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Morning Bell: What The Poverty Advocacy Complex Costs You
Posted By Conn Carroll On September 16, 2009 @ 8:56 am In Ongoing Priorities,The Morning Bell | 37 Comments
This Monday the Senate voted 83 to 7 to strip funding for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)  from this year’s housing and transportation appropriation bill. The move came after upstart website BigGovernment.com  posted videos  showing ACORN employees in multiple cities across the country conspiring to help under cover reporters avoid taxes for criminal enterprises.
Despite the swiftness with which the Senate acted, this is hardly the first time ACORN has been accused of illegality. Last fall when ACORN was investigated for vote fraud in a dozen states , the New York Times reported that an internal ACORN legal memo raised “questions about whether the web of relationships among its 174 affiliates may have led to violations of federal laws.” 
The Times reporter who wrote that story, Stephanie Strom wanted to pursue the story further, but she was discouraged by her superiors at the Times  and gave up after blistering phone conversation with then-candidate Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Strom revealed in an email : “I’m calling a halt to my efforts. I just had two unpleasant calls with the Obama campaign, wherein the spokesman was screaming and yelling and cursing me, calling me a rightwing nut and a conspiracy theorist and everything else.” Explaining why she wanted to pursue the story further in another email Strom wrote :
The real story to all this is how these myriad entities allow them to shuffle money around so much that no one really knows what’s getting spent on what — and for the charities like the housing orgs, that’s a problem. Charitable money cannot be spent on political activities. It’s a big no-no that can cost charitable organizations their exemptions.
That “web of relationships” between poverty advocacy groups like ACORN is the real story here that impacts the American people. ACORN is by far not the only suspect community organizer group. Just last summer federal investigators raided a city-chartered nonprofit agency accused of abusing a federally financed program that was created to clean up houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina . Teachers unions have contributed over $1.3 million to ACORN and its affiliates, since 2005.  And the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has chipped in another $7.4 million.  ACORN founder Wade Rathke even has a book out titled “Citizen Wealth”  which “shows how to cut through government indifference and bureaucratic obstacles” to achieve “maximum eligible participation” in the “anti-poverty programs still out there.”
All of this community organizing for an expanded welfare state has real costs. Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector will release a new study  this morning that crunches the numbers on what the poverty advocacy complex is costing Americans tax payers and the results are sobering:
That last point is key. Gallup  has a new poll out today showing that on average, Americans believe 50 cents of every tax dollar that goes to the government in Washington, DC, today are wasted. The American people know that when the federal government funnels their money through groups like ACORN, that money ends up benefiting professional poverty advocates, not real Americans in need.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/09/16/morning-bell-what-the-poverty-advocacy-complex-costs-you/
URLs in this post:
 to strip funding for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN): http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN1422457320090914
 BigGovernment.com: http://biggovernment.com/
 videos: http://biggovernment.com/2009/09/14/acorn-video-prostitution-scandal-in-new-york-ny/
 investigated for vote fraud in a dozen states: http://www.foundry.org/2008/10/15/morning-bell-what-would-acorn-do/
 “questions about whether the web of relationships among its 174 affiliates may have led to violations of federal laws.”: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/us/22acorn.html
 she was discouraged by her superiors at the Times: http://michellemalkin.com/2009/05/20/all-the-news-thats-fit-to-suppress/
 in an email: http://michellemalkin.com/2009/09/16/whats-missing-from-the-new-york-times-coverage-of-acorn/?print=1
 Just last summer federal investigators raided a city-chartered nonprofit agency accused of abusing a federally financed program that was created to clean up houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina: http://blog.heritage.org../2008/08/12/housing-non-profit-fraud-say-it-isnt-so/
 Teachers unions have contributed over $1.3 million to ACORN and its affiliates, since 2005.: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Teachers-unions-have-contributed-over-13-million-to-ACORN--59179227.html
 the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has chipped in another $7.4 million.: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574412792287663918.html
 “Citizen Wealth”: http://chieforganizer.org/citizen-wealth-the-book/
 a new study: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/sr0067.cfm
 Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/122951/Americans-Uncle-Sam-Wastes-50-Cents-Dollar.aspx
 FBI and the DoJ to open investigations into ACORN.: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27188.html
 Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/122957/Healthcare-Bill-Supporters-Cite-Uninsured-Foes-Big-Govt.aspx
 could not back: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/58929-democrats-to-go-it-alone
 also said: http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-treatment/breaking-rockefeller-says-no-way-support-baucus-bill-present-form
 Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/15/AR2009091503716.html
 Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125304790936413347.html#mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories
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