Tag Archives: Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

MUCH worse than ACORN

Remember the whipped-up ACORN “scandal”?

Wingnuts accused ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — of election fraud when some paid ACORN organizers apparently submitted falsified voter registration cards in order to give the appearance that they’d registered more voters than they actually had.*

Of course, these non-existent voters never actually were going to cast a ballot and skew any election results — as they were non-existent, and non-existent people cannot vote.

But in backasswards Arizona, the South Africa of the Southwest, Steve May, a Log Cabin Repugnican who is a candidate for Arizona’s Legislature, has recruited homeless people to run for elected office on the Green Party ticket in order to siphon votes away from Democratic candidates and thus to help Repugnican candidates.

That is election fraud.

A Green Party spokesman in Phoenix, Erik Anderson, said of May’s ballot recruits: “We are actively opposing them. We’re encouraging all Green Party voters not to vote for them. We don’t know them.”

May, whom I used to kind of admire for having come out of the closet, even though he’s a fucking Repugnican and a (former?) Mormon in Arizona, has revealed himself to be nothing but a common Repugnican piece of slime.

Maybe Steve May and former BushCheneyCorp “re”-election campaign manager and former Repugnican Party head Ken Mehlman, who finally came out recently, can fucking marry each other in one of the few states that have same-sex marriage despite Mehlman’s and May’s support of the party of haters that always has shit and pissed upon gay men and lesbians and other non-gender-conforming people.

As a member of the Repugnican Party and a Repugnican Party candidate for office, May has no legitimate reason to recruit anyone to run for office under the Green Party ticket or any other party’s ticket with the glaringly obvious intent of helping his own party at the polls.

Why would a Repugnican recruit others to run on another party’s ticket unless malfeasance were involved?

Arizona’s Green Party has petitioned a federal judge to have the fraudulent candidates removed from the state’s ballots. I hope that the state’s Green Party succeeds. (And I will note that federal intervention is critical in red states like Arizona, which are all about violating civil rights and allowing election fraud that benefits the Repugnican Tea Party. That’s why the red states scream about “states’ rights”: so that they can get away with murder, sometimes literally.)

And I sincerely hope that Steve May, who has acted in bad faith with the intent of aiding his own political party at the polls through blatant misrepresentation and through the cynical bastardization of the democratic process, has broken the law and that he is prosecuted for it to the fullest extent of the law. And I hope that he fucking loses his campaign, too.

Steve May not only makes gay men look bad and not only has attacked the party that I belong to (the Green Party), but he belongs behind bars along with Arizona’s corrupt Repugnican governor, Jan “What’s My Name?” Brewer, the white supremacist Wicked Witch of the Southwest.

*ACORN’s biggest crime, of course, is that it helped so many poor black people. We know from Hurricane Katrina where the Repugnican Tea Party stands on that.

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Scary: Our highest elected officials don’t know the U.S. Constitution and/or just don’t give a flying fuck

When the U.S. Congress wrote into legislation to strip ACORN of its funding, and President Barack Obama signed the legislation* — because the self-serving, disloyal, uber-slippery Obama has a history of throwing his former supporters under the bus whenever they come under fire from the wingnuts — I knew that something wasn’t right. You don’t just single out a single entity like that for political expediency.

I’m no lawyer, but apparently I was right.

The Associated Press reported yesterday:

New York – The U.S. government’s move this fall to cut off funding to ACORN was unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday, handing the embattled group a legal victory.

U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon issued the preliminary injunction against the government, saying it’s in the public’s interest for the organization to continue receiving federal funding.

ACORN claimed in its lawsuit that Congress’ decision to cut off its funding was unconstitutional because it punitively targeted an individual organization.

Gershon said in her ruling that ACORN had raised a “fundamental issue of separation of powers. They have been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process adjudicating guilt.”

Bill Quigley, the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of ACORN and two affiliates, said the decision sends a sharp message to Congress that it can’t single out an individual or organization without due process.

“It’s a resounding victory for ACORN,” he said. “I’d be surprised if the government decides to appeal.”

ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, describes itself as an advocate for low-income and minority homebuyers and residents in communities served by its offices around the country….

The law that halted ACORN’s federal funding took effect Oct. 1 and was extended Oct. 31. It was set to either expire or be extended again on Dec. 18.

ACORN’s lawsuit was filed in federal court in Brooklyn and sought reinstatement of the funds. Quigley said millions of dollars in funds should begin to flow again to ACORN next week. The judge said the “public will not suffer harm by allowing the plaintiffs to continue work on contracts duly awarded by federal agencies.” …

I have had concerns with ACORN myself, as I have written. But that a person or entity is entitled to due fucking process before being punished and that there shall be no bill of attainder — these are basic fucking U.S. constitutional principles.

I’m no fan of Ron Paul, who is a homophobic wingnut posing as a centrist or moderate, but according to a website supporting him, more than a third of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives are lawyers, and more than half of the members of the U.S. Senate are lawyers. According to Wikipedia, Barack Obama “taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.”

How can so many supposedly educated lawyers get it so fucking wrong on such basic fucking constitutional principles? Are they that fucking incompetent or do they just not give a flying fuck? Or both? Yes, I include our illustrious Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning new “war” president in that non-rhetorical question.

It’s funny, because there is the supposition that the highest elected officials of our land know what the fuck they’re doing.

But they don’t. And/or they just don’t fucking care.

And that’s fucking scary for our national security. It threatens our freedom and our well-being that the political scandal or political flavor du jour can override what are supposed to be the bedrock principles of the U.S. Constitution.

And it makes you wonder what else our “leaders” in Washington get wrong, in what other ways they routinely rape the U.S. Constitution**, which apparently is just an ancient document on display in D.C.

*Notes Wikipedia:

In 2009, in light of various scandals, a number of Democrats who once advertised their connections to ACORN began to distance themselves, as Republicans began to use ACORN to portray Democrats as corrupt. In light of the controversies, the United States House and Senate, by wide margins, attached amendments to pending spending legislation that would temporarily prohibit the federal government from funding ACORN, or any agency that had been involved in similar scandals — including money authorized by previous legislation. President Obama signed the bill into law on October 1.

ACORN sued the United States Government in the United States District Court in Brooklyn over the measure, known as the “Defund ACORN Act,” claiming it was a bill of attainder, and therefore unconstitutional….

**Such as by denying non-heterosexuals equal human and civil rights, and even allowing such equal human and civil rights for a specific historically oppressed minority group to be put up for a vote.

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My brush with ACORN, circa 2001

ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — is the community-organizing organization that the wingnuts love to hate. After all, President Barack Obama used to be a community organizer, and therefore community organizers must be demonized.

(Indeed, the McCainosaurus-Palin-Quayle ticket surreally demonized community organizers, because we all know that it’s the corporations that wuv us and it’s the community organizers who are the evil devils.)

I sought to work for the Sacramento branch of ACORN in 2001, I believe it was, maybe in 2000. Attracted by ACORN’s pro-labor, pro-poor mission, I thought that it would be great to be one of their community organizers.

However, when I looked into becoming one of ACORN’s community organizers, I was shocked to discover that ACORN, or at least the Sacramento branch of ACORN, required its community organizers to work six days a week, Monday through Saturday. And ACORN paid its community organizers a low annual salary that, when you did the math, didn’t amount to even minimum wage.

When I expressed to the Sacramento ACORN supervisor that I was shocked that the supposedly pro-labor ACORN would require its employees to work six days a week — it was the labor movement, after all, that got us the two-day weekend — and would pay them what amounted to less than minimum wage (minimum wage also was an achievement of the labor movement, I do believe), he told me that well, it was a “movement job.”

Um, yeah — a bowel movement job, as in a shit job.

So no wonder ACORN has been shrouded in scandal, with its community organizers accused of such things as falsifying voter registration cards. My guess is that they felt pressured to do so, since ACORN was giving them sub-subsistence pay.

The Associated Press reports that today the U.S. House of Representatives voted 345-75 to strip the scandal-ridden ACORN of all federal funds, and that the U.S. Senate on Monday voted 83-7 to deny ACORN funding.

However, the AP reports, “Speaker [of the House] Nancy Pelosi, in a conference call with reporters … pointed out that ACORN has many honest employees and was conducting an internal investigation, and that it was up to House-Senate negotiators to determine whether the provision to cut [ACORN’s] funding would be in the final version of the bill.”

Still, I glad that I refused to take that shit job with ACORN. All these years later, I seem to have been vindicated.

And it’s incredibly tragic — and criminal — that ACORN has tarnished the reputation of community organizing.

P.S. Reuters notes that since 1994, ACORN has received only about $53 million in federal funding, which, Salon.com’s War Room points out, is a teeny-tiny fraction of federal spending, even though the wingnuts won’t shut up about ACORN.

(Similarly, the “pork-barrel spending” that Repugnican John McCainosaurus wouldn’t shut up about also represents just a tiny fraction of overall federal spending, and certainly pales in comparison to the hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars that have been squandered in Vietraq.)

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