Is ACORN squelching critical voices — even that of House Judiciary chairman John Conyers?
Is the radical leftist group ACORN squelching voices that dare to criticize it?
That’s the distinct impression House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan) left last week when he told the Washington Times that he wasn’t proceeding with an investigation of ACORN because “the powers that be decided against it.”
Conyers refused to explain who “the powers” might be, but his spokesman Jonathan Godfrey twisted himself into a pretzel trying to spin the statement. The congressman was referring to himself as “the powers that be,” Godfrey claimed.
Conyers has his own problems. His notorious wife Monica, a Detroit City Council member, who once threw a temper tantrum and called the council’s baldheaded presiding officer “Shrek” as an insult when he reclaimed the floor, pleaded guilty Friday to felony bribery charges. On Monday she tendered her resignation.
Just three months before Rep. Conyers was convinced that looking
into the affairs of the Association of Community Organizations
for Reform Now was the right way to go.
During a March 19 hearing, he received testimony from Republican lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh about ACORN’s alleged serial violations of tax, campaign finance, and myriad other laws. Heidelbaugh’s testimony was based on the evidence provided by a former ACORN employee, Anita MonCrief, who explained the thoroughly corrupt inner workings of ACORN and Project Vote, its voter drive-organizing arm, to a Pennsylvania court last year.
Conyers was told about ACORN’s “muscle for the money” program, its protest-for-hire services, its mob-style shakedown tactics, and how President Obama’s campaign sent the group its “maxed out donor list” and asked it “to reach out to the maxed out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”
At the time, Conyers described the allegations as “a pretty serious matter” and a fortnight later said he would “probably” order a probe. “That’s our jurisdiction, the Department of Justice. That’s what we handle — voter fraud. Unless that’s been taken out of my jurisdiction and I didn’t know it.”
On May 4 he unexpectedly pulled back, announcing that a probe of ACORN “appears unwarranted at this time.” He refused to elaborate even though earlier the same day Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, revealed that ACORN and two former senior ACORN executives had been charged with 39 felony counts related to voter registrations.
A few days later Allegheny County, Pennsylvania District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. laid voter registration fraud charges against seven ex-ACORN canvassers. Cuyahoga County, Ohio prosecutor Bill Mason is also probing ACORN after a man who was registered multiple times by ACORN was indicted by a grand jury for fraudulent voting. The Ohio charge should be especially worrisome to ACORN, which claims as a matter of policy that illegal voting does not happen.
Since Miller, Cortez Masto, Zappala, and Mason are all Democrats you might expect ACORN, which also as a matter of policy insists the Republican Party is determined to destroy it, would refrain from claiming partisan persecution, but you’d be wrong.
ACORN lawyer Lisa Rasmussen said at a court hearing June 3 that election fraud charges laid against the group in Nevada were motivated by politics. “The politically motivated charges, such as those brought by the attorney general and secretary of state, just highlight the voter registration system that is broken,” Rasmussen said in a Las Vegas courtroom.
As credible allegations of wrongdoing continue to mount against the group, it becomes increasingly harder to believe Conyers’s claim that his hands were tied.
But then again why did anyone actually believe that Conyers, an ally of ACORN who until recently resisted calls to probe it, was serious about looking at the group?
In the fall Conyers, who garnered a 100% rating from ACORN in its 2006 legislative scorecard, called the organization that helps get out his party’s vote “a longstanding and well regarded organization that fights for the poor and working class.” In June 2008 he called America’s corporations “capitalist predators” to wild applause at ACORN’s national convention in Detroit.
It’s not like there is a shortage of things to investigate.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?