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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 06:51 PM
Original message
Obama favors investigation into ACORN's activities
Source: Associated Press

(AP) 9 hours ago

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama says there deserves to be an investigation into that hidden-camera video involving two employees at the activist group ACORN and a couple posing as a prostitute and her pimp.

The ACORN workers are seen apparently advising the couple to lie about her profession and launder her earnings.

The House has voted to deny all federal funds for the group, while the Senate agreed to shut off housing and community grant money. The Census Bureau has cut ties with ACORN for the 2010 national census amid Republican accusations of voter-registration fraud.

Obama tells ABC's "This Week" that what he saw on the video "was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated." He did not say who should investigate. But he also says it's not a major national issue and it's not something he's paying a lot of attention to.

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g5I6t...
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Probably the Last Thing, Sir, the People Who Made The Videos Want
Any investigation into the incidents will certainly open them up like a can of tomatoes....
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree totally, The Magistrate. Let's get to the bottom of this! nt
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Being a big fan of tomatoes,
let's call it a bag of worms instead. :)
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. fair Enough, Sir: It is An Old Boxing term for A Fighter Who Bleeds Readily....
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Agreed.
:D
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
41. Exactly, Old Friend... (n/t)
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. I agree. But both sides need to be investigated.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. maybe a little investigation of Blackwater/Xe
while they are at it?



:shrug:
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Dreamer n/t
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
16. If ACORN is defunded for what 6 employees did; THEN BLACKWATER should be defunded, as well. nt
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. I keep seing this on the ACORN threads
I don't like Blackwater, but there is no similarity between these two. Blackwater is a for profit contractor who provides services in exchange for payment. ACORN is a nonprofit which receives funding in the form of grants. So Blackwater isn't 'funded' it is paid for services rendered. The argument can be made that they should be removed from the US government vendor list, or should be investigated for specific crimes, but again there is no similarity between these 2, one being an organization the other being a company.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. It is wrong to punish one organization for the actions of it's members and not another, regardless
If one is non-profit and one is for-profit.

Their funding comes from us.

Either de-fund both, or punish neither, or we are meriting out justice with prejudice against the left leanin ACORN, and givin the right leaning Blackwater a pass for far worse crimes.

IMHO.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. And I am saying that there is a difference
between performing services which you are paid and complying with a set of guidelines for getting free money. The US Gov could quit contracting with Blackwater but they can't 'de-fund' them as they don't fund them in the first place, they pay them money which they owe them for services rendered. It can be argued that the US gov shouldn't be hiring them to do work, but who knows, maybe there aren't a lot of better options.

You do realize that ACORN was de-funded by Congress on a 345 to 75 vote, and de-funded by the Senate on a 83 to 7 vote?
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. If the congress and the Senate were held accountable for the actions of their individual members,
they'd have to de-fund themselves! Or stop paying themselves.

But, I see your point, I am conflating funding with payment.


As far as who would be a better option, for me, it's the Marines.

We should get rid of the contractors and increase wages for our servicemen/women, IMHO.




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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. No disagreement with any of this...
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. I doubt you are consistent with this.
Blackwater, bad; if ACORN's defunded, "defund" Blackwater.

But what if ACORN isn't defunded because, well, we can't hold a corporation responsible for what some employees at some of a corporation's offices do. Does that work for CitiBank and Bank of America? Does it suddenly make the US government's relationship with Blackwater morally acceptable?

We're defending a corporation, saying that what the people at several geographically disparate offices do isn't a reflection of the corporate hierarchy (let's ignore the previous ACORN scandal that *wasn't* partisan). And we're saying that we defend them on a principle. If it's the stated principle, let's apply it across the board.

Or is the principle only valid because ACORN's well left of center and services primarily a particular disadvantaged, crucial Democratic constituency? If the latter, let's be honest. We want to defend ACORN not because of the principle we're stating, but because we think they're useful and on our side, and we want to defend our own. If the reason is partisanship, let's be honest, if only with ourselves, and parade our partisanship in its birthday suit.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. This opens up the whole can of worms about holding organizations accountable for the actions of
their members.

I think, legally, it must be shown that the organization has a systemic pattern and practice of willful violations and/or illegal activity in order to hold the organization accountable.

That Acorn was de-funded without due process in a matter of days is prejudicial, IMHO.

There should have been some type of review process.



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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. I don't know for sure
but I suspect that in addition to fairly strict guidelines for receipt of the grants, there is also no entitlement to the funds and that they can be revoked at any time for any reason without a hearing. Again, it goes to access and availability to free money. Right or wrong having been involved in accessing federal grant money, there are no guarantees. Anyone who has worked with grants don't make te mistake of committing any of the money until it is in hand.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Pipoman - just in case you missed it, be sure to check out this link
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"YES! A Brilliant Kossak has Just Found A Way To Use the De-Fund ACORN Bill Against Repubs!"


An interesting adjunct to our discussion!
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Thanks for the link
it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I will remain cautiously optimistic as these types of things usually end up effecting both side's financiers to the point of bipartisan support for getting rid of it, even though it is good for the public interest.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Yes, I agree....
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Hansel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
31. Both are or were receiving tax payer money. That's the point. nt
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Thanks.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
7. If there is going to be an investigation, it's best that it be controlled by the White House
Edited on Sun Sep-20-09 07:36 PM by bluestateguy
You don't want those pinheads in Congress doing it.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Seems like the White House has its share of pinheads too.
After all, those dipshits think it's NOT a big national issue that an organization that helps the poor and tries to empower them is being torpedoed by a full frontal assault by the same right-wing propagandists who attack any program that helps anyone who isn't in the top income brackets.

Maybe it's time that someone urged the President to pay more attention to this kind of low-life, manufactured character assassination by the reich wing.

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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
28. It would also have to be done by somebody
appointed in a neutral manner, not somebody with a conflict of interest.

For Obama to appoint somebody would be conflict of interest, one that would not lay the matter to rest unless the investigation gutted ACORN (in other words, if the conclusion went contrary to any bias from the conflict of interest). If it cleared ACORN, ACORN would not be off the hook except to those who already really want it off the hook.
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. What exactly has ACORN done, as a company, that needs investigating?
The voter registration fraud was done by temps and they were fired and the bad registrations marked as such when handed in... since they hand in all registrations. And even that's not too big a deal since Mickey Mouse and Aeon Flux don't actually show up to vote.

Why they were denied funding is beyond me....except that Congress still thinks the Repugs are in charge and acts as stupid and clueless as the cast of "Sealab 2021".

Oh I get it! Every company or receiver of Fed Funds is responsible for every single employee's every single action at all times.

OK. Fine.

That's gonna be tough for, oh, churches and Repug think tanks and Financial Institutions and some news outlets.... and every other business in the friggin' USA!
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I wonder, how many investigations has he suggested since taking office?
Edited on Sun Sep-20-09 09:01 PM by G_j
I think he said something similar about the bank bonuses, but I don't recall other instances.
Sure looks like he caved on this one.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. The simplest explanation
They failed to set up an environment where this was less likely to occur.

I think I said it on another thread, but think about what they do for a living and where they do it (and please read that as "poor inner city areas" and not "black neighborhoods". The people they help are obviously not all criminals, but there's no question that they're going to see more criminals in a week than you or I do. There has to be some training on "what do you do when" that clearly should have better equipped them to deal with a this situation.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
24. I think the distinction
is that nonprofits who receive tax breaks have rules and guidelines which must be followed to be eligible for those breaks. As long as they act within those guidelines they are eligible. Orgs which receive funds in the form of grants have rules associated with each grant they receive which are usually more distinct and comprehensive than simple tax exemptions. These rules vary with the grant. And yes, usually a grant recipient is in fact responsible for the actions of their employees and volunteers.
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Hansel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #10
34. He said the tapes need to be investigated not ACORN.
Edited on Mon Sep-21-09 03:29 PM by Hansel
The media again is jumping to conclusions and showing their biases.

Obama wasn't born yesterday. He knows these tapes do not pass the smell test. I think he would like to see them investigated so the truth comes out. I'm right there with him.








Edit for typos
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. That's a bit of a stretch.
He said that what he saw ON the tapes deserved to be investigated. There's no question that he was talking more about the Acorn employees than about the kids making the videos.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #10
42. Uh, registered poor folks to vote?
That used to get your ass shot by the KKK...

Now it gets your funding cut by the pukes and the cowardly Dems...
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Blandocyte Donating Member (830 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
11. Another tempest finds a teapot.
Yawn.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
13. As do I. With that comes an investigation of the "filmmakers" who
"exposed" ACORN. In the words of GWB, "bring it on!" ;)
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followthemoney Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
15. And while he's at it he can investigate the Federal Reserve.
That is where the big money crimes are going on.

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BluDemocratGirl Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 05:54 AM
Response to Original message
17. One of the ACORN workers had stated on CNN that they were set up by the ConservaPUNKS.
Edited on Mon Sep-21-09 06:01 AM by BluDemocratGirl
The man and woman posing as a pimp and prostitute were linked to some RePUKEblican runnning for either Senate or Congress (I forgot what his name is, but who gives a fuck). She also stated that he sent those 2 fools to set ACORN up in order for him to score political points. ACORN really need to be investigated ASAP.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 06:11 AM
Response to Original message
18. So, does this mean
it's not racism anymore? I know, I know. :spank:
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icnorth Donating Member (954 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Just to make sure you don't forget...
:spank: ;-)
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
21. Of course that's what he needs to say
Their quick move to try and distance the party from Acorn makes clear this is a "cut ties" kind of play.

But there isn't going to be an investigation (from elected democrats)... because that just adds news cycles and we want the issue to go away.

Acorn is going to have to run their own defense on this one so that any splatter from slung mud stays well clear of elected democrats.

It will likely be investigated where the RW still has some pull (friendly governor, etc) and Acorn will be able to get a few counter-punches in at that time.
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nod factor Donating Member (73 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
23. Sigh... what a headline.
Obama does not support an investigation into Acorn's activities. He supports an investigation into the activities portrayed in the hidden camera incidents of which there has already been an investigation i.e the perpetrators have been summarily dismissed. A natural occurrence in the everyday structure of a large, national organization/corporation. This is not even newsworthy and quite annoying I must say. Thank god I don't currently own a teevee.
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Hansel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. Yes, our crack media at work. They even blew this. nt
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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
43. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
So, I emailed my Senator awhile back thanking him for his vote against the defunding ACORN bill, and below's the reasoned response I got back.

(I clipped off the end which starts "Although we disagree on this issue" since I didn't disagree, whoever sends out this boilerplate stuff must have slipped up. I just phoned his office to make sure they knew there were those of us out here who supported his vote):

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the Association of
Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). I appreciate hearing from you.

ACORN is a community-based non-profit organization that advocates for low and
moderate income families. The organization works out of more than 1,200
neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the United States, fighting for
better housing and public schools, and encouraging greater community
development investment from banks and governments.

Recently, allegations of misconduct by some ACORN employees have surfaced. In
response, Senator Johanns introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2010
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
Appropriations Act to deny federal funds to ACORN. The bill did not
appropriate any federal funds to the organization, but rather established
competitive grants for which organizations can compete.

As you know, I voted against the Johanns amendment. I want to be clear ? my
vote in no way condones the conduct in question by a few ACORN employees. I
believe that an appropriate investigation will determine whether these persons
broke the law. If they did, they should be prosecuted. But I voted against
the Johanns amendment because condemning the organization for the acts of some
of its employees goes too far. If we tried to shut down every organization,
nonprofit, or company that was embarrassed by the actions of a few employees,
we wouldn't have many left. As a prosecutor who has over and over looked at
issues of when corporations rather than individuals should be charged, I don?t
think we can determine that yet.

For example, the front page of the Wall Street Journal recently showed nine
American Airlines employees arrested for trafficking thousands of pounds of
cocaine into the country on American Airlines planes. This was a real crime
the airline employees were charged with, not, like the ACORN situation, a
"Punk'd" or Candid Camera-style set-up. In response to the American Airlines
arrests there has, very properly, been no hue and cry to stop federal funds to
American Airlines or to forbid federally-paid travel on that airline. The
simple fact is that there is no case from these nine employees' actions, at
least yet, to hold the entire airline accountable. If we went after American
Airlines prematurely, and ultimately perhaps wrongly, good people would lose
their jobs, people served by the airline would be inconvenienced, and all
without proper legal cause. I think the same could be true of ACORN.

Let me conclude by making a personal observation. This had to me the feel of a
stampede. As a prosecutor, I faced public pressure to take certain law
enforcement actions. But one cannot yield to that when one holds the power of
law enforcement in one's hands. It is the core credo of a prosecutor. From my
childhood it has been my nature, from my youth it has been my experience, and
through my professional life it has been my responsibility, to resist a
stampede.
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