With friends in high places — even Obama’s HUD secretary — it’s free to remain true to its infamous self.
The Obama administration is stonewalling efforts on two fronts to investigate the still-operating ACORN and uncover what aid administration officials offered the radical advocacy group infamous for its thug tactics and election fraud.
The Obama administration is sitting on Capital Research Center’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that seeks correspondence between Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and ACORN. HUD rules state that FOIA requests must be answered within 45 days, but at this writing our request has been pending for just over seven months.
The request was filed because Donovan is a longtime ACORN collaborator. He worked closely with ACORN for five years when he was New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s housing development commissioner.
“Perhaps no administration official has had more interaction with Acorn than” Donovan, the New York Times reported. ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis admitted as much. “We grew to respect him, and he grew to respect us.”
Ever since hidden-camera videos surfaced last year showing ACORN employees helping undercover conservative activists with financial and tax planning for a brothel for pedophiles, Donovan has remained silent about his relationship with ACORN. It’s unclear what Donovan is hiding.
And if you thought conservatives were the only ones urging the Obama administration to conduct a proper federal racketeering investigation of ACORN, you’d be wrong.
The whistleblowers of the left-leaning “ACORN 8” group are learning the hard way that the Obama Department of Justice is just as adept at stonewalling as Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). Longtime ACORN benefactor Nadler is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights, and civil liberties who refused to initiate a probe even when confronted with powerful evidence of ACORN’s wrongdoing. (To make matters worse, in a breathtaking conflict-of-interest Nadler devised a novel legal strategy ACORN used to defend itself.)
ACORN 8 is a group that broke away from ACORN in 2008. It is headed by Marcel Reid, a former member of ACORN’s national board. She was expelled from ACORN after demanding to see financial documentation related to a million-dollar embezzlement perpetrated by the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke. The brother, Dale Rathke, blew his ill-gotten gains on spending sprees at Neiman Marcus, limousine rentals, and other accoutrements of the Mercedes Marxist set. Big brother Wade and other high-ranking ACORN officials covered up the theft for eight years until it was discovered two years ago.
“I was attracted to the mission of ACORN to help people, to alleviate poverty,” Reid said previously. “We asked to see the books because the promissory note indicated a theft had occurred. They played games with us.”
At first, in 2009 ACORN 8 filed a legal complaint with U.S. attorneys across America, hoping to spark interest in an ACORN probe of the embezzlement and other crimes Reid and associates claim have been committed by ACORN. The splinter group’s pleas that ACORN be investigated for fraud, embezzlement, conspiracy, and criminal civil rights infractions fell on deaf ears.
So in April of this year ACORN 8 tried again, filing a complaint with the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The complainants said DOJ “refused to assign investigators, or bother to formally investigate ACORN 8 criminal allegations, thereby depriving the group of due process and equal protection of the law.”
They described ACORN as an “ongoing criminal enterprise that is committing mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, obstruction of justice and possibly extortion” and requested “a formal criminal civil rights investigation of this important matter.”
The ACORN 8 said they had “been forced to resort to notifying the OIG because federal law enforcement authorities across the country have refused to investigate these serious criminal allegations, and consequently, violated our civil rights.”
So what does the DOJ’s internal watchdog do? It punts. Five months after ACORN 8 filed its paperwork, the OIG informed the complainants in a Sept. 16 letter that it was referring the case to the FBI’s Inspection Division and the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility.
The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but this is ridiculous. All the OIG had to do was send out a form letter saying “you sent this to the wrong office.” It’s not that hard to do.
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.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?