House Repub­li­cans as­sail Obama’s ties to ACORN

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY SEAN LENGELL

House Repub­li­cans on Dec. 1 ac­cused the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of cov­er­ing up crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties com­mit­ted by the em­bat­tled com­mu­nity ac­tivist group ACORN, say­ing that the pres­i­dent has used the group as an il­le­gal po­lit­i­cal tool to help him­self and other Democrats get elected.

“The cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion is fast be­com­ing, in re­al­ity, the war room of ACORN’s po­lit­i­cal ma­chine,” said Rep. Dar­rell Issa, Cal­i­for­nia Repub­li­can. “I am con­cerned that the era of cor­rup­tion pro­mul­gated by ACORN and pro­tected by the White House is just the beginning.”

The top Repub­li­can on the House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee, said ACORN has en­gaged in “il­le­gal, par­ti­san ac­tiv­i­ties de­signed to help in­di­vid­ual Demo­cratic mem­bers.”

“This (action) goes from city coun­cil­men to state assem­bly­men all the way to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama,” he said.

Rep. La­mar Smith of Texas, the top Repub­li­can on the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, said Mr. Obama’s past ties to the As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mu­nity Or­ga­ni­za­tions for Re­form Now (ACORN) will “taint any con­clu­sions” by any Jus­tice Depart­ment probe into the group.

Mr. Issa and Mr. Smith made their re­marks at a Capi­tol Hill fo­rum on ACORN that they spon­sored. The event was at- tended by a hand­ful of House Repub­li­cans but no Democrats.

Con­gres­sional Democrats, while con­demn­ing many of ACORN’s prac­tices, see no il­le­gal ties be­tween the group and the White House.

Many of the Repub­li­can law­mak­ers used the event to try to link the White House to ACORN — a group un­der in­tense scru­tiny af­ter hid­den-cam­era videos showed its work­ers ad­vis­ing a woman pos­ing as a pros­ti­tute how to cheat on taxes and loan applications.

The lib­eral or­ga­ni­za­tion also has been ac­cused of voter regis­tra­tion fraud that ben­e­fited Demo­cratic candidates in sev­eral states.

Mr. Obama served as an ACORN lawyer dur­ing his years as a com­mu­nity or­ga­nizer in Chicago but has cut ties with the group since elected as pres­i­dent.

“When this in­ves­ti­ga­tion is fi­nally fin­ished [. . . ] th­ese roads fol­low­ing ACORN will lead to the White House,” said Rep. Steve King, Iowa Repub­li­can.

Repub­li­cans have pressed the Jus­tice Depart­ment and the FBI to con­duct a com­pre­hen­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion of ACORN. They are up­set that the Demo­crat-con­trolled Congress hasn’t launched its own probe.

Congress re­cently can­celed fed­eral fund­ing to ACORN and its af­fil­i­ated or­ga­ni­za­tions. But the Jus­tice Depart­ment re­leased a memo two weeks ago con­clud­ing that the gov­ern­ment should pay ACORN for con­tracts that were in place be­fore Congress passed the law.

Rep. Dar­rell Issa

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