Tensions are running high among congressional supporters of ACORN. Yesterday on Bill O’Reilly , congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) attempted to explain his position on the faltering community activist group in light of recent videotapes released which showed ACORN workers helping a couple posing as a prostitute and a pimp. The tapes resulted in several ACORN workers being relieved of their duties. Congress also voted to exclude federal funding from the group. Now there is a litany of litigation stemming from the pimp tape fallout.
Representative Frank, goes on record here while being drilled by a tenacious O’Reilly:
Judging from his defensive behavior, it is not difficult to know where Barney Frank stands on the ACORN issue. What troubles me is that the very people we elect to serve the people will continue to support a group that is obviously corrupt and in need of a massive investigation. This article in the Wall Street Journal attempts to provide clarity on the Frank position.
September 23, 2009
Barney Frank on Acorn
He calls for an investigation—of the investigators.
In a letter published nearby, Representative Barney Frank takes us to task for an editorial last week in which we noted his absence from the House’s 345-75 vote to defund Acorn, the “community organizing” group that has been caught on video at least five times offering advice on how to evade the authorities while enslaving children as prostitutes. Mr. Frank, whose spokesman tells us he would have voted against the measure (that is, in favor of funding Acorn), has a point. Any implication that he is trying to dodge the matter is mistaken.
Even after the recent revelations, Mr. Frank is a vigorous and unashamed defender of Acorn. Yesterday he and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers sent a letter to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) requesting a “careful and objective analysis of a number of issues concerning ACORN.” (Mr. Conyers voted to defund Acorn but later said he did so “accidentally.”)
The investigation that Messrs. Frank and Conyers envision does not, to say the least, sound aggressive. They ask the researchers to get to the bottom of, among other things, “the extent to which ACORN has assisted [the] homeless.” With respect to the child-prostitution sting, they ask the CRS to look into “conflicting allegations” about “the propriety of these activities”—by which they mean not the advice Acorn gave on getting away with crimes, but “the federal and state laws that could apply to such videotaping and distribution of conversations without the consent of all parties.”
The Democratic duo also ask CRS whether the legislation defunding Acorn “could constitute an unlawful bill of attainder” by singling out the group—as if the refusal to continue providing federal subsidies is tantamount to punishing it for a crime. Such Constitutional scruples were not evident in March, when the pair joined all but six House Democrats (and 85 Republicans) in voting to impose a 90% tax on executives of AIG and other disfavored corporations.
Messrs. Frank and Conyers do ask if Acorn has misused federal funds or engaged in voter fraud—but the CRS is hardly in a position to investigate whether Acorn has committed such crimes. If Messrs. Frank and Conyers were serious about learning the truth, they’d send their letter to the Justice Department, not the Congressional Research Service.
ACORN is now suing the creators of the notorious pimp tapes along with Andrew Breitbart for his part in getting the tapes released to the media. Upon closer examination, the good ol’ folks at ACORN should realize that their law suit can actually be used against them, creating the very legal scrutiny they have been avoiding for nearly two years now. As a defendant, Andrew Breitbart has a right to discovery meaning he could ask for documents that ACORN has kept hidden from public eyes.
As many readers know, President Barack Obama unceremoniously threw ACORN under the bus during his interview last Sunday with George Stephanopolis. I thought of this several days ago as I was walking my Dalmatian. I passed an acorn tree wearing a pair of suede boots. The acorns were cracking underneath the pressure of my boots. An image of a bus driving over millions of acorns overcame me along with the loud collective sound of shells (shills) crackling. It causes me to wonder if hell hath no fury like a nut scorned.
Autographed Letter Signed,