Shortly before heading from work to class yesterday evening, I received an interesting news release from the folks at the American Legislative Exchange Council. About a month ago, Congress voted in favor of de-funding community organizing and voter fraud specialist group ACORN following a series of video sting operations showed employees of the organization promoting underage sex trafficking and eschewing the rule of law.
Now, ALEC has put forth a resolution asking that all states do the same, and state lawmakers are listening. Here’s the release:
Washington, D.C.— Congress has already voted to defund the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, otherwise knows as ACORN, and the IRS and Census Bureau have severed their relationships with the organization as well. However, ACORN, which according to their Web site maintains “more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in about 75 cities,” continues to receive taxpayer money through the states.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the nation’s largest non-partisan, individual membership association of state legislators, has identified several states which provide funding for ACORN and its affiliates, including New York ($415,000), Pennsylvania ($205,000), Georgia ($104,000), and Illinois ($100,000). In response, ALEC’s members have passed a resolution calling on all states to conduct audits to identify and immediately end all funding to ACORN and its affiliates.
In Pennsylvania, State Rep. Stephen Barrar has already introduced legislation to bar ACORN and other political organizations from receiving state funds. “ACORN has proven time and time again that it is not worthy of our trust or our financial support,” said Barrar. “This organization continues to display unethical and unlawful behavior, and it is time for the Pennsylvania Legislature to take action. The taxpayers of our Commonwealth work too hard to give their money to an agency that disrespects our laws. My efforts are about the responsible use of taxpayer money.”
Policymakers in Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Rhode Island have also taken action to prevent any funding for ACORN. ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force Chairman, State Rep. Paul Ray (UT), commented, “Over the past few years ACORN has continually violated the trust of the American people and the law. This includes allegations of voter registration fraud, videos of ACORN employees willfully assisting in tax evasion, child prostitution, and even obtaining federal fire protection grants in Louisiana in which they did not meet the requirements and were not qualified to receive.”
Other ALEC members had similar comments including State Rep. Gary Banz (OK), who said that, “The recent revelations of ACORN activity calls into question their mission and the appropriateness of any taxpayer funds being given to them.” And in Indiana, State Rep. Bill Ruppel said, “During a recession, it is imperative that we take the time to look closely at how state funds are allocated and how taxpayer dollars are spent. This Resolution calls on the states to do that and defund ACORN, an organization which has misused and misspent our taxpayer dollars.” ALEC will continue to work with its members during the next legislative session to identify and remove state funding for ACORN and its affiliates.