Under the guise of due process concerns, congressional Democrats have opened the way for organizations with criminal histories to gain greater access to taxpayer funds. Exhibit A here is the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), now under investigation in at least 14 states for voter registration fraud.
Earlier this month, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, sponsored an amendment to the $140 million Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. The Frank measure allowed organizations being investigated by state or federal authorities on corruption charges to receive federal funds as long as they avoid conviction. Frank argued that his amendment, which was approved by the House, protected the presumption of innocence in federal spending.
But federal ethics rules have long stipulated that either an actual or apparent conflict of interest can put a government employee at risk of prosecution for ethics violations. So, if the Frank amendment becomes law, the federal government will have a double standard, ignoring the presumption of innocence for its employees with apparent conflicts of interest, but extending the presumption to its funding recipients.
ACORN claims to be non-partisan, but it and its many affiliates have ardently supported Democratic incumbents and candidates at all levels of government.
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