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Rep. Alan Grayson: The "Defund-ACORN" Law Should Apply To Corrupt Defense Contractors, Too!

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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 12:29 PM
Original message
Rep. Alan Grayson: The "Defund-ACORN" Law Should Apply To Corrupt Defense Contractors, Too!
Edited on Thu Sep-24-09 12:50 PM by Turborama
Run time: 09:53
Posted on YouTube: September 24, 2009
By YouTube Member:
Views on YouTube: 0
Posted on DU: September 24, 2009
By DU Member: Turborama
Views on DU: 2013
On 09/23/09 Glenn Greenwald of Salon Radio interviewed U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) concerning the bill passed recently by both the House and the Senate to de-fund ACORN for alleged corruption and misconduct, and why the law should be applied to the major defense contractors.

According to Rep. Grayson, the Defund ACORN bill is written so broadly that it literally compels the de-funding not only of that group, but also the de-funding of, and denial of all government contracts to, any corporation that "has filed a fraudulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency." By definition, that includes virtually every large defense contractor, which -- unlike ACORN -- has actually been found guilty of fraud. As The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim put it: "the bill could plausibly defunds the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops."

Salon columnist and radio host Glenn Greenwald writes: The irony of all of this is that the Congress is attempting to accomplish an unconstitutional act: singling out and punishing ACORN, which is clearly a 'bill of attainder' that the Constitution explicitly prohibits -- i.e., an act aimed at punishing a single party without a trial. The only way to overcome that problem is by pretending that the de-funding of ACORN is really about a general policy judgment (that no corrupt organizations should receive federal funding). But the broader they make the law in order to avoid the Constitutional problem, the more it encompasses the large corrupt corporations that own the Congress (and whom they obviously don't want to de-fund). The narrower they make it in order to include only ACORN, the more blatantly unconstitutional it is. Now that they have embraced this general principle that no corrupt organizations should receive federal funding, how is anyone going to justify applying that only to ACORN while continuing to fund the corporations whose fraud and corruption is vastly greater (not to mention established by actual courts of law)?

Rep. Grayson is working with the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to compile a list of all defense contractors encompassed by this language to send to administration officials, and he has asked for help from the public in compiling this list. Go to if you want to help.

Rep. Grayson has set up a Google spreadsheet to record entries; go to and to make your suggestions.

The President of the United States is REQUIRED BY THE CONSTITUTION to "faithfully execute" the law, which should mean that no more contracts can be awarded to any companies on that list, which happens to include the ten largest defense contractors in America.

Before being elected to Congress, Grayson worked extensively on uncovering and combating defense contractor fraud in Iraq. In this interview, Glenn Greenwald asked Grayson to put into context ACORN's impact on the American taxpayer versus these corrupt defense contractors. Grayson's reply: "The amount of money that ACORN has received in the past 20 years altogether is roughly equal to what the taxpayer paid to Haillburton each DAY during the war in Iraq."

Kudos to Glenn Greenwald of Salon Radio for interviewing Rep. Grayson on this issue and for asking all of the right questions.

Read Ryan Grim's article in The Huffington Post: "Whoops: Anti-ACORN Bill Ropes In Dense Contractors, Others Charged with Fraud."

Take a look at The Project on Government Oversight's Federal Contractor Misconduct Database: /

Grayson is in this excellent documentary:

Daylight Robbery - What Happened to the $23billion?
Panorama investigates claims that as much as $23bn (11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or not properly accounted for in Iraq.

When the US goes to war, corporate America goes too.

There are contracts for caterers, tanker drivers, security guards and even interrogators, many of them through companies with links to the White House.

Now more than 70 whistleblower cases threaten to reveal the scandals behind billions of dollars worth of waste, theft and corruption during the Iraq war.

Gagging orders

A total of $23bn (11.75bn) is under scrutiny.

The US justice department has imposed gagging orders which prevent the real scale of the problem emerging.

But Panorama's Jane Corbin has spoken to some of those involved - with astonishing stories to tell of who got rich and who got burned.

She hears allegations of mismanagement, fraud and waste; tales of contractors chosen for their US government connections without a competitive bidding process; contractors inflating their costs and double counting to increase their profits and billions supposed to be used to rebuild the Iraqi military allegedly ending up in the pockets of some Iraqi government officials.

Even the contract to oversee the expenditure went to a company with no relevant qualification in accounting.

"They are the quintessential war profiteers," said a witness to one of the most notorious companies involved. "They made money out of chaos."

9 minute clip with Grayson's interview:

Full documentary:

nashville_brook has started a really good thread in GD about this, too:

use Anti-ACORN bill against defense co's >>2 DAYS left to HELP Grayson (D-FL) IDENTIFY companies!!

ETA Check out his campaign ads from last year, this guy is serious!

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MNDemNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. If this is the case, I'll gleefully toss ACORN under the bus to get this law!!!
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Yep! ACORN will get more than enough money suing the PayPal billionaire who funded the video. n/t
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ProfessorPlum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R for Grayson and Greenwald
This is way too good to be true, of course, as nothing will stop the pillage of public funds into the private coffers of these thieves.

But it is ironic and slightly amusing to think of the looks on the GOP's collective faces as they realize the result of their unintended consequences.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. That's my congressman! nt
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ro1942 Donating Member (701 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. Alan Grayson is a keeper
but i'll believe it when i see it.
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Piewhacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. Pretty good. And now that we're thinking.. what about all the bailouts?
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Hulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. Nobody seems to know what ACORN does, except the video of a few corrupt employees...
Went to the U-tube site, and the loonies seem to think that "non profit organizations" shouldn't be getting ANY funding from the feds, whatsoever.

I guess they think all they do is advise people how to cover up under-age trafficking of illegal immigrants. Thanks to the propaganda from the right..we are a truly ignorant and biased nation.
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LiberalPotatoEater Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. Agreed, but lets not stop there
Lets cut out the "good ole boy network" of companies leaching off the government.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
9. Kick for those who may have missed it
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