Tag Archives: Steve King

Republican Grandstanding on ACORN Defunding

stevekingew Orleans It isn’t hard to hear the death rattle of desperation in the latest farcical efforts of Congressman Steve King to try to revive a dying political career and a blogger trying to flack a mail-order book at the expense of ACORN, the once great community organization.  King tacked an amendment on a Homeland Security bill last week to defund ACORN, despite the fact that they the organization filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings in fall 2010, and its successor organizations, despite the fact that there would be no legal basis for doing so, as several governmental organizations have already determined.  Given the Republican majority and the dead certainty that the amendment will never face a vote in the U.S. Senate, the measure passed 258-168, with the equivalent political force of email protest or a rock thrown through at a neighbor’s window.  In fact no one but readers of King’s own Congressional website might have known that it even happened until a blogger trying to generate sales for his mail-order book attacking ACORN tried to make sure someone heard this lone, silent tree falling in the forest.

King has his own problems, so god knows in this time of high unemployment it is easy to understand how desperate he must be facing the fact that his 5th district in Iowa is disappearing and forcing him to pack off to greener fields.  The old 5th in western Iowa is one of those rare places in America that still passes for the farm belt with its bit cities being the old dusty whistle and wagon train stops in Sioux City and Council Bluffs.  King wouldn’t be the one to tell anyone this, but I can still remember reading about the farm protests and strikes in that district during the depression over the price of milk and their demands for bank holidays.  These days the district is almost un-American, meaning that its demographics are radically different than the rest of the country.  Here’s a snapshot of one of the few districts left in America where you can honestly say they are “white, right, and ready to fight,” or at least two of those three anyway.

U.S. Census data put Representative King’s record in the context of the people who he represents. Iowa District 5 is 49.34 percent urban, 3.66 percent non-white, and has a population that is 3.58 percent Latino and 2.96 percent foreign-born. 4.65 percent of adults working in Rep. King’s district commute using public transportation, on a bike or on foot. 4.42 percent of adults aged 25 and older in King’s district have a Master’s, PhD or Professional Degree.

King doesn’t worry about his disappearing constituents understanding that all he is doing is political grandstanding and pandering.  Reading the comments on the blogs a number of them were confused about why the funding for ACORN was still going on (it wasn’t!) and was it “automatic” (it isn’t!), but thankful the funding stream was finally shut off (huh?!?).

Time would be wasted trying to engage in a conversation about how preposterous it is to contemplate such an unconstitutional “bill of attainder” for the “new” ACORNs as the blogger calls them or the “successor” ACORNs, because we would have to pretend this might ever become law, rather than another unreported press release from a self-aggrandizing bore, who is seen as an embarrassment to the state by no less than the Des Moines Register. It has been widely reported that the New York successor and others have mustered review governmental agencies and proven that they are not successors to ACORN and therefore would now be eligible for whatever crumbs fall their way.

Congress must just be a place where people like King like to hear themselves talk, since no one else back home or anywhere else is interested in listening to this nonsense.


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!