A third ACORN office has been videotaped giving tax evasion and federal mortgage application tips to a couple who purported to be establishing a brothel for underage girls smuggled into the country.
This follows upon the exposure in 2008 of multi-state, multi-year voter registration fraud.
The Brooklyn District Attorney has opened an investigation into the organization.
The Census Bureau has had second thoughts about ACORN’s involvement in the 2010 census.
All of this undue attention to the organization has served to highlight a fact that I, at least, was previously unaware of: ACORN has been the recipient of federal tax dollars and could receive a ton more from stimulus funds.
The question is, why?
Let’s stipulate in its entirety the case for the defense: all of the above unethical and illegal activities were isolated incidents carried out by rogue affilates and do not in any way reflect the vast majority of ACORN staffers and activities.
As I was writing this post, TomW forwarded me the breaking news that the Senate had just voted 83-7 (with the junior senator from Rhode Island amoung the seven voting “nay”) to withhold federal funds from ACORN. But this was done on the basis of bad behavior. ACORN may well “rehabilitate” itself as an organization and once again be deemed fit to receive federal funds.
Under what philosphy of good government should it do so? Is there any private organization to which federal tax dollars should be handed out? If yes, shouldn’t the criteria for doing so be quite extensive and exacting, far more than the perfectly nice and perfectly vague goal of “social and economic justice”?