Abandoned by even many of its Democratic allies, ACORN hit back today at Congress after it slapped the latest penalty on the community advocacy group.
The House voted today to avert a possible government shutdown next week by temporarily extending the current federal budget. But Democrats inserted a provision saying that ACORN could not receive funding under the stopgap measure or any prior legislation.
“To include language in legislation that targets a single organization is unconstitutional and wrong," ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said in a statement. Congressman Nadler said it best: “The punishment here did not follow some criminal or administrative process with basic due process protections. It flowed out of a Fox News network report, which led the call for a public lynching. There was no statement of charges and no reference to a judicial or administrative finding of wrongdoing by ACORN.' ”
Lewis added that ACORN is being singled out unfairly -- after a controversy started when employees it later fired appeared to advise conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her pimp on how to skirt the law -- when other groups and corporations are accused of doing much worse.
“One unintended - and positive - consequence of the witch hunt against ACORN is that it could help rein in the likes of Halliburton and Blackwater and even Wall St," she said in the statement. "If the standard is that organizations that have broken the law shouldn’t get federal money, then let’s set that standard consistently. There are numerous corporations that have been proven records of malfeasance. For its part – and although we don’t claim perfection in our work for poor and working families - ACORN has never been convicted of any crime in a court of law - the conservative imagination and the media are another matter."
The anti-poverty advocacy group has also been disowned by both the Internal Revenue Service and the Census Bureau, which had worked with the group on tax preparation advice and the population count, respectively.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.