ACORN critic Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is mystified that both the Democratic-controlled Congress and the Obama administration aren’t doing much about the tax-subsidized organized crime syndicate ACORN even as evidence of its wrongdoing continues to pile up.
In an exclusive interview, the House Judiciary Committee member describes the ACORN saga as “the largest corruption crisis in the history of America.”
“It’s thousands of times bigger than Watergate because Watergate was only a little break-in by a couple of guys,” said King. “By the time we pull ACORN out by its roots America’s going to understand just how big this is.”
Unlike the Nixon-era Watergate scandal, the ACORN scandal reaches not only to the highest levels of government, but also to states and localities across America. The president himself and his political advisor Patrick Gaspard used to work for ACORN and the radical advocacy group has allies throughout congressional leadership who are bending over backwards to protect it. President Obama has also hired as White House counsel Bob Bauer, whom King described as “the number one defender of ACORN in the country.”
ACORN has ties to unions such as SEIU and has business relationships with Wall Street. It has offices across the globe in places like Canada, Kenya, and India. Quite apart from the hidden camera videos that emerged in September showing ACORN employees providing advice on establishing a brothel and financing it with government grants, in the U.S. it stands accused of political corruption, election fraud, racketeering, money laundering, and countless other violations of the law. It is involved in major campaigns pushing for socialized medicine, green energy and cap-and-trade, enhanced welfare benefits, higher minimum wages, greater federal regulation of the financial services industry, and for a major expansion of the Community Reinvestment Act.
“The legislative branch will not investigate. [House Judiciary Committee chairman John] Conyers will not. [House Judiciary subcommittee chairman Jerrold] Nadler will not. It’s not going to come out of [House Ways & Means Committee chairman Charles] Rangel’s committee. It’s not going to come out of [House Financial Services Committee chairman] Barney Frank’s committee or from anybody in the Senate. They’re going to protect ACORN.”
Congress is deliberately dragging its heels on ACORN, just as Democrats did during the Clinton impeachment process in 1998, King said. As a member of the Iowa state senate, in December of that year King spent three days observing the proceedings against Clinton in the House Judiciary Committee.
“I saw the climate and the culture of the left’s shield of former President Clinton,” King said. “No transgression could have been too bad to cause their morality to flip the other way on him and for them walk away from him.”
Today defenders of ACORN in Congress are acting like the 42nd president’s defenders.
“It is the same pattern. There was the shock, then the revulsion, and then it was ‘the step away until you understand where the crossfire’s coming from,’ and then it was ‘get your tools in your arms and come back and circle the wagons and dig in to defend your guy, defend your leader.'”
In Congress Democrats “got out their arsenal and now they’re using everything to protect ACORN because that’s the machine that keeps them in office.”
King was particularly incensed by U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon’s ruling in favor of ACORN on Dec. 11. The Department of Justice has reluctantly filed an appeal of the judge’s ruling.
“Now the Democrats have the district court decision that Jerry Nadler solicited and now they will hide behind it if pressed. They will ignore it if they’re not pressed. They’re never going to move legislatively. They never wanted to unfund ACORN.”
Gershon, a Bill Clinton appointee, issued a temporary injunction prohibiting Congress from cutting off funding for ACORN. She determined that the funding ban was an unconstitutional “bill of attainder” that singled out ACORN for punishment without trial.
Only in the through-the-looking-glass world of a leftist activist judge could cutting off taxpayer funding to an advocacy group be deemed punishment. This injunction itself is unconstitutional and an affront to the separation of powers. It appears to rely on a novel, insidious legal doctrine known as “legislative due process.” Simply put, groups have rights in the appropriations process and have a right not to be deprived of government funding without some kind of cause being shown. In other words, Congress no longer has the power of the purse regardless of what the Constitution says.
Gershon’s ruling is “sweeping and far reaching and she even opined that ACORN has some kind of an implicit right to future contracts because they’ve succeeded in bidding on contracts that were similarly competitive,” King said.
Congress, he noted, has voted overwhelmingly to defund ACORN, yet federal funds continue to flow to ACORN. “We haven’t proved that we have a non-punitive motive,” as Gershon’s ruling requires, he said.
Attorney General Eric Holder has made it abundantly clear he has no interest in investigating his radical friends at ACORN. Holder’s Justice Department released a legal opinion late last month that allows the Obama administration to ignore the will of Congress. He’s also ignored the 88-page report on ACORN’s systemic corruption and flagrant racketeering activities that was issued this summer by Republican investigators on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
King said he doesn’t hold out much hope that the Obama administration or Congress will decide to do the right thing and investigate ACORN.
“This is one-party gangster government and they know what they’re doing,” he said.