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Archive for Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama favors ACORN inquiry

September 21, 2009

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— President Barack Obama says there should be an investigation into the hidden-camera video involving employees at the activist group ACORN and a couple posing as a prostitute and her pimp.

The two ACORN workers are seen apparently advising the couple to lie about her profession and launder her earnings to get housing aid.

The video is only the latest problem for the group, which had nearly $1 million embezzled by its founder’s brother and has been accused of voter registration fraud. The House and Senate voted last week to deny federal funds to ACORN.

Obama told ABC’s “This Week” in an interview broadcast Sunday that what he saw on the video “was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated.” But the president did not say who should investigate. And he said it is not a major national issue he pays much attention to.

“Frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely,” Obama said. “I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.”

Asked about the president calling for an investigation, ACORN chief executive Bertha Lewis said Sunday, “Well, that’s his opinion.”

ACORN said last week it would order its own investigation of the video scandal. Lewis, who had promised to name an independent auditor by Friday, told “Fox News Sunday” that the announcement would take place today. She would not reveal the auditor.

Later Sunday, Lewis issued a statement saying, “We agree with President Obama’s comments today that issues raised by the videos need to be investigated.”

Housing program

In the meantime, the group has suspended the admission of new clients to its housing program.

“Over the next several weeks, you will see us working triple time to get this review right so that we can refocus attention on ACORN’s critical work for low- and moderate-income families,” Lewis said in the statement.

The government is investigating ACORN’s activities, though the scope of its activity is unknown. Voter registration fraud cases involving ACORN workers are pending. The Housing and Urban Development Department’s inspector general has acknowledged an investigation is under way.

Republican target

ACORN — short for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — started in 1970 in Arkansas to help the poor and today is a national, multimillion-dollar conglomerate. ACORN’s political action committee endorsed Obama for president, and his campaign paid an ACORN subsidiary $832,000 to help get out the vote.

Obama, himself a former community organizer, has long-standing ties to the group, which he represented in 1995 in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois over the “motor-voter” law.

The group’s Democratic leanings and political work have make it a target of Republicans, who led the drive last week to deny it any further federal funds.

California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, pressed Lewis to reveal more about the group’s operations.

“The bottom line is, there’s no transparency in ACORN,” said Issa, who also was on Fox.

“Here we have literally hundreds of organizations tied under the ACORN umbrella, and you can’t even find out what their incorporation is, whether they pay taxes, who makes what,” Issa said.

Lewis said she has made sure, since becoming chief executive last year, that affiliates have “firewalls” between them. “I’ve completely overhauled all of our finances, all of our controls,” she said.

She also said founder Wade Rathke was fired immediately after it was discovered his brother, Dale, stole nearly $1 million from the organization nine years ago. In fact, Wade Rathke learned of the embezzlement in 2000, told only a few people but failed to report the embezzlement to law enforcement. An anonymous donor compensated the group for the missing money.

Comments

Ralph Reed 5 years, 4 months ago

Tom, what would you say if a Republican (Conservative) PAC had endorsed Bush, was under investigation, and Bush had said, 'Frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely,' (Bush) said. 'I didn’t even know that (Conservative PAC) was getting a whole lot of federal money.' I doubt you would say the same thing, rather I think your posts would be rants in support of the PAC and Bush.

monkeyhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

“Frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely,” Obama said."

He did know about Kanye, Jeter, Prof. Gates, etc., but not about ACORN? http://www.topix.net/personal-finance/mortgage/2009/09/acorn-s-illegal-alien-home-loan-racket

"U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat's campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports."

"But, said Blair Latoff, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee: "Barack Obama's failure to accurately report his campaign's financial records is an incredibly suspicious situation that appears to be an attempt to hide his campaign's interaction with a left-wing organization previously convicted of voter fraud. For a candidate who claims to be practicing 'new' politics, his FEC reports look an awful lot like the 'old-style' Chicago politics of yesterday.

Barack Obama is not just a bystander in ACORN's history. He is their greatest achievement."
http://www.examiner.com/x-2304-DC-Republican-Examiner~y2009m9d14-Lest-we-forget-Barack-Obama-IS-ACORN http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/ACORN_and_Barack_Obama

Mixolydian 5 years, 4 months ago

ACORN investigating themselves is like OJ out looking for the real killers.

Open the books fully and bring in Price Waterhouse or let them raise their own funds without a dime of our tax money.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Transparency is a good thing. It should be expected of all organizations functioning in the public sphere. I think a full audit of ACORN would be a good thing. If there are problems, they can be identified and corrected. And if things check out OK, it'll silence the critics here and elsewhere who are so quick to believe anything that supports the conspiracy flavor of the day (OK, that's just wishful thinking.)

But what's ironic is that the loudest squealers for transparency and accountability from ACORN were just pleased as punch when BushCo lied and cheated their way through their entire existence, and sent us all the bill for it. We're still paying in the form of a collapsed world economy and quagmires in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the bills won't stop coming for decades. And what's the major damage that ACORN has afflicted on us? Poor brown people got to vote.

monkeyhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

"But what's ironic is that the loudest squealers for transparency and accountability from ACORN were just pleased as punch when BushCo lied and cheated their way through their entire existence, and sent us all the bill for it."

If you are referring to me, I challenge you to produce any support I have ever shown for Bush. I didn't even vote for him, so that dog won't hunt.

Typical of you to try to divert the subject matter to something else. Get over it, your guy won, warts and all, so he owns this thing.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

There should be an independent prosecutor. Holder has proven himself all too ready to look the other way on criminal matters where Democrats are involved.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

And if the President had said that ACORN didn't need to be investigated? Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Conservatives will find an excuse to whine no matter what our President does.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"Bozo, what does Bushco have to do with ACORN?"

Nothing, Tom-- just pointing out your and others' hypocrisy. Unfortunately, that's the closest thing you have to a redeeming quality.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

monkeyhawk-- "If you are referring to me, I challenge you to produce any support I have ever shown for Bush. I didn't even vote for him, so that dog won't hunt."

Did I name you specifically? No, so don't claim injury when none occurred. At any rate, it is surprising that you didn't support Bush-- he sure seems like your kinda guy.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 4 months ago

“Frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely,” Obama said. “I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.”


i have a big problem with this. and it shows that Obama is either lying or not very familiar with the people that helped get him elected. bury your head Obama and pretend that you're not in bed with these people. maybe it will all go away.

tkeagleblog 5 years, 4 months ago

It's still disturbing how much the media does not report on certain things due to protecting the current administration.

Fox and a few radio shows are the only ones reporting on things that may not be so good for the current administration.

This is just what I have been observing. I might be wrong on this.

Satirical 5 years, 4 months ago

If we have learned anything from this, its that you can't trust a community organizer.....oh wait!

Kirk Larson 5 years, 4 months ago

No one mentions that the pair who did their little sting film went to 10 or 12 other ACORN offices and were told to get lost. As Juan Williams noted the other day, why don't repubs want to investigate the likes of Blackwater which emmbezled BILLIONS of dollars? Just a year or so ago John McCain was praising the work ACORN does to improve the lives of people at the bottom of the income scale, the ones most conservatives would spit upon.

tkeagleblog 5 years, 4 months ago

Repub, and Dems. Have both used ACORN. That's not the issue.

OK let’s say they went to 15 total areas. Ten of them turned them down. But 5 hooked them up. That’s a 33.33 % chance that ACORN will help you commit Tax fraud. And other things. That does not look good for any business. Especially those who are receiving tax dollars.

tkeagleblog 5 years, 4 months ago

Porch.

You danced around the question. What does the back ground of ppl at fox news got to do with a political issue? If that was the case, then Mr. Obama should not be sitting where he is right now. Most ppl in the media and office should be fired if that was the basis.

Still a valid question. Why not interview on Fox?

Satirical 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't know why porchie keeps attempting to talk to me. I don't feed trolls who puts words in people mouth, have low reading comprehension, can't do basic math, won't answer questions, and won't acknowledge that 'A' is different than 'B.'

puddleglum 5 years, 4 months ago

you go tom, now two people care what you are posting

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

ACORN Applauds FBI Investigation Of Individuals Connected To Possible Miscondcut In K.C. Voter Registration Drive

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - November 6 - Leaders of the community group ACORN today applauded the FBI for the steps it is taking to investigate individuals suspected in several cases of possible voter registration fraud that the group reported to authorities during a recent ACORN voter registration drive in the Kansas City area.

The individuals under investigation were temporary workers, hired--and later fired-by Kansas City ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to help in its large- scale voter registration drive, which helps thousands of Kansas City residents register to vote.

ACORN took the initiative on October 11 to contact the Kansas City Board of Elections and the Jackson County Prosecutor when the organization's standard review process identified suspicious voter registration applications. ACORN provided to the Board and the prosecutor a letter with the name and contact information of the former employees who had collected the suspicious application. ACORN then facilitated the subsequent FBI inquiry by providing internal records documenting ACORN's suspicion and other information as requested.. ACORN will continue to provide its full support and cooperation in the investigation.

"When we caught this misconduct, we reporter it to the authorities. Now we want to see these folks prosecuted to the full extent of the law, because they have defrauded our organization, and, worse, detracted from our mission of ensuring that citizens in our community participate in the democratic process," said Claudia Harris, Chairperson of Kansas City ACORN.

"Like the FBI, ACORN considers any interference in the voting process to be a very serious matter," Harris continued. "Across the state our attorneys today reached a settlement with the St. Louis Board of Elections to issue a retraction of the intimidating letter they sent out to thousands of voters we registered. Vigilance is needed to make sure that Scott Leindecker's St. Louis Board of Elections does not engage in any other dirty tricks to suppress the African American vote."

ACORN's voter registration drives are committed to one objective: Registration of eligible low-income and minority citizens who wish to vote and have their votes counted. In the past year, ACORN has helped tens of thousands of Missouri residents register to vote. As part of ACORN's voter registration program, ACORN has a comprehensive quality control that reviews all application for completeness and accuracy and calls applicants to verify their information. It was this process that identified the individuals who were referred to the Board and Prosecutors.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A little while ago, the House passed an amendment to the bill that we were considering that says no contract or federal funds may ever go to ACORN, a named organization, or to any individual or organization affiliated with ACORN. Unfortunately, this was done in the spirit of the moment and nobody had the opportunity to point out that this is a flat violation of the Constitution, constituting a Bill of Attainder. The Constitution says that Congress shall never pass a Bill of Attainder. Bills of Attainder, no matter what their form, apply either to a named individual or to easily ascertainable members of a group, to inflict punishment. That’s exactly what this amendment does.

“It may be that ACORN is guilty of various infractions, and, if so, it ought to be vetted, or maybe sanctioned, by the appropriate administrative agency or by the judiciary. Congress must not be in the business of punishing individual organizations or people without trial.

“That’s what this Amendment did. It is flatly prohibited by the Constitution, and once we ignore the Constitution we ignore constitutional principles. Whatever one may think of the subject matter or the organization, the Constitution and the ban on Bills of Attainder are there for the protection of all of our liberties. It is unfortunate that we passed this, and I hope it is removed in the conference committee."

"Remember last May when the Secretary of State and the Attorney General of Nevada announced (with much national media fanfare) that they were filing a criminal charge against ACORN in Clark County Nevada for voter fraud? What's going on with that case? It's almost 6 months later and the Nevada Attorney General has yet to schedule a hearing to present the basic evidence against ACORN in a courtroom. Why? Because the AG doesn't have any evidence and their entire case against ACORN rests on hearsay from a couple of disgruntled ex-employees fired by ACORN for falsely registering voters.

The case made by the Republican hooker and the pimp will never stand up in court because the two GOP "investigative reporters" who filmed it failed to notify the two ACORN employees that they were being filmed, which is against the law in Maryland.

When you view the film in it's entirety it looks like a Borat routine where a couple of not too smart ACORN front line office workers are being ridculed by a couple of smart ass conservative college kids.

As it currently stands the organization, ACORN, has yet to be charged or convicted of any criminal activity and it usurups the authority of the executive branch for Congress to defund to ACORN simply because a couple right wingers entrapped two low level ACORN workers into saying things that made ACORN look bad. The Maryland Attorney General is not filing any charges against ACORN because the only laws broken were broken by the filmakers who filmed ACORN employees without their knowledge or consent.

RobertMarble 5 years, 4 months ago

acorn was such an ally of hussein obama during the campain, but now he barely admits to knowing them eh....interesting.

Satirical 5 years, 4 months ago

Merrill...

Who said that? LOL. Violating the constitutional prohibition against Bills of Attainder?

ACORN has no right to my federal tax dollars, and an omission (the legislature choosing not to spend money) is entirely different than an act which inflicts punishment.

This individual should do a simple google search before s/he makes a fool out of him/herself.

Kirk Larson 5 years, 4 months ago

On the hand-over-heart or where's-your-flagpin or similar issues: It's just another indication of how conservatives care more about the trappings and symbols of patriotism than real patriotism itself. Liberals wrap themselves in the Constitution and burn the flag while conservatives wrap themselves in the flag and burn the Constitution.

tkeagleblog 5 years, 4 months ago

Porch, I never said the pres. Had to go on anywhere. Just wondering why he chooses not to. I think it would have done him credit to do so. Other than going to the networks that are already in bed with Him. .

As far as all the other stuff. Yep Fox is not perfect. Some ppl might think so, but I don’t. If you’re asking me why none of those ppl got fired on fox. Simple. Ratings. Those ppl are bringing in the ratings. Obama could have also requested a reporter not in the big eye of Fox. Small reporter that no one really knows about. The last time Obama did an interview with Bill, he did state he enjoyed the interview.

I’m sure someone could find crap on the other networks to counter what you stated. I’m not going to do it. It’s pointless. So after that long statement, you think it’s based on credibility? Just reading in-between the lines. You could have just said that. If that is correct, then you need to take a good look at our current administration and all the other media outlets.

Just because Beck thinks he is the Anti-Christ doesn’t mean I agree with that. I can think for myself. There are a lot of things said on FOX, Radio, and our current administration that I don’t believe or agree with. But I do like all the information to be out there so I can decide. Fox is one of the few that is getting this information out there. So that is why like to watch it. Simple. Again, I think Obama would have done himself good to challenge fox, or any other media out there that is giving him a hard time.

"If you were President, would you go on a network where some alkie could not only find gainful employment but produce shows contemplating whether or not you were the Anti-Christ? Don't be stupid."

If you were a cop trying to do his job, and got called stupid on national TV by the Pres. would you go have a beer with him? I think I would. Just to show him I thought I was right, and to challenge him on what he thought I did stupid.

But that’s just me.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 4 months ago

Yeah but Bush....But Bush......But Bush.....

tkeagleblog 5 years, 4 months ago

Porch?? LOL What the hellll are you doing? You took a hard turn somewhere. I brought up the Gates thing just to make a point that if you are accused of something and you don’t think its right, then defend yourself. Meet with your accuser.

I don’t know what happened with the Gates thing. I don’t care. To me it was just a pi$$ing match between 2 ppl. There was right and wrong on both sides.

If you think I’m conservative, then think it. I’m far from it. I don’t criticize Obama because he is Obama, or because he’s a Dem. Or because he’s black. I Criticize, or disagree with him because I don’t agree with some of his policies, or his priorities. Pretty simple there.

My dad is a Union worker. Has been so for the last 30 years. He has been Unemployed since December. If my dad doesn’t go back to work soon, I’m afraid to find him 6 foot under in the back yard somewhere. My mother can’t stand him being home all day.

Obama has extended unemployment through this time. That’s a good thing. I give him credit for that. I don’t think anyone can debate me on that. My parents also have 3 self employed companies. Very small. My mother does Taxidermy full time, and my father runs and archery shop part time. They also have a small amount of farm ground outside of town. I live 50 miles away, but I help out when I can. Between the jobs, and small businesses, they are struggling to pay the bills due to the economy. I think Obama needs to focus more on getting unemployment down more than anything else. Screw the health care for now.

jaywalker 5 years, 4 months ago

tkeagle,

If you feed him he'll never go away.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

What is ACORN ?

ACORN has not been charged, indicted nor are there plans for a grand jury investigation. It is another example of how much tax money the RINO party is capable of wasting over nothing. Usually the RINO party is obsessing over the sex life of someone. The RINO Bush/Cheney party loves explicit sexual affairs which displays how perverted this RINO party can be.

What is ACORN? It is an object to distract taxpayer voters from the many many more important matters of the day such as the nation losing 700,000 jobs a month while RINO's Bush/Cheney were in office. Obviously the entire RINO party supported americans losing jobs....8 million jobs in fact. That is 1,000,000 jobs per month each year the RINO Bush/Cheney party were in the White House. That is quite a remarkable achievement.

8 million jobs cannot be brought back to life in a matter of 180 days because so many went abroad. Restoring 8 million jobs may take 2 years. The fact is this nation needs 20 million new jobs. The 8 million are what was lost by the Bush/Cheney RINO party.

ACORN is also a tool to mask the second RINO party home loan scandal that managed to help put 8 million people out of work and destroyed the nations economy.

This home loan scandal like the Reagan/Bush home loan scandal destroyed millions of retirement accounts sending golden agers back into the work force. This is why medicare and Social Security are sooooo important. Yep you never know when the RINO party will strike again.

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