A study by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) found that the community organizing group known as ACORN properly used all federal dollars it received in the past five years. In addition, the report found that no voters who were allegedly registered to vote improperly cast any ballots.
ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. It works with low and middle-income persons to find housing. President Obama worked with ACORN in the early to mid-90s.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) asked for the CRS study. The report comes as the federal government and the California law enforcement officials are probing ACORN. The CRS says officials have probed ACORN 46 times.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has asked Conyers to hold hearings to scrutinize ACORN’s activities. But Conyers declined.
In late summer, two filmmakers posed as a pimp and prostitute and videotaped themselves asking for assistance at ACORN offices. The filmmakers then released a hidden-camera tape which shows ACORN workers trying to help the pimp and prostitute. Two ACORN employees were fired in relation to the incident.
The CRS report indicated that the filming may have violated laws in Maryland and California, where some of the taping was done. The CRS study says both states “appear to ban private recording of face to face conversations absent the consent of all the participants.”
Congress has voted to strip ACORN of federal funding. But the CRS indicated that courts “may have sufficient basis” to rule that unconstitutional. The Constitution bans “bills of attainder,” laws that specifically target one group or person.