Archive for Friday, September 18, 2009

House votes to defund ACORN

Initiative won’t take effect until bills pass

September 18, 2009


— The House voted Thursday to deny all federal funds for ACORN in a GOP-led strike against the scandal-tainted community organizing group that comes just three days after the Senate took similar action.

“ACORN has violated serious federal laws, and today the House voted to ensure that taxpayer dollars would no longer be used to fund this corrupt organization,” said second-ranked House Republican Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The vote, on a provision attached to a student aid bill, was 345-75, with Democrats supplying all the “no” votes.

On Monday the Senate voted 83-7 to deny housing and community grant funding to ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Republicans accelerated their attacks on the liberal-leaning group a year ago when ACORN, in conducting a massive voter registration drive, was accused of submitting some false registration forms.

On a hidden-camera video released on Monday, two ACORN employees are seen apparently advising a couple that was posing as a prostitute and her pimp to lie about her profession and launder her earnings. The video was the latest in a series that has already led to the firing of four ACORN employees in Baltimore and Washington. It was created by James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles and posted on, where O’Keefe identifies himself as an activist filmmaker.

ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson blasted the video shot at the organization’s Brooklyn office, saying the group believes the voices of the couple were dubbed over to alter the conversation and make the interaction appear more objectionable than it may have been.

ACORN said Wednesday that it is ordering its own independent investigation of the incidents, while stressing that they were isolated cases.

The Census Bureau, meanwhile, also has severed its ties with the group for the 2010 national census.

Republicans have urged federal officials to go further by launching a comprehensive investigation of how ACORN spends and manages federal money.

“As long as taxpayers are subsidizing ACORN and its affiliates, we need to use every measure possible to ensure that those dollars are being spent and managed appropriately,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sponsor of the measure that passed the House.

The Senate and House initiatives to cut funding for ACORN won’t take effect until the bills to which they are attached clear Congress and are signed by President Barack Obama. The Senate measure is attached to a fiscal 2010 spending bill.

“President Obama needs to indicate whether he’ll sign this bill and join us in ending all taxpayer funds for this corrupt organization,” House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said after the vote.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Wednesday said the conduct seen on the tapes “is completely unacceptable.” He said the Obama administration “takes accountability extremely seriously” and noted that the Census Bureau had determined that ACORN could not meet its goal for conducting a fair and accurate count next year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a conference call with reporters, called the latest allegations against ACORN “horrible.”


Practicality 8 years, 2 months ago

Wow. The dems are quickly trying to distance themselves from ACORN. Interesting.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

Just goes to show you that Republicans aren't total failures. They've made a successful transition to the party of bad ideas to the party of demagogues.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

That should read "They've made a successful transition FROM the party of bad ideas to the party of demagogues."

sinverguenza 8 years, 2 months ago

Fat cats on Wall St. give advice on how their rich clients can evade taxes and they're praised for it. A handful of community organizers do the same and the baby's thrown out with the bath water.

So be it. Don't think it matters much seeing as how ACORN only gets something like 2% of their budget from the feds. They'll continue to do good work, no matter.

I think I'll move on. There are more important issues at stake than ACORN, in my not so humble opinion.

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 2 months ago

This Washington Post story gives a more thorough background of the the two people who shot the videos and includes the fact that ACORN staff called the police and asked these two to leave their offices when they made comments about employing 13 year-old girls as "sex workers". I'm guessing the two people who filmed their encounters at the ACORN offices didn't include this information when they released the videos.

There are definitely some problems with some of the workers at ACORN as there are problems with some people who work for insurance companies and who work in Congress. In 2006 McCain told ACORN workers "You are what makes America special" and it was certainly meant as a compliment. There have been other Republicans who've embraced some of the work done by ACORN and they received major funding while GWB was in office and he signed the bill.

Republicans are upset the voter registration drives by ACORN have led to more people voting for Democrats. There have been legitimate complaints about individual ACORN employees who participated in voter registration fraud (which has never been shown to lead to actual voter fraud, Mickey Mouse was never allowed to vote) and ACORN notified local authorities of these instances. They are not allowed to simply reject someone's voter registration but instead notify the local authorities when voter registration fraud is suspected. Republicans have long been involved in voter suppression activities which is the other side of the same coin.

In Philadelphia, Neil Herrmann, ACORN's lead organizer there, said the couple was kicked out after talking to a counselor "for a few minutes." They called to set up an appointment the day before the visit.

"At first when the counselor came," she wasn't going to take them back," Herrmann said. "But they had made an appointment. When he mentioned the 13-year-old girls, they were asked to leave."

O'Keefe disputed Herrmann's account, saying "we talked to them for more than a few minutes."

ACORN emailed a copy of a Philadelphia police report dated July 24 to The Post to verify its account that police were called and the couple was shown the door. O'Keefe is named on the report.

Katara 8 years, 2 months ago

“As long as taxpayers are subsidizing ACORN and its affiliates, we need to use every measure possible to ensure that those dollars are being spent and managed appropriately,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sponsor of the measure that passed the House. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Funny how that thinking doesn't apply to the banks who accepted federal bailout monies.

beatrice 8 years, 2 months ago

Logan, this is worth repeating: "In 2006 McCain told ACORN workers “You are what makes America special” and it was certainly meant as a compliment. "

Katara, good point.

This is about individuals doing stupid things, not the entire organization. However, it is politically expedient to cut ACORN funding completely. Sad.

Since we have a preacher in Arizona praying for the death of our President, I guess we better cut the tax exemption of all churches now too. Some soldiers recently got sentenced for raping and killing citizens in Iraq. Guess we better cut military funding since they are just a bunch of rapists and killers of the innocent, right? Isn't that the lesson, make the many suffer for the actions of a few?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

" we need to use every measure possible to ensure that those dollars are being spent and managed appropriately,”

I wonder what measures he's proposed? And if those measures are appropriate for ACORN, shouldn't they be appropriate for every organization receiving govt. money? Or are those measures only for organizations that are of, by and for poor people? As Katara wondered, why not the banks? And as others have wondered, why not Blackwater or KBR?

ralphralph 8 years, 2 months ago

Why are we subsidizing any of these outfits?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

"This is about individuals doing stupid things, not the entire organization. "

And we don't even know that for sure. There is much more to this story than the possibly doctored and heavily edited blips that Fox is running. After all, they've demonstrated time and again that fairness and accuracy are the first casualties to their dual primary missions--propaganda and demagoguery.

staff04 8 years, 2 months ago

consumer1 (Anonymous) says…

Great Idea, I don't think Obama will sign it.

  1. You must really think the President is an idiot.
  2. It's veto-proof--if the White House was really concerned about it, it would have been a closer vote in both chambers.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 2 months ago

Hundred of thousands of imaginary-Americans will be uncounted by the census now that ACORN's been shaken out of the tree.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 2 months ago

One less thing for the right wingers to complain about. Oh, wait elephants don't forget. They still bring up Billy. I do believe that Democrats make better lovers. (Who ever heard of a nice piece of elephant?)

beatrice 8 years, 2 months ago

bozo, I disagree. We do know that individuals working for ACORN did stupid things in this instance. I think that is pretty clear. To suggest, even in jest, that someone posing as a prostitute should claim to be a "performance artist" is downright stupid. To try to help someone bring underage girls into the country is repugnant. However, it is also a case of entrapment, since others booted these actors out of their offices and we weren't shown those bits of film. There is more to the story, no doubt, but those who gave very bad advice did act stupidly, no matter what other things are revealed about the conservative actors involved in the making of the video.

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 2 months ago

Boris (Anonymous) says… Well the Huffington Post and MSNBC are the last word in truthfullness, aren't they? ACORN doing good work? How long have you been insane?

Boris, do you think Huffington Post photo-shopped those photos of McCain, Perry and other politicians? Did they plant those stories in New York Times, Northwestern Financial Review, and invent this video of McCain speaking making that statement?

MSNBC is a credible news source and Huffington Post is no further left on the political continuum than Fox News is to the right. You can attack the messenger all you want, but many of these politicians supported ACORN before it was politically expedient to repudiate them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

"We do know that individuals working for ACORN did stupid things in this instance."

Do we really know that? All we know is what can be seen on the edited tapes Fox chose to run.

I'm not saying that these employees didn't do something stupid-- they did get fired. But that Fox has shown to air only a very partial recounting of what these two "journalists" did during this "investigation" tells me there is much they'd rather not have included, lest it lessen its demagogic value.

fuel_for_the_fire 8 years, 2 months ago

Getting a lecture from Alia Ahmed about credibility and truthfulness is too funny!

Flap Doodle 8 years, 2 months ago

Have the dead-tree compliant media started doing the Joe the Plumber treatment on the citizen journalists who exposed ACORN's racket?

In case you haven't seen it, check out:

Ralph Reed 8 years, 2 months ago

Paul mentioned on another thread that news any more is little more than entertainment. We live in a world of sound bites, "reality" and "gotcha" journalism, a desire for Jerry Springer-style exposes, and other such "reporting".

I have no doubt that the videos were doctored and edited for a specific purpose, which evidently has been achieved. Keep in mind the film producers had an agenda. Given the fact they are self-avowed (sp?) conservative activists I have no doubt what that agenda was. Michael Moore is a liberal activist and has an agenda also. Without a doubt, his films are also edited for a specific purpose.

What is wrong is to cast an entire organization in a bad light because of some employees who did the wrong thing. Just like it's wrong to denegrate an entire political party and conservative group because of some bad apples, Tom.

Bruce Rist 8 years, 2 months ago

we are appoaching 1,000,000 posts on here and Merrill and Bozo have half.

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 2 months ago

fuel_for_the_fire (Anonymous) says… Getting a lecture from Alia Ahmed about credibility and truthfulness is too funny!

Alia.says....fuel for the fire, you're the anonymous poster who just privately sent me a derogatory message after I wrote a blog about the loss of life in a car accident. But, I guess you're deriding me about credibility and truthfulness, not transparency.

The user fuel_for_the_fire sent the following message to you via

============================== Be especially kind?!!!! This, coming from you is ludicrous. You are the same pathetic little hack who wrote, I mean plagiarized, that horrible and completely false story about Sarah Palin's youngest child. I will repeat my earlier comment to you. You are not a writer; you are not a reporter; you are not talented.

fuel, I actually read through your previous comments after you sent me the above message and wasn't surprised to read the mean-spirited comments to others on these boards. Pot, meet kettle. I have heard that often the things we hate in others are the very things we actually despise in ourselves. You also should not be lecturing anyone about civility. In the 15 months you've been commenting, you've rarely made an argument without calling someone who disagrees with you a name or insulting their intelligence. There are so many examples of your arrogance and rudeness that they exceed the limit size for comments.

For example, fuel recently said.....

Puddleglum, sarcasm is not easily discerned in written communication. People might really think you are that stupid.

Speaking of dull and ignorant, Irish….. did you know that breast milk is more efficient than baby formula in the production of myelin? We've known this for several years now, do try to keep up dear.

Actually, I find breast feeling to be rather stimulating. But everyone is entitled to their opinion, even the dull and the ignorant.

Good marketing skills? You can't be serious? Are you associated with the Lawrence chapter of Habitat For Humanity? Do you really think the National Organization would approve of your tactics? You pretend (I will give you the benefit of the doubt) to be a complete moron and actually go out of your way to insult people as a way to promote this organization! Your methods are as pathetic as a few of the board members…….wait, I just figured out who this is……

“Free homes for the poor and less fortunate.” Don't let the facts get in the way of your stupidity.

“And which proper noun would you be speaking of?” The proper noun of which I am speaking is English, you fool. It's a great language, you might want to learn to speak and write it properly yourself.

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 2 months ago

more fuel for the fire comments........

Wow janeyb: Talk about not having any class!

“Way to go straight to the ad hominem attack” Look everybody, Bozo learned a new word!!!You're welcome, Bozo.

Ad hominem is an adjective not a noun, people. Trying to impress others with vocabulary falls well short of the goal when you can't even abide by simple grammatical rules.

Rhonda, what you need to take responsibility for changing are the rates of illiteracy, homelessness, and child abuse that occurs in this country. Get off your high horse and work to change these social issues instead propagating your warped sense of morality.

ksarmychick - You absolutely cannot “guarantee” your prediction. How incredibly ignorant of you to even think this way. Your comment demonstrates your complete lack of scientific knowledge as well as your implicit racism. Anyone who claims to know how a person will act based on their skin color is engaging in a form of racism.And to logicsound04 - I also come from the north and for me, as well as everyone who has visited me from my home, Kansas City, MO is the south. Attitudes on a plethora of topics are very different down here.

jhawked and jason2007 more educated than jaywalker????hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….thanks for the laugh California: now for the grammar lesson.The correct relative pronoun is “who” not “that” as in “I think it is you WHO should grow up”. One might ask how educated you are California

Daytrader says - “Has your common cents been foreclosed on?”“I am not afraid of loosing”The words you are looking for are 'common sense' and 'losing'. I'll skip the incorrect grammar lecture.Not all illiterate people are stupid, but most stupid people are illiterate.Do smart people scare you Daytrader?

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” - UnknownIt saddens me, as well as frightens me a little, that some poeple make such poor choices.I used to think the antiquated system of the electoral college was no longer neccessary. Surely, in this day and age, every person is exposed to sufficient information so as to make an informed decision. Now, I'm not so sure.Kansas778 - read a book

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 2 months ago

yet more examples of fuel's civility to others...... Kansas778 - I give up. I honestly don't know how to explain it any clearer. My example was meant to demonstrate what a null hypothesis is, but based on your response I can tell that my explanation went completely over your head. ...... Please, just take 10 minutes to google null hypothesis before you embarrass yourself any further. Good God Kansas778: you are dense. Read a stats book, or at least google null hypothesis, before you respond again.

Now I would agree that everyone has the right to their own opinion, even the dull and the ignorant.

Your illiteracy in the sciences is astounding.You would also be wise to consider the adage that correlation does not mean causation before you go flying off the handle and quote all kinds of baseless suppositions. If you can find some hard evidence from peer-reviewed scientific journals, I would be very interested in reading them. I won't hold my breath though.

That's an understatement! So by your logic, the facts, and therefore truth and accuracy are unimportant? It does not matter that your error was trivial. What matters is that you don't see the value in being accurate when you spew forth your comments. How very sad.

Powershopper - My comment to TheSychophant was not in defense of Marion Lynn. I, too, find Marion's posts to be heinous. I just find it extraodinarily amusing that a person, such as TheSychophant, can engage in certain behavior one day then decry that same behavior from others the next.Hypocrisy at its finest.

TheSychophant says: “Sorry, but name calling simply doesn't past [sic] muster in intelligent conversation.” hahahahahahahahahahahaha - gasp - hahahahahahahahahahahaha Aren't you the same person who called another poster a moron, jackass, idiot, liar, imbecile and a Nazi just the other day?You are correct The Sychophant, name calling is not a part of intelligent conversation. I'm glad you agree that some of your posts are not intelligent.

“How is this a valid argument? This country is a democracy, not a monarchy, it's not even a constitutional monarchy. My point is, Sarah Palin will never be Queen, nor will she, as Vice President, have the ability to “force” her views on the American people. Furthermore, she has not attempted to impose her views on the people of Alaska. In a democratic society such as this, it takes the support of a congress to make changes. Either you don't understand how this country's form of government works or you enjoy fear mongering.

TheSynchophat - You are laughable.You claim that the Palin's statement “confirms three very important things”, then list “the fact that Palin had a 16-year old who got pregnant out of wedlock was presumably unknown by the McCain people” as one of the confirmed items. Laughable, truly laughable….I suggest you spend more time studying an English dictionary and less time spreading drivel.

Ralph Reed 8 years, 2 months ago

Nothing personal Tom, as I've never even met you except through your rants here. But, that's all I have to judge who your are by. And really, I place your comments in the same camp as Kevin. You just don't hunt people down and threaten them in the real world. The comment was directed towards your rants; I should have been more specific.

We both know that both sides of the fence are guilty of ranting, ad hominem attacks and so on. This discourages discourse and communication, and quite frankly either chases some people away or causes them to disregard what you say. I can't count how many people have wished on the LJW forum for an ignore button simply so they won't have to read rants and ad hominem attacks.

I'm not really good at it, but I've tried to stop ranting as much as I can. I wish others would do the same. I also try not to engage in ad hominem attacks; you'll notice I try to always direct my comments at what's been written, not someone's genetic heritage, intelligence, inability to read or reason and so on (ad hominem attacks).

fuel_for_the_fire 8 years, 2 months ago

What does civility have to do with credibility and truthfulness?

But thanks for memories.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 2 months ago

Somebody's gonna wear their fingers down to little nubs at this rate.....

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 2 months ago


I think civilty is at the heart of the matter. In the blog I wrote about Sarah Palin, I actually stated that what I wrote was a rumor, not fact, and did provide links to the websites( there was more than one) where I obtained that information. Unfortunately for me, I had never actually heard of the DailyKos prior to that day and didn't know it was not an well-respected and accurate source of information. I didn't check out the validity of those sources and no one is responsible for that except for me. That was a grave error on my part and I regret that.

However, what I regret most is my motive for writing that blog. I was reacting, in kind, to outrageous lies and falsehoods that permeated the comment boards and blogs one this site and others about President Obama being a terrorist sympathizer as well as the other outrageous assertions about his citizenship, religious beliefs, etc. Tit for tat is never a good idea. The LJW management gave me a sound reason for why they deleted my blog and not necessarily some of the others written at the time about Obama. Because I had participated in their Citizen Journalism Academny, they held me to a higher standard. Our blogs are readily visible on the front page of the on-line edition, whereas bloggers who've not participated in the CJA are not. Perhaps rightfully so, I was villified because of the blog and it took courage and encouragement from my fellow CJA graduates to get back on the horse, so to speak.

I wrote that blog for the wrong reasons and without taking the time to fully consider the consequences of repeating those rumors. It was a mistake. I've accepted most of the criticism directed my way about that as graciously as possible but don't believe that one incident should serve to invalidate anything further I comment on or blog about.

As I told you in my response to your private email to me, I'm not perfect and have made mistakes. Thankfully, I do have friends, family and others in the LJW community that have been able to appreciate good qualities I may possess despite this error in judgment. Some of the people on this boards who disagree with me vehmently about political and social issues have decided to let this issue go. You have not and I think that says more about you than me, especially in light of the tone and words you direct to those who disagree with you.

fuel_for_the_fire 8 years, 2 months ago

Had you apologized to the readers and admitted your error for that blog, I would have let it go. At the time, you did not. At least now (the very least) you have admitted your error.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 2 months ago

"So be it. Don't think it matters much seeing as how ACORN only gets something like 2% of their budget from the feds."

Sorry but that is not correct, it is 40% of their annual budget that comes from taxpayers. Additionally Google "ACORN Offices" and you will see that almost allstates are now investigating and cutting ACORN off from all contracts with the states. MOst all of these states are also shutting down the corrupt voter registration stuff,. For those with ehe meme of "voter registrations fraud" is no big deal, there were tons of absentee ballots given to those "registered boters, even Mickey Mouse.

So yes Voter Registration Fraud is the same as Voter Fraud, no matter if you spin like a freakin' top.

tbaker 8 years, 2 months ago

Do you ever wonder how many of the foreclosed homes we see today began as sub-prime mortgages that ACORN helped people get?

They were willing to help a pimp and a hooker lie and cheat to set up a whore house with underage illegal alien girls pressed into service as sex slaves. Would helping someone fib on a loan application to get a house they couldn't afford be that much of a leap?

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