For the fun news of the day – in all the GOP haste to smear ACORN based on the actions of a couple of rogue employees, the language of the bill does the one thing I had suggested in jest as an answer to an unrelated topic. Namely, be more harsh on corporations that break laws. Except in the actual bill as written and voted on, any crime charged to a corporation would bar it from feeding at the public trough. Ooopsie!
The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to “any organization” that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.
In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.
Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who’s Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.
The language was written by the GOP and filed as a “motion to recommit” in the House, where it passed 345-75. It carried the Senate by an 83-7 margin.
POGO is reaching out to its members to identify other companies who have engaged in the type of misconduct that would make them ineligible for federal funds.
Grayson then intends to file that list in the legislative history that goes along with the bill so that judges can reference it when determining whether a company should be denied federal funds.
[Click to continue reading Whoops: Anti-ACORN Bill Ropes In Defense Contractors, Others Charged With Fraud]
[Buzzards circling in a park probably built by Brown and Root, LBJ’s favorite defense contractor, now owned by Halliburton and/or KBR]
The Project On Government Oversight gives a little perspective:
Bear in mind that, since 1994, ACORN has reportedly received a total of $53 million in federal funds, or an average of roughly $3.5 million per year. In contrast, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman respectively received over $35 billion and $18 billion in federal contracts last year. (Their totals since 2000 are $266 billion for Lockheed and $125 billion for Northrop.)
Congress should clamp down on contractor fraud and waste, but it needs to keep a sense of proportion. If ACORN broke the law it, should be punished; however, Congress also needs to crack down just as rigorously on the contractors who take an even larger share of taxpayers’ money and have committed far more, or far more egregious, acts of misconduc
[Click to continue reading The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) Blog]
late update: one of the ACORN employees caught on tape, Juan Carlos Vera, actually reported the incident to the police. The police said they would need more information.
Police say he contacted law enforcement two days later. The detective consulted another police official who served on a federal human smuggling task force, who said he needed more details.
The ACORN employee responded several days later and explained that the information he received was not true and he had been duped.
[Click to continue reading Police: ACORN worker in video reported couple – Yahoo! News]
Still was fired, and made the butt of a thousand jokes on Fox News…