The ACORN Saga: Another Argument for Transparency
The following was intially posted at www.fiscalaccountability.org.
Last night, the Senate voted to strip funding in the THUD appropriations bill from the corrupt Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN). The vote came after news broke that the non-profit, which was indicted in several states for voter fraud last fall, was using your tax dollars to counsel a couple acting as a pimp and prostitute on how to commit housing and tax fraud to operate their “business.”
To be sure, this story is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Even after making national news for this recent scandal, indictments of voter fraud and its radical intimidation tactics, the group still feels it is entitled to your tax dollars. The Examiner reports that the ACORN Institute has applied for over $6 million in grants for broadband projects. This is on top of the estimated $53 million it has already received from taxpayers since 2003. It is important to note that while the amendments passed last night that prohibited ACORN from receiving funding from the THUD appropriations bill, it is still eligible to for money in the “stimulus” plan – up to $8 billion dollars. While we have been tracking the “stimulus” money spent on wasteful projects such as checks sent to prisoners and checkpoints for no one, the deliberate allocation of funds to an organization actively involved in illegal activities is entirely different exploitation of taxpayers altogether.
The recognition in the Senate that taxpayers should not be ACORN’s benefactor is a good first step, but there will always be groups bellying up the public trough, fighting to stick their hands deep into the taxpayer’s pocket. The only permanent and actual solution is full, complete transparency – if Americans could track, dollar for dollar, where their money was going, Congress would think twice before giving a cent to ACORN.