as a brothel, evading income tax on the young woman's income and claiming as dependents underage El Salvadoran girls they wanted to employ. In five different ACORN offices (Baltimore, DC, New York, and San Diego and San Bernardino, California), workers bit on the story, hooker, line and sinker, freely giving pointers without so much as batting an eye on how to get illegal loans and evade taxes. The videos are posted on Andrew Breitbart'sBigGovernment.com. None showed concern for the obvious implication of child abuse.
The Times, however, with the motto "All the News That's Fit to Print," didn't find anything fit to print until days later, and then only with the laughable headline, "Conservatives Draw Blood From Acorn." As Charlie Gibson condescended, "[M]aybe this is just one you leave to the cables."
The truly unfortunate thing is that ACORN has received more than $50 million in taxpayer dollars since 1994 and was set to receive $8.5 billion in "stimulus" cash. Most Democrats are feverishly turning off the funding spigot before this scandal drags their own political skeletons out of the closet. For the record, however, seven senators voted to continue funding this criminal enterprise, and, not surprisingly, they're all Democrats: Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Dick Durbin (IL), Roland Burris (IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Bob Casey Jr. (PA), Patrick Leahy (VT) and self-proclaimed socialist independent Bernie Sanders (VT). In addition, 75 (yes, seventy-five) House Democrats voted to continue throwing our money at the group. Space doesn't permit us to list the names of these disgraceful twits, but BigGovernment.com has them for all to see.
One of the ACORN workers did tell O'Keefe, "Honesty is not going to get you the house." Perhaps she meant "House" with a capital "H." In any case, O'Keefe and Giles deserve a medal.