ACORN: Congress can’t hurt us

Posted on October 7, 2009. Filed under: Acorn | Tags: , , , , |

By MICHAEL FALCONE

 Any successful efforts by Congress to cut off federal funding to scandal-plagued ACORN would have little effect on the community organizing group’s overall operations, its chief executive officer said on Tuesday.

 “We didn’t have government funding for years,” said ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis. “We may not have government funding in the future.”

 Lewis said ACORN typically receives about $2.5 million to $3 million annually from the federal government – roughly 10 percent of its $20 million to $25 million annual budget. Member dues and private sources make up a much larger chunk of the budget, she said.

 After a series of undercover videos surfaced showing ACORN employees giving advice to conservative activists posing as a prostitute and a pimp, opponents in Congress have sought to cut the group’s sources of federal money. In recent weeks, both the U.S. Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service have also ended partnerships with ACORN.

But Lewis, who spoke Tuesday at Washington’s National Press Club, called the congressional actions a case of “modern day ACORN McCarththyism,” and she dismissed a report by the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee alleging that ACORN used some charitable funding for political purposes.

 Last month, the group suspended new intakes to its service programs throughout the country, pending the results of an independent review led by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger.
Lewis, who said her remarks were part of a “set-the-record-straight tour,” said the group would continue to pursue a lawsuit against the makers of the videos as well as the conservative Web site, Breitbart.com, where they first appeared.
Read more of this article on Politico.com

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