"The House had an opportunity to hold ACORN accountable
and make it ineligible for funding, but instead it has joined the enterprise
that can only be called criminal."-ALG President Bill Wilson
May 8th, 2009, Fairfax, VA-Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today strongly condemned the House of Representatives for voting to allow Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) to receive federal funding under the "Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act."
"Without pause, the House breathlessly continues to fund a criminal enterprise," said Wilson. "Only in Washington does an organization get funded on Thursday that was indicted for 39 felony counts on Monday."
Spurred on by Nevada charges against ACORN, Wilson on Tuesday called upon House Minority Leader John Boehner to immediately convene hearings investigating the organization for "continuing a nationwide effort to corrupt federal, state, and local elections."
Wilson also called for an immediate freeze in the disbursement of federal funds to ACORN.
"There is no excuse this outrage. The only explanation for voting to give money to this racket is that House Democrats are deep in the pocket of ACORN," said Wilson.
Wilson also cited ACORN Housing Corporation's troubled history in giving out cheap mortgages as playing a role in weakening credit standards. "The ACORN Housing Corporation has been one of the principal backers of the irresponsible loose-lending policies including the Community Reinvestment Act, and has a history of strong-arming banks into handing out high-risk loans to low-income recipients."
"To make matters worse, ACORN gave out loans without using credit scores as well as100-percent financed loans, and even accepted undocumented income," Wilson added.
ACORN was made eligible for more than $3 billion under the $787 billion "stimulus" spending bill, and $5.5 billion from the 2010 budget. Since 1994, ACORN has received at least $53 million from American taxpayers, according to the Washington Examiner.
ACORN is also currently eligible for over $500 million of an "affordable housing fund" created under the $300 billion Foreclosure Prevention Act passed this past summer, and according to the Consumer Rights League receives some 40 percent of its funding from taxpayers annually.
Congress' vote to fund ACORN came only days after Nevada State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto brought criminal charges against the organization and two former employees for voter registration fraud. The state says that the organization published a handbook and constructed policies setting up a quota system to register voters.
"By structuring employment and compensation around a quota system, ACORN facilitated voter registration fraud," Masto said. "In Nevada, it is unlawful for a person to provide compensation for registering voters that is based on the total number of voters a person registers."
ACORN has been under investigation for voter fraud in several swing states, including Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Missouri, and has a long history of such fraud in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. Americans for Limited government last year released the following executive summary of its activities.
"The most recent charges in Nevada are not just an isolated incident," Wilson said. "These efforts have been concerted and coordinated for years to steal elections, boost urban representation, and weaken the nation's political institutions."
Wilson noted that the Census Bureau is enlisting the aid of ACORN in counting the 2010 census. "Taken together, it is obvious that the registration efforts, the census participation, and the Congressional funding are all connected," said Wilson. He said it was "like a pay-to-play scandal, but this is even worse."
"This is actually an elaborate, coordinated national effort to finance a criminal enterprise devoted to conjuring and developing fraudulent constituencies at taxpayer expense," Wilson explained. "And it must come to an end."
"The House had an opportunity to hold ACORN accountable and make it ineligible for funding, but instead it has joined the enterprise that can only be called criminal," Wilson concluded.