Media Advisory: Oversight and Judiciary Committee Republicans to Hold Joint ACORN Forum

November 30, 2009

Washington, D.C. Republican Members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees will host a forum TOMORROW at 2:30 P.M. ET in 2237 Rayburn examining new details that have come to light regarding the inner-workings of ACORN.

Witness List:

  • David Caldwell—Deputy Director of the Criminal Division for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office
  • Todd Rokita—Indiana Secretary of State
  • Hans A. von Spakovsky—Former Member of the Federal Election Commission and Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation

“The more we learn about the inner-working of ACORN and its affiliates, the more apparent it becomes that this organization is intentionally structured to deceive and mislead the American people.  Despite their claims to operate independently, our investigation has uncovered additional documents that reveal the lack of firewalls that exist between ACORN, CCI and the ACORN Institute.  There simply is no legitimate way that ACORN can account for or distinguish its political work with its taxpayer-subsidized activities.” – Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Politico:  ACORN considered name change

ACORN, the troubled community service organization, recently considered changing its name in a bid to rehabilitate its image, according to an internal memo obtained by POLITICO.  The document, which will be released Tuesday as part of a Republican congressional forum on ACORN, illustrates the internal deliberation the group has undergone after a year of embarrassing scandals.

The one-page document also discusses the optics of a name change, saying it “should be very obvious that we are not going to choose a new name because funders or politicians want us to.”  The memo also acknowledges that it has encountered organizations and individuals who want to work with group but “can only do so if [ACORN changes] its name.”  “(W)e should probably think through this problem carefully and figure out what it all means for our ability to survive and thrive without losing a lot of ground over the next year or two,” the memo reads.

This week, Republican Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Lamar Smith of Texas are holding a forum on the ACORN, which will include state government officials and a former ACORN employee.

ABC News: Justice Department Questions Retroactive Ban on Federal Funds to ACORN

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel this week posted a legal opinion saying that the Obama administration may continue paying the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) for contracts signed before Congress in September passed — and President Obama in October signed — legislation banning federal funds from going to ACORN.

The federal government has given more than $50 million to ACORN since 1994, much of it in the form of HUD grants.  The ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., blasted the DOJ opinion as “political cronyism.”

“The bipartisan intent of Congress was clear – no more federal dollars should flow to ACORN,” Issa said. “It is telling that this administration continues to look for every excuse possible to circumvent the intent of Congress.  Taxpayers should not have to continue subsidizing a criminal enterprise that helped Barack Obama get elected president.  The politicization of the Justice Department to pay back one of the president’s political allies is shameful and amounts to nothing more than old-fashioned cronyism.

Fox News:  ACORN Can Receive Pending Federal Payments, Justice Department Says

The Obama administration can legally pay the embattled community organizing group ACORN for services performed under contracts before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group, the Justice Department has declared.  The Obama administration legally can pay the embattled community organizing group ACORN for services performed under contracts approved before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group, the Justice Department has declared.

Boston Globe:  Republican blasts ACORN reprieve

A top House Republican today blasted a ruling by the Justice Department that allows the Obama administration to pay ACORN for services provided under contracts signed before Congress passed a law banning the community advocacy group from receiving taxpayers money.

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