Yesterday, Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) introduced an amendment to block federal funds from going to ACORN until a complete investigation has taken place.
“ACORN has been in legal trouble in several states with raid after raid on their offices by officials looking into voter fraud. More than 30 ACORN officials have been convicted of fraud and new allegations of fraud are surfacing by the day,” Johanns said. “It’s wrong to give tax dollars to a group with multiple convictions of undermining our democratic process and our laws. So, I’m introducing measures to stop the federal funding of ACORN.” – Senator Mike Johanns
With the recent troubles of ACORN in Florida, Baltimore, Washington DC, and New York, it is clear that the group that helped elect Barrack Obama has been involved in some shady dealings. Though it may not be as sensational as the child prostitution angle of the recently exposed videos, what is being ignored is ACORN’s roll in our current financial problems.
It has been well documented that ACORN was involved in coercing banks into giving loans to people who could not afford them. But what may be most telling in the recent videos is the depth to which ACORN may be involved in the falsifying of loan documents and tax records. ACORN claims as one of their accomplishments, “Preparing, since 2004, approximately 150,000 free tax returns totaling $190 million in refunds and increased earned income tax credit participation“(www.ACORN.org). While I am sure that the vast majority of these were legitimate filings, the recent accusations of fraud call into questions what could be a systemic culture of skirting the law at ACORN.
What we have gotten in ACORN, even when we take away accusations of voter fraud and the seedy prostitution angle of the O’Keefe videos, is a clear indicator that what we have funded, with tax payer dollars, is an economic snake in the grass. First, ACORN went after banks to encourage risky loans (with tax money), and then they lobbied Congress (with tax money), resulting in the use of Fannie and Freddie to float those risky assets to the market. Now we are seeing that ACORN (with tax money) may have been involved in the preparation of fraudulent loan applications and tax records (to extort tax money). All of these factors were one of the causes of the bank meltdown, which lead to the TARP bailout (using tax money).
There are many reasons to support the work that ACORN does in helping out in our poorest communities, but with so many red flags being raised, it is time to let them go it alone with private donations.