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Author Topic: ACORN sues Congress
JWatts
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AP

FoxNews

"Representatives for ACORN sued the federal government Thursday morning in an attempt to regain the millions of dollars in funding the community organizing group lost after filmmakers videotaped its workers offering advice on how to commit tax fraud and various other felonies.

The suit charges Congress with violating the Constitution when it passed legislation in September that specifically targeted ACORN to lose federal housing, education and transportation funds.

That qualifies the legislation as bills of attainder, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed the suit on behalf of ACORN. A bill of attainder punishes a person or group without the benefit of a trial, and is illegal under Article 1 of the Constitution."

For those of you who have some knowledge of the law, does this lawsuit have any merit?

I realize you can pretty much sue anybody for anything in the US, but I thought the US government was broadly protected. However, I'm hardly an expert.

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Gaoics79
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I was looking at the wiki entry on Bills of Attainder which is quite useful.

Two judicial definitions were cited:

quote:
A bill of attainder, is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial and includes any legislative act which takes away the life, liberty or property of a particular named or easily ascertainable person or group of persons because the legislature thinks them guilty of conduct which deserves punishment.
quote:
Legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a trial, are 'bills of attainder' prohibited under this clause.
The second definition is broader than the first, but I think the common principle is that a legislature cannot unilaterally impose a "punishment" targeting a specific group or individual without due process.

Clearly the bill targeted an identifiable group (Acorn) and did so because the government felt Acorn guilty of some misconduct.

The issue here is whether it inflicted "punishment" in the sense meant by the above definitions. Unlike, say, the tax on AIG executives that would have confiscated 100% of their bonuses, this bill is not taking away something from Acorn that does not already belong to the Federal government. Or more to the point, this bill is simply denying them something that, arguably, the Federal government had no obligation to provide anyway.

Without knowing the first thing about U.S. constitutional law, my gut tells me that "punishment" suggests an actual confiscation of goods or denial of liberty, akin to what a criminal or quasi-criminal court or tribunal might impose as part of a sentence. After all, that is the point of banning bills of attainder, to stop a government from making judgments on people without due process and thereby circumventing the proper domain of the courts.I don't see why the government can't deny at its whim what it has no obligation to give to Acorn.

But on the other hand, I'm not sure on what basis Acorn was claiming the funding in the first place. If this was funding that the government makes available to everyone who meets certain criteria, and Acorn meets those criteria, and the government is using this scandal as an excuse to single out Acorn, then perhaps that is a different scenario.

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MattP
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From the Congressional Research Service:
quote:
While the regulatory purpose of ensuring that federal funds are properly spent is a legitimate one, it is not clear that imposing a permanent government-wide ban on contracting with or providing grants to ACORN fits that purpose, at least when the ban is applied to ACORN and its affiliates jointly and severally. In theory, under the House bill, the behavior of a single employee from a single affiliate could affect not only ACORN but all of its 361 affiliates. Thus, there may be issues raised by characterizing this legislation as purely regulatory in nature. While the Supreme Court has noted that the courts will generally defer to Congress as to the regulatory purpose of a statute absent clear proof of punitive intent, there appear to be potential issues raised with attempting to find a rational non-punitive regulatory purpose for this legislation. Thus, it appears that a court may have a sufficient basis to overcome the presumption of constitutionality, and find that it violates the prohibition against bills of attainder.
http://volokh.com/2009/09/24/congressional-research-service-on-whether-the-defund-acorn-act-is-an-unconstitutional-bill-of-attainder/
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
But on the other hand, I'm not sure on what basis Acorn was claiming the funding in the first place. If this was funding that the government makes available to everyone who meets certain criteria, and Acorn meets those criteria, and the government is using this scandal as an excuse to single out Acorn, then perhaps that is a different scenario.
That is where the trick lies. This isn't money that was previously expressly funding Acorn that's been shuffled elsewhere, this is money for community organizations that Acorn has been singled out as not being allowed to bid for.

They're not without grounds, so it will be interesting to see where this goes.

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MattP
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The law has been overturned. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/11/judge-rules-effort-strip-acorn-federal-funds-unconstitutional/?test=latestnews
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Pyrtolin
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And it turns out that the questions being asked in those videos seem to have been digitally overdubbed:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/12/acorn_report_finds_no_illegal_conduct.php

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PSRT
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I'm surprised. No. Really.
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RickyB
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Not only did they edit the videos, they conveniently forgot to mention that the vast majority of offices turned them away, and several called the cops on them. Hmmmm. Can you spell "Witch Hunt", boys and girls?

I wonder if I walked in to every GOP outlet in any given state, and told them I was running an effort to make sure no illegals would dare try to vote by running around minority neighborhoods and threatening people with jail if they vote without being registered, how many would give me their blessing?

I wanted to use a conservative community service organization as an example, but I'm not personally aware of any.

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Greg Davidson
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Can we get a comment from all of those on this forum who identified ACORN as a particularly lawbreaking institution?
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Ron Lambert
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I will always regard ACORN as a criminal organization, and I will always view anyone who has ever had any connection with it with suspicion that they are unAmerican (including Obama). It is too bad that Congress has backed itself into a position where now it is required to send money to this organization.

[ December 15, 2009, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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cherrypoptart
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This is proof of at least one thing for sure. We pay entirely too much in taxes if the government has enough to waste on this organization.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Not only did they edit the videos, they conveniently forgot to mention that the vast majority of offices turned them away, and several called the cops on them. Hmmmm. Can you spell "Witch Hunt", boys and girls?

I wonder if I walked in to every GOP outlet in any given state, and told them I was running an effort to make sure no illegals would dare try to vote by running around minority neighborhoods and threatening people with jail if they vote without being registered, how many would give me their blessing?

I wanted to use a conservative community service organization as an example, but I'm not personally aware of any.

They mentioned that the tapes had been edited, but they didn't specify how. As to the other point, how many offices did they visit before they found the one shown in the video? Who threatened to call the cops on them? I didn't see any of that information in the links, but I may have missed it.

In any event, the more I think about this, the more I agree with ACORN at least on the technical point about the funding cuts - I don't think a government should be able to single out a specific organization to deny them funding available to others as of right (assuming certain criteria are met) without due process.

If Ricky's allegations are true, then the value of that videotape becomes vastly diminished, and I'll agree that this was a smear job.

That said, just because someone sets out to smear / frame you, doesn't mean you aren't guilty. I'm thinking specifically of the voter registration fraud question, which was never really resolved to my satisfaction. I still think the system they set up was inherently flawed, and that critically, they may have been willfully blind to those flaws for political reasons.

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Pyrtolin
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What specifically was edited was the audio- the questions being asked of the Acorn representatives were over-dubbed, so there's no way of knowing exactly what was asked when we hear questions about prostitution. It's possible that they even modified questions to make basic tax advice sound like tax evasion.

Of course, this scandal's already old news, so I'll be surprised if we hear much of anything about the scam here reported on

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edgmatt
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quote:
I wonder if I walked in to every GOP outlet in any given state, and told them I was running an effort to make sure no illegals would dare try to vote by running around minority neighborhoods and threatening people with jail if they vote without being registered, how many would give me their blessing?
If you did, you would also have most Republicans condemning those outlets.


quote:
I wanted to use a conservative community service organization as an example, but I'm not personally aware of any.
I wasn't aware that Acorn is specifically set up for liberals. According to Acorn, they organize people to vote, not people to vote for liberals.

I hope that none of us are aware of a community organization group set up for only one party, that is also funded from the U.S. government.

That was part of the scandal wasn't it?

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edgmatt
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quote:
I wonder if I walked in to every GOP outlet in any given state, and told them I was running an effort to make sure no illegals would dare try to vote by running around minority neighborhoods and threatening people with jail if they vote without being registered, how many would give me their blessing?

I just read that for the tenth time because something wasn't right about the comparison, and I couldn't put my finger on it. ( I did just wake up )

Even if you did that, Ricky, it is not as illegal as attempting to set up a prostitution ring.
The fact that your scenario would use Fed money to prevent illegals to vote is the sticking point, and that would certainly get them in trouble... preventing illegals from voting is not illegal.

Prostitution, and the setting up of prostitution rings is.

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Pyrtolin
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He didn't mean an organization _for_ conservatives, he meant one that operates on conservative principles, in the same way that Acorn operates on liberal principles.

But, aside from religious organizations, it's hard to come up with many conservative community based urban renewal/advocacy groups. And even the religious organizations that do a lot of serious outreach into such areas tend to have a liberal bent.

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cherrypoptart
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Why do all the defenses of Acorn reaffirm my belief that a LOT of people have very little respect for how hard American taxpayers work to earn the money they then entrust to the government to spend responsibly?

There is an obvious solution here. NONE of these organizations should be given tax money.

Whatever good people think comes out of organizations like this can also be done better and elsewhere by people spending their own money as they please whether it be on charity, a big screen TV, or a night out for dinner and a movie. Why does the hard earned money of the American taxpayer need to be spent on this again?

That's a rhetorical question of course. Obviously in asking it the indication is that no answer is sufficient. The only correct answer is: It doesn't.

I should add that it is bad enough to spend our money on these fraudulent and wasteful organizations that through their operations defeat the very purpose for their existence such as with Acorn engaging in voter fraud when it's supposed to be helping in the electoral process. It's not helping me when in it's taking away my vote with a fraudulent one. Basically, I'm forced to pay to be disenfranchised.

Okay, so that's bad enough to pay for it, but then add on the budget deficits and we aren't just paying for it, but borrowing money to pay money we don't have on something we don't need and then adding interest we need to pay for the next 20 years on top of all of that. That, my friends, is insane.

[ December 15, 2009, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: cherrypoptart ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
Even if you did that, Ricky, it is not as illegal as attempting to set up a prostitution ring.
The fact that your scenario would use Fed money to prevent illegals to vote is the sticking point, and that would certainly get them in trouble... preventing illegals from voting is not illegal.

Leaving aside the initial point that the prostitution ring was an overdubbed lie, you're missing the more basic point of the tactic- while it nominally claims to be about preventing illegals from voting, he didn't say he was going to target illegal immigrants, but minority neighborhoods- he would, be preventing more legal votes than illegal ones, which is the actual intent of that tactic, given that the issue of illegal immigrant voting is barely existent in the first place (and they're far more likely to have the documentation to appear to be legal than actual poor citizens who can't afford the time or fees to get copies of it)
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Whatever good people think comes out of organizations like this can also be done better and elsewhere by people spending their own money as they please...
I think this claim has been proven pretty false for any number of causes.
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cherrypoptart
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A key phrase there is "organizations like this".

I'd be curious about the tolerance level for waste, fraud, and abuse that is acceptable with hard earned taxpayer money. Hard earned by the taxpayer that is, taken pretty easily by these types of organizations. When you give somebody something too easily a lot of times they are a lot more prone to wasting it frivolously.

Our disagreement may stem from the fact that my tolerance level for wasting money is a lot lower than that of other people.

And if someone is about to point to other cases of government waste as justification for this as usually happens in these types of debates, that's not going to make a valid point. Just because someone else is doing bad things doesn't make it right for everyone else. In fact, that makes it worse.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
When you give somebody something too easily a lot of times...
Heh. You ever written a grant proposal, cherry? [Smile]
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
Whatever good people think comes out of organizations like this can also be done better and elsewhere by people spending their own money as they please whether it be on charity, a big screen TV, or a night out for dinner and a movie. Why does the hard earned money of the American taxpayer need to be spent on this again?

Do you even actually understand the full scope of what Acorn does for urban communities before you blindly claim that it could be done better elsewhere? (Or even that Federal funding is only a very small part of what it works with- mostly in the form of helping people apply for such grants and loans as they're eligible for)

Acorn almost managed to prevent the foreclosure crisis before it started, but was overpowered by the bigger financial interests who managed to get the legislation that it supported that would have required documentation of ability to pay to get loans and required that originators maintain liability for loans that they made rather than being able to completely pass it on to other institutions. That wouldn't have come out of anything that you list there.

None of those things contribute to urban cleanup and renewal, on the other hand they do strongly contribute to capital flight- draining urban resources into suburban coffers, so that they can enjoy all the benefits of living near a city without actually having to pay for the cost of maintaining that city.

None of those things you list would force banks to adhere to CRA standards and make affordable loans to credit-worthy individuals rather than shipping it out of the community to make better short term profits in Wall Street investments.

None of those things would actively work to help fight voter suppression techniques and get more urban residents registered and voting; in fact they would help increase the overall lobbying power of the suburbs to advance legislation that further protected their wealth from being used to support the cities that enabled them to earn it.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
Our disagreement may stem from the fact that my tolerance level for wasting money is a lot lower than that of other people.

Well then your first goal is to prove said wasting rather than asserting it to be accepted just because you say so. What are the specific "wastes" that you're talking about? Neighborhood cleanup efforts? Community business investment? Financial counseling? Job training and employment search assistance? Voter advocacy and registration? Consumer advocacy?

Make some specific claims rather than general handwaving.

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DonaldD
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quote:
Originally posted by sherrypoptart:
Why does the hard earned money of the American taxpayer need to be spent on this again?

Of course, there is no absolute requirement that anything need occur, short of large scale geological and astronomical events. The more pertinent question, I would think, would be "why does the hard earned money of the American taxpayer actually get spent on this again?"

And the short answer is, because a plurality (and very likely a majority) of Americans choose to live in a world with at least a minimal amount of government-supported charity and community support. And that's because that group of Americans mostly understands that charity exclusive of government intervention has failed consistently throughout history to provide an adequate basis of support for successful, large scale societies.

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Greg Davidson
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"organizations like these"

I have yet to see a standard of criminality that would have ACORN on the wrong side of some line and Senate Republicans on the right side of the line. I am not saying that Senate Republicans should be banned, I am saying that some bad acts by some members of an organization don't necessarily invalidate the organization.

And according to our Constitution, creating legislation that asserts guilt for a specific organization is illegal. That's a clear and specific wrong, and it was undertaken by a majority in Congress (Republicans and Democrats). What should be the consequences for them?

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cherrypoptart
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Government sponsored charity?

[LOL]

Yes a plurality of people have found out that they can take money they haven't earned from the people who worked hard for it and then they can squander it on things that the people who earned the money wouldn't pay for if they had any choice in the matter.

This can be argued but it's an obvious fact. If enough people who earned their money were willing to pay for the services of Acorn, then the government wouldn't have to. So what does that tell us?

Poor people don't have money? Ok, we knew that.

But mostly it tells us what we've known for a long time. The cycle continues:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage."

As our debt soars and our taxes along with it, we move ever closer and sink further into the starting/ending phase of the cycle: bondage. And not the fun kind.

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Ron Lambert
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Is there anyone who has ever been signed up as a voter by ACORN, who indicated that he was going to vote Republican? Did he get a free ride to the polls on election day?
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cherrypoptart
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> Greg Davidson

> And according to our Constitution, creating legislation that asserts guilt for a specific organization is illegal. That's a clear and specific wrong, and it was undertaken by a majority in Congress (Republicans and Democrats). What should be the consequences for them?

That has been one interpretation. I'd like to see the Supreme Court weigh in on this.

Frankly, I think this is an absurd interpretation of the Constitution.

Japan had this problem a bit with ornganized crime. Their courts determined that yakuza gangs couldn't be made illegal. One might try that argument with the RICO statutes and the mafia, but fortunately in that case the government lawyers made the laws broad enough. That's a viable solution here as well.

But getting back to the question at issue here, so if it's proven that an organization is wasting taxpayer money, it's unConstitutional to deny them taxpayer money?

Yes, I see the critical word there is "proven". And that's fine. We should have a thorough investigation into Acorn and if there is proof of significant waste, fraud, and abuse (as I'm confident there would be with a real investigation) along with prosecutions especially for evidence tampering and destruction. Then will everyone be happy with denying them funding?

-------------------------------------------

I could also go along with Congress broadening the scope by making a law so organizations that are wasteful, fraudulent, and abusive could be denied taxpayer money.

That's right. Trick them into defunding themselves. Which is probably why it hasn't happened already...

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whitefire
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quote:
Heh. You ever written a grant proposal, cherry?
Funny, that - I have, and its how I discovered (for me at least) it was easier to setup a business (whether profit or non) than to apply for, and receive, a grant.

What I've been working on/towards, myself, is trying to help poorer, and lower middle class folks learn to build something for themselves and take care of others. Admittedly I work primarily in rural areas, so I don't understand urban development from an "on the ground" POV.

With that in mind, I don't think that those goals Prytolin mentioned are contrary to cherry's idea of waste. I think the idea is against government waste, and he thinks (not to put words in his mount) that these kinds of projects ought not be paid for by the government at all.

Why?

The government tends to give money to large organizations to do those kinds of projects because they "do the most good." I wonder if the money wouldn't be better spent on giving it to smaller groups or individuals. IE. Help a retired accountant set up an office to provide financial counseling. The problem, to me at least, is that Mr Smith, the retired accountant, won't get any where near that grant money.

I'm not offering any direct solution (yet), but this claim, or something like it, has been made a lot here and I feel the need to comment:

quote:
charity exclusive of government intervention has failed consistently throughout history to provide an adequate basis of support for successful, large scale societies.
I honestly wonder if "large scale societies" have ever tried it. Large societies end up with large scale governments which, through taxation, decide where the money should go, and don't allow the "stupid" individuals to make that decision.

What I'd advocate is encouraging individuals and communities to look out for one another. Offer your services if you have a particular talent, and, no doubt, when you have a need, you will be served. Part of the problem with giving away the services Pyrtolyn mentions is that there is no expectation that those being helped help in return.

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yossarian22c
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Cherry I believe alleged voter fraud.

I don't know of any actually fraudulent voting from ACORN efforts but that is a specific allegation.

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DonaldD
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quote:
Government sponsored charity?
Whoever used the phrase "Government sponsored charity"? [Smile]

BTW, the Tyler quote is beautiful, but it very clearly has been disproven over and over again in the 240 year since he first wrote it. Unless you are arguing that Americans have not yet "[discovered] that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury", in which case your whole post is a non-sequitur.

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cherrypoptart
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Acorn voter fraud, just a drop in the bucket too:

http://www.rottenacorn.com/activityMap.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124182750646102435.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM708EjH0bs

Plenty more where those come from. Just google acorn voter fraud and pick any source you trust. Google is your friend.

If people are going to pretend they don't know about the Acorn voter fraud, I'm going to have to ask them to get themselves an internet for Christmas.

If they know about the voter fraud and still defend the organization, I haven't made a secret of my contention that, like Obama, they don't defend Acorn IN SPITE of the voter fraud, but BECAUSE of it, to perpetrate it. Supporting Acorn is supporting voter fraud. In many voting districts, this is proven by the willful disregard for voter fraud by politically motivated law enforcement. It's pretty obvious that President Obama and Eric Holder not only have not made voter fraud their top priority, it was crossed off their "to-do" list a long time ago. That may get me in trouble, but so be it. It's the only logical conclusion. Disclaimer (on advice of my legal consul): yes there may be exceptions, but there are plenty of exceptions to the exceptions as well. Plenty.

I think that's about all I have to say on the subject. And I've probably said too much already. On the advice of my physician, I'd better take a break before I give myself an aneurism.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Leaving aside the initial point that the prostitution ring was an overdubbed lie...

That statement is a flat out lie. Yes the beginning of the videos had an overdubbed portion. It's called a commentary. However, the later sections of the video clearly show sections where ACORN agents are telling the undercover reporters that they must change their tax form's business description from prostitution to something else.

This is clearly advocating telling a lie to the IRS. Since ACORN wasn't being paid for the advice, it might well not be illegal. It's certainly highly unethical.

Video Link

Check the video out between 3:00 and 4:15

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by whitefire:
The government tends to give money to large organizations to do those kinds of projects because they "do the most good." I wonder if the money wouldn't be better spent on giving it to smaller groups or individuals. IE. Help a retired accountant set up an office to provide financial counseling. The problem, to me at least, is that Mr Smith, the retired accountant, won't get any where near that grant money.



And that's where groups like Acorn really shine- one of their fundamental missions is to either serve as a more directly approachable clearinghouse for local application of said funds or to help Mr. Smith directly navigate the grant process to get his application proper consideration. And even before that, their goal is to know that such grants exist so that they can go looking for Mr. Smiths and encourage them to make use of them.

quote:
Part of the problem with giving away the services Pyrtolyn mentions is that there is no expectation that those being helped help in return.
That kind of expectation is counterproductive in a market economy. Giving out those services helps enable them to become financially positive actors, and thus pay back for the services in terms of economic growth and tax revenue.

Scapegoating them for economic malaise is a symptom of a fundamentally unhealthy economy, not a cause of it.

Adam Smith put it very well:

quote:
Among the savage nations of hunters and fishers, every individual who is able to work, is more or less employed in useful labour, and endeavours to provide, as well as he can, the necessaries and conveniences of life, for himself, or such of his family or tribe as are either too old, or too young, or too infirm to go a hunting and fishing. Such nations, however, are so miserably poor that, from mere want, they are frequently reduced, or, at least, think themselves reduced, to the necessity sometimes of directly destroying, and sometimes of abandoning their infants, their old people, and those afflicted with lingering diseases, to perish with hunger, or to be devoured by wild beasts. Among civilised and thriving nations, on the contrary, though a great number of people do not labour at all, many of whom consume the produce of ten times, frequently of a hundred times more labour than the greater part of those who work; yet the produce of the whole labour of the society is so great that all are often abundantly supplied, and a workman, even of the lowest and poorest order, if he is frugal and industrious, may enjoy a greater share of the necessaries and conveniences of life than it is possible for any savage to acquire.
When you get down to it, giving money to the poor with no expectation other than they use it to meet their survival needs and basic wants is about the best overall investment that can be made. IT all flows directly back into economic growth, so it costs essentially nothing, and it allows them the ability to actually invest what they do earn in their own endeavors or those of others rather than being forced to struggle just for survival.

[ December 15, 2009, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
If people are going to pretend they don't know about the Acorn voter fraud, I'm going to have to ask them to get themselves an internet for Christmas.

I skimmed the list, but I couldn't find anything about voter fraud, just _registration_ fraud. No false votes, just bad registration forms, most of which Acorn itself marks as bad so that they'll be properly rejected.

Acorn's payment method encouraged their worked to scam them. No one has contested that at all, but do please show where there is any evidence that they've directly and intentionally tried to stuff ballot boxes bring people with fake ID to polls, or do anything similar that actually fraudulently affected the outcome of a vote.

Can you point to one place where Mickey Mouse or Optimus Prime actually made it into the polls (short legal, if somewhat absurd name changes)?

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whitefire
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quote:
quote:
quote:Originally posted by whitefire:
The government tends to give money to large organizations to do those kinds of projects because they "do the most good." I wonder if the money wouldn't be better spent on giving it to smaller groups or individuals. IE. Help a retired accountant set up an office to provide financial counseling. The problem, to me at least, is that Mr Smith, the retired accountant, won't get any where near that grant money.

And that's where groups like Acorn really shine- one of their fundamental missions is to either serve as a more directly approachable clearinghouse for local application of said funds or to help Mr. Smith directly navigate the grant process to get his application proper consideration. And even before that, their goal is to know that such grants exist so that they can go looking for Mr. Smiths and encourage them to make use of them.

quote:
quote: Part of the problem with giving away the services Pyrtolyn mentions is that there is no expectation that those being helped help in return.

That kind of expectation is counterproductive in a market economy. Giving out those services helps enable them to become financially positive actors, and thus pay back for the services in terms of economic growth and tax revenue.


I think this exchange shows the difference in thought about what the government should be used for.
It seems like you are taking it for granted that the government is, and should be, an integral part of the economy. Namely the part that decides what actions are beneficial for society and puts those actions into action. Thus the idea that paying the poor or investments in education come back to the society as income through taxes. To me this only breaks down once you realize that the government has monopoly powers and because you can't practically choose to change the national government you live under.
The other school of thought is that what is good for society should be determined on an individual, family, and community level and that the "indirect(those members you may or could never meet)" government should only do what it must to allow us these choices, not force them on us.
The funny think is you can have it both ways. If, that is, you're a federalist. States could (and do)choose to operate a welfare (I do not intend the loaded use of that word) system if they and their members wish, or not. Plus its easier to change either A. the law if you don't like it, or b. the state you live in if there is one better.

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cherrypoptart
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http://www.acornwatch.org/breaking-news/1450-ag-announces-voter-fraud-conviction-in-hale-county-al

AG announces voter fraud conviction in Hale County, AL
Written by WTVY.com
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 07:11

Written by WTVY.com
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 07:11

(MONTGOMERY)--Attorney General Troy King announced the conviction yesterday of Rosie Lyles for voter fraud in Hale County Circuit Court.

She was sentenced to 12 months, which was suspended. Lyles was placed on probation for two years, during which she is prohibited from participating in any absentee voting or voter registration activity. She was also assessed approximately $400 in court costs.

Specifically, Lyles pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree—a forged affidavit of an absentee voter —with intent to defraud.

Continue reading here: http://www.wtvynews4.com/news/headlines/56646922.html


-------------------------------

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124182750646102435.html

"...Elsewhere, Washington state prosecutors fined Acorn $25,000 after several employees were convicted of voter registration fraud in 2007. The group signed a consent decree with King County (Seattle), requiring it to beef up its oversight or face criminal prosecution. In the 2008 election, Acorn's practices led to investigations, some ongoing, in 14 other states.

...But Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada's Democratic Attorney General, told the Las Vegas Sun that Acorn itself is named in the criminal complaint. She says that Acorn's training manuals "clearly detail, condone and . . . require illegal acts," such as requiring its workers to meet strict voter-registration targets to keep their jobs.

Other Democrats on the ground have complaints. Fred Voight, deputy election commissioner in Philadelphia, protested after Acorn (according to the registrar of voters and his own investigation) submitted at least 1,500 fraudulent registrations last fall. "This has been going on for a number of years," he told CNN in October. St. Louis Democrat Matthew Potter, the city's deputy elections director, had similar complaints.

... As for the Nevada indictment, Acorn isn't worried. "We've had bad publicity before, and all it does is inform the community that we're here working for the community," Bonnie Greathouse, Acorn's head organizer in Nevada, assured the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week. "People always come forward to our defense. We're just community organizers, just like the president used to be."

--------------------------------------------

Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

Am I to understand that there is the assertion out there that none of these fraudulent Acorn registrations has been counted? Really? REALLY?

There are a high percentage of murders that go unsolved but no one has ever gotten away with casting a fraudulent vote because of Acorn. Acorn has been convicted of thousands upon thousands of fake voter registrations but none of them have ever made it through our fool-proof voting system. [Roll Eyes]

People can rest assured that acorn fraud is like roaches scurrying in the light. For every one we shine the light on, there are thousands more never seen.

I'm looking into getting everyone an internet for Christmas. Gift wrapped and emailed right to everyone's inbox so they can find out about what's going on in the world. I'll see if I can throw in a google too.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Is there anyone who has ever been signed up as a voter by ACORN, who indicated that he was going to vote Republican?
It is against the law for ACORN to ask, or to record any such indications if they're freely offered.
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Ron Lambert
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Oh sure, Tom! SURE! ACORN is so scrupulously law-abiding!
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TomDavidson
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I would be absolutely astonished if ACORN employees made a habit of asking how someone intended to vote. That said, given their target demographic(s), I would not be at all surprised if ACORN employees believed they already knew.
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