- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
CHAREN: From a little ACORN
Question of the Day
The financial markets teetered on the edge of an abyss last week. The treasury secretary was literally on one knee begging the speaker of the House not to sabotage the bailout bill.
The crash of falling banks made the Earth tremble. The Republican presidential candidate suspended his campaign to deal with the crisis. And amid all this, the Democrats in Congress managed to find time to slip language into the bailout legislation that would provide a dandy little slush fund for ACORN.
ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a busy hive of left-wing agitation and “direct action” that claims chapters in 50 cities and 100,000 dues-paying members.
ACORN is where 1960s leftovers who couldn’t get tenure at universities wound up. That the bill-writing Democrats remembered their pet clients during such an emergency speaks volumes. This attempted gift to ACORN (stripped out of the bill after outraged howls from Republicans) demonstrates how little Democrats understand about what caused the mess we are in.
ACORN does many things under the umbrella of “community organizing.” They agitate for higher minimum wages, attempt to thwart school reform, try to unionize welfare workers (i.e., those welfare recipients obliged to work in exchange for benefits) and organize voter registration efforts (always for Democrats of course).
Because they are on the side of righteousness and justice, they aren’t especially fastidious about their methods. In 2006, for example, ACORN registered 1,800 new voters in Washington state. The only trouble was, with the exception of six, all the names submitted were fake. The secretary of state called it the “worst case of election fraud in our state’s history.” As Fox News reported:
The ACORN workers told state investigators that they went to the Seattle public library, sat at a table and filled out the voter registration forms. They made up names, addresses and Social Security numbers and in some cases plucked names from the phone book. One worker said it was a lot of hard work making up all those names and another said he would sit at home, smoke marijuana and fill out the forms.
ACORN explained this was an “isolated” incident, yet similar stories have been reported in Missouri, Michigan, Ohio and Colorado - all swing states by the way. ACORN members have been prosecuted for voter fraud in a number of states. (See www.rottenacorn.com) Their philosophy seems to be that everyone deserves the right to vote, whether legal or illegal, living or dead.
ACORN recognized very early the opportunity presented by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. As Stanley Kurtz has reported, ACORN proudly touted “affirmative action” lending, and pressured banks to make subprime loans. Madeline Talbott, a Chicago ACORN leader, boasted of “dragging banks kicking and screaming” into dubious loans. And, as Sol Stern reported in City Journal, ACORN also found a remunerative niche as an “adviser” to banks seeking regulatory approval.
“Thus we have J.P. Morgan and Co., the legatee of the man who once symbolized for many all that was supposedly evil about American capitalism, suddenly donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACORN.” Is this a great country or what? As conservative community activist Robert Woodson put it, “The same corporations that pay ransom to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton pay ransom to ACORN.”
ACORN attracted Barack Obama in his youthful community-organizing days. Madeline Talbott hired him to train her staff - the very people who would later descend on Chicago’s banks as CRA shakedown artists. The Democratic nominee later funneled money to the group through the Woods Fund, on whose board he sat, and through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, ditto. Mr. Obama was not just sympathetic - he was an ACORN fellow traveler.
Now you could make the case that before 2008, well-intentioned people were simply unaware of what their agitation on behalf of noncreditworthy borrowers could lead to. But now? With the whole financial world and possibly the world economy trembling and cracking like a cement building in an earthquake, Democrats continue to try to fund their friends at ACORN? And, unashamed, they then trot out to the TV cameras to declare that “the party is over” for Wall Street (Nancy Pelosi)? The party should be over for the Democrats who brought us to this pass. If Mr. Obama wins, it means hiring an arsonist to fight a fire.
Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist.
About the Author
By Scott Pinsker
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Computer glitch caused odd Saturday release of D.C. guns ruling
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq