More News on Congressional Repub Witchhunts

steve-king-acornNew Orleans On the eve of a New Year the news today (isn’t this mainly a holiday, so why don’t we catch a break?) it seemed a case of déjà vu or as the Who sang, “new boss is just like the old boss” with more tongue flapping about an ACORN investigation in the coming year.

Representative Steve King (R-Ia) from the western district of Iowa yammered on at a press conference in his homelands where the largest city may be Sioux City, which is a city largely because that’s in its name:

“There has been a list of government oversight and investigations that needs to be taken up. And it’s just a natural thing that people that are in charge don’t want to investigate their own party. I saw that happen to some degree when Republicans were in charge, and I clearly see it happen now with Democrats controlling the presidency and the House and the Senate.

“So I think that you will see investigations of ACORN, for one. You’ll hear a lot more in the news about ACORN, and about the insidious nature of them — about how the national organization of ACORN now has been fractured, but they’re reforming in the states with the same people, the same players, the same intentions.”And there’ll be other investigations looking into the Pigford farms issue, which I think is full of fraud, that what amounts to is paying reparations to black farmers in America. We don’t do reparations in America.”

He seems a little bent out of shape on the issue of “reparations” for black farmers, which must have some local appeal to the dirt diggers of Iowa where the blackest thing around they hope is the soil.  The chip on his shoulder about ACORN seems trivial.  He seems to want to investigate the fact that the organization “has been fractured,” that it’s “reforming” and that it’s same ol’ same ol’ or some such.  Is that an investigation?  Is there something even arguably wrong with any of that?  Is King arguing for something other than a total waste of the taxpayers’ money?  What balderdash!

The other piece was a “rattle the cage” on Attorney General Eric Holder reported in today’s New York Times by Charles Savage:

“Mr. Holder said that he did not know Mr. Issa well, but that he had known Mr. Smith for years. The two recently had lunch, and Mr. Holder said he believed they could work together.

Like much of Washington, the two chairmen are likely to start off focusing on economic issues. But it seems inevitable they will turn to Mr. Holder, a frequent target of their criticism over the past two years.

Last March, for example, they released a joint letter criticizing the Justice Department for not doing more to investigate the community activist group ACORN, and for an early 2009 decision to downsize a voter-intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party, a black-nationalist fringe group they portrayed as an Obama administration ally.

“We’ve already seen this administration dismiss one case against a political ally — the New Black Panther Party — for no apparent reason,” Mr. Issa and Mr. Smith wrote. “We remain concerned that politicization at the Justice Department once again may result in the administration’s political friends getting a free pass.”

Asked about the prospect of oversight hearings and subpoenas involving the New Black Panther case, Mr. Holder said, “there is no ‘there’ there.”

“The notion that this made-up controversy leads to a belief that this Justice Department is not color-blind in enforcement of civil rights laws is simply not supported by the facts,” he said. “All I have on my side with regard to that is the facts and the law.”

With ACORN there is literally no “there there” since the organization has ceased to exist, so, yawn, yawn, what’s the point?  Furthermore, Holder can cite the fact that he amazingly was a tiger in fighting ACORN through appeals on their challenges to their funding cut offs as not having been an unconstitutional “bill of attainder.”  Other than physically showing up at an office and beating ACORN staff and members with a stick, he was all over this every other way in court.

Clearly there’s nothing to investigate.  This is just a Hail Mary press play.

And, of course pure politics.  Michael Gaynor, a right wing blogger has argued as recently as this week that “The Key to Beating Obama in 2012 Is Publicizing the Truth About Him and ACORN.”

It’s hard for some of these folks to climb off the old, high horse even when it’s clear that horse just doesn’t ride anymore.

Let’s really have a new year in 2011!


Growing Support for Remittance Justice

AwYCgN_Remittances-1New Orleans The transfers of money from families working in developed countries through remittances back to their families in their home countries soars at the end of the year just about everywhere and big time in Latin America given Christmas and New Years.   The hard hitting ACORN International report issued right before the holidays, Past Time for Remittance Justice (available for download at, has begun to attract attention and important support.

First there was a great column by Carol Goar in the Toronto Star jumping on the bandwagon.  Then right before Christmas there was an amazing radio interview with  ACORN Vancouver leader and  native Kenyan Pascal Apuwa on Radio Canada International with a reporter based in Ottawa.   This was a big boost running first in English and then being translated into 8 languages used by RCI.  Listen yourself and enjoy:


Listen here:

We have quietly begun a petition to support the campaign as we move to put pressure on transmitting organizations and banks.  People are already finding it, but your support would be critical, so please link and sign at:

Last night I heard that the 6.5 million member internet campaigning organization,, has decided to join the campaign over the last week and got enthusiastic support on their first 30000 test, so are ready to go.  They are targeting Western Union specifically and quoting Pascal on the more than $28 on $100 it costs for him to send money to family in Korogocho where ACORN Kenya also organizes and has more than 1000 members.  They are citing our report and downloading a copy of ACORN International’s Past Time for Remittance Justice on their website and rolling out the English language appeal for support later today and adding appeals in other languages as they are translated.  ACORN International is wildly enthusiastic about this partnership with another organization with global reach.  We may be big at the grassroots, but they are huge on the internet, so we’re hoping their members respond as strongly so that we can redouble pressure on Western Union, MoneyGram and the banks.

Big stakes here since predatory pricing is grabbing more than $44 billion right out of the hands of families desperate for the dollars in developing countries, so this will be a long and difficult fight before we win, but as King reminded us all, “the arc of justice is long and unbending.”