Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Whoops: Anti-ACORN Bill Ropes In Defense Contractors and Others Charged With Fraud

This one is for the ages, this is so rich, I'm laughing at the thoughts of how the Repugnicans, Beck, Savage, Limbaugh, Ins-Hannity, et al, will look backpedaling on this one, it will be some show and the good part of it is that admission is free - Poetic Justice, LOL.

However, there is a wrinkle to it:

Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the Congressional Research Service on Tuesday asking it to clarify, among other things, if the Defund ACORN Act is constitutional.

Also at the Huffington Post
Ryan Grim is the author of This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America

Obviously I have mixed feelings about it, but in any event, he, he, he...
(Alert by R. Haaland)


They Want To Punish ACORN? Two Can Play This Game

Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 12:42:33 PM PDT

I noticed something funny when I looked at the text of John Boehner's "Defund ACORN" bill. In order to not look like an unconstitutional bill of attainder, look how broadly the bolded language sweeps:


(a) Prohibitions- With respect to any covered organization, the following prohibitions apply:

(1) No Federal contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or any other form of agreement (including a memorandum of understanding) may be awarded to or entered into with the organization.

(2) No Federal funds in any other form may be provided to the organization.

(3) No Federal employee or contractor may promote in any way (including recommending to a person or referring to a person for any purpose) the organization.

(b) Covered Organization- In this section, the term `covered organization' means any of the following:

(1) Any organization that has been indicted for a violation under any Federal or State law governing the financing of a campaign for election for public office or any law governing the administration of an election for public office, including a law relating to voter registration.

(2) Any organization that had its State corporate charter terminated due to its failure to comply with Federal or State lobbying disclosure requirements.

(3) Any organization that has filed a fraudulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency.

(4) Any organization that--

(A) employs any applicable individual, in a permanent or temporary capacity;

(B) has under contract or retains any applicable individual; or

(C) has any applicable individual acting on the organization's behalf or with the express or apparent authority of the organization....

(3) The term `applicable individual' means an individual who has been indicted for a violation under Federal or State law relating to an election for Federal or State office.

Really? "Any organization that has filed a fraudlulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency" can no longer receive federal funds? (And individuals who've merely been indicted for election law violations, whether or not the charges were proven?) The bill further defines "organization" as including ACORN and its affiliates, but it doesn't say it only includes ACORN-related entities. So, gosh, I imagined, there's a lot of entities that suddenly qualify.

As Ryan Grim reports on HuffPo today, Rep. Alan Grayson had the same thought:

The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who's Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.

The bill -- crafted as a motion to recommit -- has already cleared the Senate and House, so what Rep. Grayson intends is to file a list of all applicable entities in the legislative history that goes along with the bill so that judges can reference it when determining whether a company should be denied federal funds.

Help build the list. As Rep. Grayson suggests, we can't leave anyone out:

You see, regardless of what you think of ACORN, it is laudable to stop taxpayer money from going to organizations that commit fraud against the government. So as per the bill's text, I'm going to put into the Congressional record a list of organizations who have committed fraud against the government or employs anyone who has.

Now, I'm just one person, and I can't possibly find and list all of the organizations that fit this bill. So I need your help. Please nominate organizations and show me that they need to be in the record. To help, send me the name of the organization and proof in the form of a link to evidence that this organization should be in the Congressional record. I will also need your email address so I can follow-up with you if necessary. The proof you send needs to be easily verifiable, as in credible media reports, legal documents, government data, or otherwise.

An example might work as follows. Let's say that you were nominating 'Blackwater,' the controversial mercenary outfit which showed fraud in its contracts for Iraq in 2005. You could include a link like this one.

Help build the list.

Powered by FeedBurner

No comments: