I'm in shock -- but in a good way.
Maybe the message that ACORN is a corrupt criminal organization is finally getting through to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
I write that because Michelle Malkin is reporting that on a vote of 83 to 7 the U.S. Senate passed an amendment banning federal housing funds in the pending transportation and housing appropriations legislation from going to ACORN.
Senate votes to deny funds to ACORN
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Monday to block the Housing and Urban Development Department from giving grants to ACORN, a community organization under fire in several voter-registration fraud cases.
The 83-7 vote would deny housing and community grant funding to ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
The action came as the group is suffering from bad publicity after a duo of conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her pimp released hidden-camera videos in which ACORN employees in Baltimore gave advice on house-buying and how to account on tax forms for the woman's income. Two other videos, aired frequently on media outlets such as the Fox News Channel, depict similar situations in ACORN offices in Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.
Teachers unions have contributed over $1.3 million to ACORN and its affiliates, since 2005, according to U.S. Labor Department financial disclosure forms.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 2009
Stephen Buckner CB09-RTQ.02
Public Information Office
RESPONSE TO QUERY
Census Bureau Statement on Severing Partnership with ACORN
In response to recent developments, the U.S. Census Bureau has decided to sever its 2010 Census national partnership with ACORN.
Although the national partnership with ACORN was limited to just promoting awareness of the upcoming Census among ACORN’s members and the communities they serve, the Census Bureau judged that concern with the general public about ACORN had become a distraction from the goal of getting a complete count for 2010. Census officials pointed to events this week with three local ACORN offices that might even discourage cooperation with the Census next year if the partnership agreement were not ended.
At no point was ACORN or any other partner to be involved in the 2010 Census operations and door-to-door collection activities next spring. Sworn Census Bureau employees conduct the census.
With more than 80,000 partners working nationwide to increase awareness about the importance of participating in the 2010 Census, the Bureau is convinced that many of these partners serve the communities that ACORN serves. The full participation of those populations remains of utmost importance to us.
The Census Bureau has a goal to partner with more than 100,000 local and national groups to help promote awareness of the 2010 Census next year. It is the largest operation conducted domestically by the federal government, and the Census Bureau uses national, state, local and tribal partners to help carry the message to their communities that the census is easy, important and safe. These partners receive no funds for their volunteer efforts, and are not involved in any operation to conduct the 2010 Census.
Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) leaders are using the threat of a law suit to silence and intimidate critics, according to current and former members of the liberal activist group.
In a letter dated June 11 an attorney for ACORN advised top whistleblowers that their unauthorized use of the organization’s name could make them liable for monetary damages and injunctive relief.
ACORN executives have also changed their organization’s name, which was tarnished by investigations in at least 14 states of allegations of voter registration fraud during the 2008 presidential campaign, and charges by current and former members of financial mismanagement and misrepresentation.
The new name will let ACORN leaders continue their operations without worrying about prior bad publicity, according to Marcel Reid of ACORN 8, a group of present and former members.
“We’ve known for many months now that the name ACORN is going to be retired,” Reid said. “The name has been so damaged to the point where the leadership knows it simply can’t go on as it has with the ACORN label out front and center, especially after all of the reporting.”
In fact, the process has already begun, she noted. Wade Rathke, who founded the organization, announced on his blog that ACORN International has officially changed its name to “Community Organizations International.”
Reid also said ACORN is in the process of dismantling Citizen’s Consulting Inc. (CCI), a New-Orleans based non-profit, which has been used to maintain centralized financial control, ACORN 8 activists claim. Tax records show that CCI is interlinked with several ACORN affiliates.
ust keep in mind this has only passed the Senate.. it still has to go through the House..
U.S Senate denies funds for poverty group
...The Senate measure, which passed 83 to 7 in the Democratic-led chamber, was included in a must-pass spending bill that funds housing and transportation programs for the fiscal year that starts October 1...
...ACORN said the Senate's action was disappointing but would have little impact on its overall operations.
"The only real victims of today's vote are the families who have benefited from ACORN's important work," ACORN chief Bertha Lewis said in a statement posted on the group's website.
The House of Representatives passed a similar spending bill without restrictions on ACORN. The House and Senate must resolved differences before a final measure can be sent to Obama to sign into law...