Bachmann Holds News Conference on ACORN ‘Fraud’
Minnesota Congresswoman seeks to block access to federal housing funds
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s May 14, 2009 press conference with former ACORN employee Anita MonCrief and attorney Heather Heidelbaugh (vice president of the Republican National Lawyers’ Association) to explain “ACORN’s ongoing fraudulent behavior and the consequences of continuing to funnel taxpayer dollars to the organization.”
Bachmann calls on Congress to block ACORN funding
May 14, 2009
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann called on Congress Thursday to block ACORN’s access to federal housing funds, citing repeated charges of voter registration fraud against the low-income advocacy group.
The Republican congresswoman, flanked by an ACORN whistleblower and an attorney who worked on an ACORN case in Pennsylvania, escalated a media offensive against the group, which is a favorite target of conservatives who claim liberals are unjustly protecting a dysfunctional organization by allowing it access to taxpayer money.
“ACORN, as you know, is no stranger to the spotlight,” Bachmann said outside the Capitol. “Yet no matter how many times prosecutors investigate and even indict ACORN and their employees, they emerge unblemished as far as the federal government is concerned from having access to federal tax dollars.”
Bachmann, who hit the same themes in an op-ed in the Washington Times on Wednesday, complained that House Democrats killed her amendment to block organizations indicted for voter fraud from receiving federal housing money. She said ACORN has received at least $53 million in tax dollars since 1994, and that she will have new legislation in the coming weeks.
“We simply believe that the bar needs to be very high,” she said.
The call for congressional action comes after Nevada officials filed voter registration fraud charges against ACORN last week, and Pennsylvania authorities charged seven local ACORN workers with forging voter registration forms.
In the Nevada case, officials alleged the group illegally based employment and compensation on a quota system for voter registration. The group required canvassers to register 20 voters per shift or be fired, officials said, and gave bonus money to canvassers who registered more than 20 people.
ACORN issued a response to Bachmann Thursday accusing the congresswoman of “partisan witch hunts.”
ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson also recently told FOX News that the group does not institute a quota system as a matter of national policy, but that in Nevada, “We had a bad employee.”
But Anita MonCrief, the ACORN whistleblower, echoed Bachmann in describing the advocacy group as a sham. She said senior staffers train employees to avoid asking whether people are already registered to vote when they sign up residents, resulting in “thousands and thousands” of duplicates, and criminal problems for the employees.
“The employees were being thrown under the bus,” she said. “[Senior staff] stood on the backs of the poor in order to make money for their organization.”
Attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, who appeared with Bachmann, accused lawmakers and the mainstream media of avoiding the ACORN issue.
“We’ve had a swine flu scare here in the United States. I think there’s denial flu in Congress,” she said. “It’s either a case of serious denial or complicity.”
In its written statement, ACORN said MonCrief worked for Project Vote, not ACORN (the two groups often work together). And the group said MonCrief “was fired by Project Vote in 2008 for stealing money from the organization.”
Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck sound off on ACORN
Rep. Michele Bachmann discusses “ACORN’s ongoing fraudulent behavior and the consequences of continuing to funnel taxpayer dollars to the organization.”
Why did Rep. Barney Frank reverse himself on Rep. Michele Bachmann’s amendment?
May 14, 2009
RNC Chairman Michael Steele urged supporters to get behind Rep. Michele Bachmanns drive to block public dollars from going to the ACORN. (Photo: Reuters)
By Andy Barr
May 14, 2009
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele urged supporters Thursday to get behind Rep. Michele Bachmann’s drive to block public dollars from going to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
The Minnesota Republican’s efforts have been hemmed in by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, where Bachmann submitted her amendment to strip ACORN funding.
“Michele Bachmann’s amendment to block indicted organizations from collecting more public funding passed unanimously through the U.S. House Financial Services Committee,” Steele wrote in an e-mail fundraising appeal.
“But now, Committee Chairman Barney Frank, far-left Democrat from Massachusetts, has decided he made a mistake by supporting the amendment and will now offer his own amendment to restore ACORN’s opportunity of receiving billions of taxpayer dollars,” Steele added. “Since ACORN’s efforts are all about electing leftist Democrats like himself, why would Frank want them to go unrewarded?”
Bachmann has been stumping for her provision lately in numerous conservative media outlets.
“No organization has a right to taxpayer funding,” Bachmann told Fox News’ Glen Beck on Wednesday.
“Will members of Congress stand with ACORN, or will they stand with the taxpayer?” she asked. “We have a fiduciary duty to look out for the best interest of taxpayers.”
By Paul Schmelzer
The Minnesota Independent
May 14, 2009
“ACORN, as you know, is no stranger to the spotlight,” the spotlight-familiar Rep. Michele Bachmann said outside the Capitol this morning as she repeated claims made on Glenn Beck’s TV show last night and a Washington Times column yesterday, both of which were reported on by Fox News.
“Yet no matter how many times prosecutors investigate and even indict ACORN and their employees, they emerge unblemished as far as the federal government is concerned from having access to federal tax dollars,” she said this morning.
Perhaps she was reading from her Washington Times op-ed, which begins with nearly identical terms: “ACORN is no stranger to the spotlight. It has been said there are certain shades of limelight that can ruin one’s complexion. Yet no matter how many times prosecutors investigate and even indict ACORN and its employees, they emerge unblemished as far as the federal government is concerned.”
In all three media outlets, Bachmann repeats her belief that ACORN shouldnt receive federal housing funding, and today she announced shell be introducing separate legislation to prevent agencies indicted for voter fraud from receiving such funds, a move Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele publicly backed this afternoon. Meanwhile, the GOP has launched a fundraising campaign that invokes the “leftist activists” of ACORN.
She appeared in Washington today with Heather Heidelbaugh, an ACORN “whistleblower.”
Bachmann renews ACORN attack with new bill, petition
(Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent, June 6, 2009)
(Matthew Vadum, American Spectator, May 29, 2009)
Census Bureau cuts ties with ACORN
(Associated Press, Sept. 11, 2009)
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