Obama administration – ACORN violated federal rules concerning housing grants

ACORN still exists, they were never put out of business. They simply changed the name of the organization, continuing their abuse of the system. Another symptom of the disease since any sort of federal funding of programs like this is completely unconstitutional.

From Big Government this morning. (I’ve uploaded the HUD report for you and it is available here.)

The Sept. 21 report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General found that ACORN Housing, which changed its name earlier this year to Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHC), may have concealed fraud by destroying or failing to produce records.

ACORN violated federal rules on how grants are to be used. The group charged the government salary costs for employees after they were terminated, the report said, and violated federal procurement standards.

The report suggested ACORN corruptly funneled taxpayer dollars to its affiliates and engaged in money laundering. ACORN has taken in more than $19 million in housing counseling grants since 1995 from HUD. NeighborWorks, a congressionally chartered nonprofit, gave ACORN $25.9 million. ACORN Housing has received more than $27.3 million from other federal and non-federal sources, the report said.

From the report, on page 11.

I don’t know too much about how an organization who survives almost completely on grants from the federal government and other civic organizations, but I bet the record keeping concerning expenses and salaries need to be well documented. ACORN did not do that.

On top of that, HUD calls ACORN out on sloppy record keeping when it comes to salaries paid that “were not fully supported”.

HUD’s review dealt with grants, employee salaries and other expenditures within the past 24 months. It’s not like they were looking for reporting from 12 years ago. These disjointed community service organizations with vanishing records are disjointed and unorganized for a reason – compartmentalized deniability.

Remember, the temporary funding cut off  is set to expire in about one week. You can argue the legislation passed and signed by President Obama on Oct. 1, 2009 was unconstitutional since it called out ACORN by name, but that legislation was simply applying a small butterfly bandage to stop an arterial bleed. It may slow the flow for about one second.

Why do we continue to demand Congress and the Executive Branch come up with new rules, regulations and legislation to “solve” problems when we know the legislation will do nothing? In this case, it looks like ACORN simply had to change their name, shuffle around a few employees and come up with a new logo and they were good to go.

13 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I know people that are doing the ARRA funding paperwork, and the red tape is voluminous and extensive, requiring accounting for every dollar, and multiple assurances that monies are not mixed.   I wonder why ACORN in all of its manifestations are exempt from this sort of scrutiny?

     

    If they can't be trusted and accountable, they should not get a dime.  They have proven they are neither.  They are a Democrat political money laundering organization.

  2. Murphy
    Murphy says:

    Federal Grant programs should all be stopped!

    Step one audit the Feds find out how much taxes are collected for use of grants. (Especially the ones that are used to bypass/blackmail/bribe local & state governments. Ex. – Seat belt laws , 55 mph, funds to hire public employees for the states or local municipality that local voters did not vote the funds for.)

    Step two reduce federal taxes collected by that amount. Giving us more dollars on our paycheck that we can decide locally what we are willing to spend it on!

  3. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Can ACORN or whatever they call themselves today be classified as anything but organized crime. This organization is directly extorting the U.S. gov't and therefore, the U.S. taxpayers. Record keeping of this sort should automatically disqualify this organization from public funding or grants AND it should demand an investigation under the RICO act.

  4. David R
    David R says:

    We are about to be fooled again. ACORN is small potatoes, as is Obama's Auntie. While we get riled about that stuff, life goes on for Wall Streeters and the corporate interests that rule American politics. Somehow, they've got us being stupid again, by having many of us believe that if we just change leaders we can change America. Fat chance. To change America, we must change the system that makes politicians beholden to big money. I'd bet most voters think Obama bailed out Wall Street, when in fact it was GWB. (In my view he had to, because the Street boys had the world over a barrel.) Perpetuating the myth that Obama (or whoever is in his seat) is to blame works for Wall Street. It keeps the myth alive that it's gov't and not Corporate interests' manipulation of government that's to blame. If no candidate is talking about this, it's because they are either clueless or have already figured out how the system works. Go ahead, kick ACORN around. I am sure the bailed out Wall Streeters are laughing all the way to the bank.

  5. David R
    David R says:

    Please check my math. The Banks/Wall Street got a $700 billion bail-out for a problem caused in large part by themselves: once again proving the old saying that the house always wins. Poor pathetic ACORN in 2008 got a couple million and change, which if it were a Wall Street bonus would be an insult. According to my arithmatic, Banks/Wall Street got 300,000 times more to cover its bad bets than ACORN is accused of messing with. (How they could get away with calling their bad bets "assets" albeit toxic, is a tribute to their ingenuity) Yes, this level of bad behavior is catastrophic.

  6. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    This post is specific to ACORN. In no way does it imply there was not issues on "Wall Street". That said, I don't accept your premise the problem was "caused in large part by themselves". Not saying part of the blame does not apply to them, you just have to remember who was writing the rules, and how the rule-makers practically demanded banks loan to people who could not pay it back. Then they gave those banks a way to sell off the high-risk assets. The regulatory folks and Congress made it easy for the banks and "Wall Street" to have little risk.

  7. David R
    David R says:

    Steve M. My point is that ACORN doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Corporate power does. When's the last time there was a post about corporate control of government? Re. who wrote the rules: Wall Street did.  Just look at how much was/is spent by the financial services industry to influence our lawmakers in Washington. When it comes to rule making/legislation, corporate America allways wins. Clinton wanted 62% home ownership. Bush upped it to 65. Neither wanted non-performing loans. The Street figured out how to package risky loans into securities, and got the rating agencies like Moodies to give them AAA ratings.  The investments vehicles had a "value" of many, many times the value of the mortgages. You could buy these bad bets with the equivalent of no money down. And they rode the thing like there was no tomorrow, when there was plenty of evidence the housing bubble, just as it had 20 years ago was going to burst. All a recipe for disaster of a magnitude that could have thrown us into a great depression. So we bailed them out, they gave themselves bonuses, scuttle attempts at reform and go back to business as usual looking for the next angle. That's why I ask why waste time with ACORN?

  8. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I might posit that the only way you will get these corporate interests out of government is by electing good, honest people and term limits, especially since we cannot rely on the MSM to give us reliably accurate and objective investigative reporting.

     

    As such, getting these contaminating influences that support incumbents, like ACORN, out, is absolutely necessary.  The parasitic Aunt Zeituni is emblematic of the illegal problem that many corporations like to exploit.  And SEIU is right there to help sign them up.

    <!–Session data–>

  9. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    David R is absolutely correct-nothing like mentioning ACORN to gin up the right-

    Meanwhile, Republicans want to overturn the financial regulations, which crack down on these fraudulent ratings agencies. No outrage. Nothing to see here, move along.

    And the citizens united case passed by their scotus-politicians sold to the highest bidder. No outrage. Nothing to see here, MOVE ALONG.

     

  10. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    You mean, creating and supporting an organization like ACORN is enough to gin up the right.  As it should anybody.  And the "SCOTUS-politician" problem cuts both ways.  SCOTUS should be the avenue of last resort, not the first road taken.  Going after these self interested groups could open the door to all kinds of reform.  Unless you can support the group's actions, going after them is a good thing.  It might also restore some faith in government!!

     

    I agree with both of you on this count: corporations and their lobbyists are doing far too much of the work we send our so called representatives to Washington to do.  Case in point: who wrote the Øbamacare bill?  I mean, who really wrote it?  Clearly our congresscritters have no clue about on which they did a rush job vote.   And big pharmaceutical companies were giving money and fundraisers to Martha Coakley, a guaranteed voter for Øbamacare.   Now why would that be if Øbamacare was going to hurt them?

     

    We need general oversight, but not overbearing control, particularly when legislation ends up being written by those with vested interests (lobbyists), and those that have no clue (Congress).  Restore Glass-Steagel.  Make all bills in readable English, not lawyerese.  If the Congresscritters that wrote the bill admit even they can't read it, then how can the vote on it, and how can we support/oppose it?  Someone suggested that no bill should exceed the length of the Constitution.  Bravo!  A tax code that everyone, even the IRS, can understand, and favors no group or person?  Sign me up!

     

    It all comes down to Congress going far beyond the Constitution, and lobbyists taking advantage of that fact.

     

    "Drain the swamp"?  I say do some figurative grenade fishing!  Remember in November.

  11. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    ACORN is a corrupt organization that steals taxpayer money and commits election fraud. The Democrat defense of "their" organization is to change the subject, but they forgot to mention George Bush choked on a pretzel and Dick Cheney shot a hunting partner.

  12. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    ACORN's, New Black Panther's and SEIU's disruption and corruption of the voting process has done more damage to the integrity of the one, last, significant thing we have left to democratic process of this republic: our right to have our vote count.  They can affect our system of government (and Wall Street for that matter) with the results of who gets elected. It has become the "new hanging chad" although the chads were a technical problem as opposed to the willful deceit and law-breaking by these organizations.  When the system of government has been corrupted, no amount of money at stake, whether it is Wall Street or Main Street, matters any longer.

     

     

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