ACORN Takes A Shot At The Messengers

Who said there’s no such thing as bad publicity? The discovery process alone ought to be quite revealing. One thing’s for sure the money and pro bono lawyers will pour in to defend this lawsuit.

ACORN sues filmmakers

ACORN filed suit Wednesday in Baltimore, Maryland, against two filmmakers who secretly recorded videos embarrassing to the agency, claiming the pair violated state law by recording their conversations without permission of the employees involved.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing the further distribution of the videos.

The recordings represented “clear violations of Maryland law that were intended to inflict maximum damage to the reputation of ACORN,” the community organizer’s attorney, Arthur Schwartz, said. “Unfortunately, they succeeded.”

Defendants James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, conservative activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute seeking advice on setting up a brothel with underage girls from El Salvador, recorded the videos in Baltimore and three other cities.

Breitbart.com, registered to Washington Times conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, is a co-defendant in the lawsuit. Contacted by CNN, Breitbart had no comment on the suit. O’Keefe and Giles did not respond to requests for comment.

See also:
ACORN Sues O’Keefe, Giles and Breitbart.com
ACORN Sues Makers of Hidden Camera Videos
ACORN Vows ‘Serious’ Internal Probe, Sues Filmmakers
ACORN sues hidden-camera filmmakers
ACORN sues Bretibart, ‘pimp, hooker’ duo
ACORN sues undercover filmmakers

Meanwhile, the ground continues to shift underneath ACORN’s foundation as the fallout from “Hookergate” continues to take its toll.

IRS severs ties with ACORN over scandal

The IRS says it is severing ties with ACORN, the community activist group involved in a scandal after employees were caught on video giving advice to a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp.

The Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday it would no longer include ACORN in its volunteer tax assistance program. The program offered free tax advice to about 3 million low- and moderate-income tax filers this spring.

The IRS said ACORN, which is short for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, provided help on about 25,000 returns.

The House and Senate voted earlier this month to sever federal funding to ACORN. And the Census Bureau severed its ties with the group for the 2010 national head-count.

Liberal Dem blasts ACORN

A leading liberal Democrat in the House blasted the embattled community organizing group ACORN Wednesday and said he is urging the White House to withhold any federal funding for the group.

“I am very disappointed in the actions that were taken by members of ACORN,” Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said in a statement Wednesday, “and I do not believe that ACORN’s response has been adequate for an organization that has received public funding.”

Frank also said in the statement that he is urging the Obama administration to withhold any additional funding for ACORN “at least until there is very firm evidence that the abuses of which ACORN members have been guilty have not only ceased, but that procedures are in place to prevent them from happening again.”

See also:
IRS, ACORN Sever Ties Over Scandal
IRS, ACORN sever ties over scandal
IRS severs ties to ACORN in wake of latest scandal
I.R.S. Severs Acorn Ties; Group Sues Over Video
Barney Frank flees ACORN
Frank turns against ACORN
Barney Frank, D-Mass: Time to de-fund ACORN
Barney Frank on Acorn
It Was Fraud, Fraud, Fraud, ‘Til Congress Took The Money Away
ACORN Roasting On A Simmering Fire

And ACORN wants even more publicity by filing a lawsuit? Bring it on! Then again, I’m not the one being sued.

/anyway, I know which side I’m rooting for, I hope they get a jury trial and it’s televised

Your Government, Totally Out Of Control

Barney Frank: Let’s spend TARP profits before taxpayers can get them

When President Obama announced on June 9 that some financial institutions would be allowed to repay Troubled Asset Relief Program dollars, he said the massively expensive TARP bailout had made money for the federal government. “It is worth noting that in the first round of repayments from these [TARP recipients], the government has actually turned a profit,” the president said. Indeed, TARP supporters have long held out the hope that the program might be profitable.

But now Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has come up with a proposal to spend any TARP profits before they can be returned to the taxpayers. Last Friday, Frank introduced the “TARP for Main Street Act of 2009,” a bill that would take profits from the program and immediately redirect them toward housing proposals favored by Frank and some fellow Democrats.

In exchange for receiving TARP money, financial institutions were required to hand over shares of preferred stock that paid a dividend for the government. In theory, if a financial institution paid the dividend faithfully, and then repaid the TARP money, then the government would turn a profit. Last month, the General Accountability Office (GAO) reported that, through June 12, 2009, the government had received $6.2 billion in dividend payments. The original TARP legislation required that money made from the program “shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.”

Frank, however, wants to spend the money before it can be used to pay down anything. First, the “TARP for Main Street” proposal would take $1 billion “from dividends paid by financial institutions that have received financial assistance provided under…the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act” and apply it to a trust fund that Frank has long wanted to create for low-income rental housing. (The measure, unfunded, was part of last year’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.) Next, Frank would take $1.5 billion from TARP dividends for a so-called “neighborhood stabilization” fund. Republican critics have charged that both measures might allow federal dollars to be distributed to activist groups like the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, or ACORN.

The “TARP for Main Street” bill would also spend $2 billion, apparently from remaining TARP funds, to subsidize people who are delinquent on their mortgages, and another $2 billion to “stabilize multifamily properties that are in default or foreclosure.”

Congress’s Travel Tab Swells

Spending by lawmakers on taxpayer-financed trips abroad has risen sharply in recent years, a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records shows, involving everything from war-zone visits to trips to exotic spots such as the Galápagos Islands.

The spending on overseas travel is up almost tenfold since 1995, and has nearly tripled since 2001, according to the Journal analysis of 60,000 travel records. Hundreds of lawmakers traveled overseas in 2008 at a cost of about $13 million. That’s a 50% jump since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago.

The cost of so-called congressional delegations, known among lawmakers as “codels,” has risen nearly 70% since 2005, when an influence-peddling scandal led to a ban on travel funded by lobbyists, according to the data.

Mortgage-Rescue Plan to Cover More Borrowers

The Obama administration is expanding the number of borrowers who can refinance home loans under its housing-rescue program, an acknowledgment that more needs to be done to help people who are upside down on their mortgages.

The administration said Wednesday that borrowers with mortgages worth up to 125% of their home’s value will now be eligible to refinance under its program, up from a 105% limit.

To be eligible, borrowers must be current on their mortgages and have loans owned or backed by government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

/had enough Hope and Change yet?