ACORN Lives Forever in Congressional Budget Bills

ACORN Ideas and Issues

New Orleans     ACORN lives!  There is no doubt of that fact as affiliates continue to organize in country after country around the world and the ACORN Home Savers Campaign and other projects are robust in the USA as well.  ACORN also lives on the screen in the festival release version of the documentary, “The Organizer,” screened recently in Trenton, New Jersey, Benton, Arkansas, and Columbus, Ohio, and coming soon in Lansing, Michigan, Boston, Massachusetts, St. Petersburg, Florida, and Little Rock, Arkansas.  And, of course it lives in the hearts, minds, and daily lives and work of thousands of experienced ACORN leaders and members still working for social justice for low and moderate-income families throughout the country.

As part of the walking-dead, almost eight years after its reorganization and bankruptcy filing in the US in 2010, it still lives as the boogey-man, vampire-like scourge of the right-wing Republicans controlling the House of Representatives and the Congressional budget process.  Once again, ACORN is banned as part of the budget documents.  I’ll let Griffin Connolly’s report in Roll Call tell the story:

Tucked away on one of the 2,232 pages of the omnibus spending bill Congress sent to President Donald Trump’s desk early Friday morning is a provision to ban federal funding for a group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

ACORN does not exist, however, and hasn’t since 2009.

The group worked to register poor people to vote and to push for social services like expanded Medicaid and affordable housing. After Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, House Republicans accused ACORN of running a mass voter fraud campaign and swinging the Oval Office to Obama. No evidence of voter fraud was ever found.

Still, Republicans — and many Democrats — voted to end federal funding to the organization in the 2009 spending package. ACORN dissolved shortly after that, but the language prohibiting funds to the group snuck its way into this year’s bill nearly a decade later.

“I don’t remember this ever being discussed one time,” Rep. Tom Cole told HuffPost. “It wasn’t discussed at a hearing. I don’t remember it being discussed at any meeting with my Democratic colleagues and counterparts who negotiated the bill.”

The Oklahoma Republican said staffers may have inserted the ACORN provision in this year’s package after lifting portions of text from previous years’ spending deals.

The text reads: “None of the funds made available under this or any other Act, or any prior Appropriations Act, may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, allied organizations, or successors.”

ACORN does not have “affiliates,” “subsidiaries” or “allied organizations” because it no longer exists. Corporate and nonprofit law do not define the term “successor,” HuffPost reported.

“They did it in!” Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut quipped about her Republican colleagues defunding a nonexistent organization, according to HuffPost.

What can I say?  Bad boys and girls in Congress and elsewhere, beware, ACORN is still coming for you, and Congress knows it and fears it still.