I am a little disturbed by the latest round of ACORN bashing in Washington this week. After a pair of conservative actors staged their own sting operation to see if ACORN employees would help them operate an illegal business, there have been a slew of actions taken. ACORN has lost business that they had with the census bureau and the House voted to defund the grants to ACORN through HUD.
I guess that the question in my mind is whether these are bad apples in ACORN or a systemic problem. Apparently, ACORN is conducting staff training to fix the problems in the next few days. But certainly the damage has been done.
Also, I wonder if the ACORN issue is a bit overblown. We are disturbed by the fact that a pimp and his prostitute would be helped to evade the tax law and make their activities look legitimate. But are we equally disturbed that there are many more multi-millionaires that are hiding their profits in off-shore tax havens with the help of accountants and lawyers at their beck and call.
ACORN does get dinged because they receive some federal funding whereas those lawyers are privately funded, but is that really what bothers us? I think that we have come to expect the rich to avoid taxes by any means necessary. Hell, I know people that have owned restaurants that avoided taxes as a part of their day-to-day operations.
All of these are distasteful, but now that ACORN has been tagged for it, real people are going to suffer. ACORN along with CLASI worked with the State of Delaware to ensure that people that are falling behind in their mortgages are able to get legal counseling to keep them in their home and to negotiate with lenders. That just happened this week, but things like this get overshadowed by the conservative witch hunt to find bad ACORN employees.
It is useful to know what inspired the conservative guy that set up the sting. He said that he got so angry when he saw ACORN helping people break into the homes that that they had been evicted from in foreclosure.
On that day in May, he was still burning mad after watching a YouTube video of ACORN workers breaking padlocks off foreclosed homes and barging in. “I was upset,” he said.
What is so upsetting, I wonder? That these people would be living in a home that a bank owned? This guy got mad over the property rights of a bank? Really? A non-human, non-voting, legal entity that likely has received millions of dollars in aid from the American people in the past 12 months, that is who he is standing up for? And who is this witchhunt hurting?