Super Forum Fanatic
- Aug 29, 2006
- Reaction score
Here's a shout-out to Ryan Grim who first noted the delicious irony when the House of Representatives last week rammed through a motion to defund Acorn
OOPS!With Republicans smelling blood and Democrats cowering under their seats, the House passed the proposal with broad bipartisan support to strip government funding for the organization.
But as Grim noted, the wording in the legislation was so broad that the provision also 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."
That covers a lot of territory. Turns out the bill was drafted so as to target groups which may have had run-ins similar to those chronicled in the recordings. But let's recall that several big contractors have had run-ins with the law where their employees were charged with fraud.
Here's the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database which lists the names of contractors who have histories of misconduct. It's a veritable Who's Who of Corporate America. As the Project On Government Oversight points out, "Lockheed Martin, which has 11 government contract fraud instances, or Northrop Grumman with 9 contract fraud instances including this $325 million False Claims Act settlement from earlier this year."
By contrast, Acorn is said to have received a total of $53 million in federal funds since 1994. Bad behavior doesn't excuse other bad behavior but there was no shortage of schadenfreude as the news spread. Liberal bloggers, who had watched with horror as Acorn was turned into Enemy No. 1 by conservative television and talk show hosts, lost no time pointing out the potential contradictions and, well, yes, hypocrisy.
On Pacific Views, one blogger pointed out that the courts could reference the list to vet companies in deciding whether it's legal to award them government funds. What's more, the blog noted, if this law only applies to Acorn, it's going to have an impossible time standing up in court. The reason? "Because it would otherwise be a bill of attainder which is explicitly barred by the Constitution."
If this plays out as liberal critics of the House vote believe, then the anti-Acorn bill might have the inadvertent effect of forcing the U.S. government to sever ties with most of the big contractors it's worked with for decades. My guess is that the phone lines to Washington are going to be quite busy over the next several days.
Ah, the irony that gets served from reactionary politics.
By all means punish ACORN but that same flame better be held to the fire of the other organizations that have committed similar actions of misconduct for which ACORN is getting punished.
Not all contractors break the law so I think the title of the blog is overstating the repercussions that COULD fall out from this and further we have to presume congress will actually follow the language of this bill and go after other contractors or organizations not named ACORN and that I have high suspicions of them actually doing.