He suggested a congressional probe after scathing testimony that the nonprofit group was violating tax, campaign-finance and other laws by, among other things, sharing with the Barack Obama campaign a list of the Democrat’s maxed-out campaign donors so ACORN could use it to solicit them for a get-out-the-vote drive.
The proposal was met by resistance from Mr. Nadler, and Mr. Conyers had not publicly pressed the matter since then.
Mr. Conyers previously defended ACORN. In October, he condemned an FBI voter fraud investigation targeting the group. He questioned whether it was politically motivated to hamper a voter-registration drive targeting groups likely to support Mr. Obama’s candidacy.
The testimony that provoked the change was delivered by Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, a member of the RNLA executive committee.
She also testified that the organization provided liberal causes with protest-for-hire services and coerced donations from targets of demonstrations through a shakedown it called the “muscle for the money” program.
Ms. Heidelbaugh spearheaded an unsuccessful lawsuit last year seeking a court injunction in Pennsylvania against ACORN’s voter-registration drive for the 2008 presidential campaign. She appeared as a witness at the request of Republican committee members.
The accusations against the group were based entirely on sworn court testimony late last year by ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief. No ACORN officials testified at the March 19 hearing, but they have dismissed Ms. MonCrief as a disgruntled, low-level employee who was fired for stealing money from the organization.
Steven A Miller
A whistleblower pays for exposing an abuse of power
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