ALG Applauds Census for Severing Ties with ACORN, Calls for Congress to do the Same

September 14th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today praised the U.S. Census Bureau for severing its 2010 Partnership Agreement with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in light of recent disclosure of hidden-camera videos revealing operations offering assistance to underaged prostitutes.

The videos were exclusively reported by Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government news portal. Although the Census Bureau has said that the revelations at regional ACORN offices was not “decisive,” in a letter dated September 11th, 2009, Census Director Robert Groves wrote, “recent events concerning several local offices of ACORN have added to the worsening negative perceptions of ACORN and its affiliation with our partnership efforts.”

The Census revealed in its letter, which terminated its partnership with ACORN, that the partnership was harming the mission of the Census. “Over the last several months, through ongoing communication with our regional offices, it is clear that ACORN’s affiliation with 2010 Census promotion has caused sufficient concern in the general public, has indeed become a distraction from our mission, and may even become a discouragement to public cooperation, negatively impacting 2010 Census efforts.”

The letter continued, “Unfortunately, we no longer have confidence that our national partnership agreement is being effectively managed through your many local offices. For the reasons stated, we therefore have decided to terminate the partnership.”

Commenting on the Cenus Bureau letter, Wilson said, “To put it bluntly, the real problem with ACORN is not concern in the general public. It’s the fact that it has been staging voter registration fraud nationwide for years and has no business counting the population on an official basis.” Wilson pointed to investigations in several swing states, including Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Missouri, and has a long history of such fraud in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Mexico.

“The real problem with the Census is that it enlisted ACORN’s aid in the first place for the 2010 Census count knowing full well its terrible track record. And now, only because of overwhelming public pressure has it finally done the right thing,” Wilson added.

“Nonetheless, this is a start,” said Wilson, “and the next step is to stop sending taxpayer money to ACORN and its housing affiliates, including the ACORN Housing Corporation.” Wilson called for an immediate freeze in the disbursement of federal funds to ACORN.

“There is positively no reason that ACORN should be stealing money from taxpayers to carry on these shady activities, including voter registration fraud, unethical lending, and now helping prostitutes evade criminal detection by police,” Wilson added.

ACORN is currently eligible for over $500 million of an “affordable housing fund” created under the $300 billion Foreclosure Prevention Act passed this past summer. According to the Consumer Rights League, ACORN receives some 40 percent of its funding from taxpayers annually. This fiscal year it has received $1.6 million received thus far for housing services.

ACORN was also made eligible for more than $3 billion under the $787 billion “stimulus” spending bill, and $5.5 billion from the 2010 budget. Since 1994, ACORN has received at least $53 million from American taxpayers, according to the Washington Examiner.

“The ACORN Housing Corporation has been one of the principal backers of the irresponsible loose-lending policies including the Community Reinvestment Act, and has a history of strong-arming banks into handing out high-risk loans to low-income recipients, and yet receives money year after year with no accountability for its past misdeeds.”

Wilson cited ACORN Housing Corporation’s troubled history in giving out cheap mortgages as playing a role in weakening credit standards. “ACORN gave out loans without using credit scores, accepted undocumented income, and even gave out 100-percent financed loans,” Wilson explained.

Wilson concluded, “Congress has repeatedly passed up on opportunities to hold ACORN accountable and make it ineligible for funding. Instead, it has joined the criminal enterprise and knowingly served as its ‘bagman’ with taxpayer dollars. This has to end now!”