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President Obama and more than a dozen U.S. government agencies participated in a Washington D.C. conference that featured a keynote speaker—a black activist who headed the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)—who made racist remarks about whites.

It gets better; American taxpayers helped fund the annual event, put on by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), a group that aims to improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities. Each exhibitor paid $2,000 to participate in the yearly showcase which is billed as one of the largest gatherings of African American professionals. Eighteen federal agencies took part, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Health and Human Services (HHS), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).     

The $36,000 that the government spent to take part in this event doesn’t even count employee compensation, the cost of handouts at exhibitor booths, transportation and other planning expenses that usually go into these sorts of activities. It’s safe to bet the figure is much higher. The mainstream media didn’t show much interest in the annual shindig until Obama delivered a “fiery” speech on the last day focusing on healthcare and gun control.

But a few days earlier, Bertha Lewis, the former CEO of ACORN, the famously corrupt community group with strong ties to Obama, took the stage. Though ignored by the mainstream media, her speech was far more newsworthy than Obama’s tired partisan rhetoric. Lewis urged blacks to support increased immigration as a way to gain political power against whites. “We got some Latino cousins, we got some Asian cousins, we got some Native-American cousins, we got all kind of cousins,” Lewis said. “Cousins need to get together because if we’re going to be [part of the non-white] majority, it makes sense for black people in this country to get down with immigration reform.”

Lewis continued: “Everyone, even all white folks in this country, acknowledge that in a minute, [the] United States of America will be a new majority, will be majority minority, a brand-new thing.” In 2012, “for the first time ever in history, African-Americans outvoted white Americans. Oooh. That’s the fear of the white man. That could change everything. That’s why [immigration] should matter to us.” Read the whole story about Lewis’s enlightening speech in this political news site.

The CBCF has the right to invite whoever it wants to address its annual convention, but public funds should not in any way be used to support this kind of discrimination against any group. Furthermore, the nation’s commander-in-chief should certainly not be part of it. It’s bad enough that he has strong ties to ACORN, a group so corrupt that Congress cut all of its public funding, forcing it to transform into various spinoffs that still get lots of taxpayer dollars. Read all about it in a Judicial Watch special report, “The Rebranding of ACORN.”

The Obama Administration has given a former director at the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) nearly half a billion dollars to offer “struggling” Illinois homeowners mortgage assistance, a Judicial Watch investigation has found.

It means the ACORN official (Joe McGavin) will go from operating a corrupt leftist community group that’s banned by Congress from receiving federal funding to controlling over $445 million in U.S. taxpayer funds.  The money is part of a $7.6 billion Treasury Department program to help the “unemployed or substantially underemployed” make their mortgage payments.

In this case, JW found that a subcomponent of the state-run Illinois Housing Development Authority, known as the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, received a generous $445,603,557 Treasury infusion. The Obama Administration established Hardest Hit in 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in states hit hardest by the economic and housing market downturn, according to its website.   

In early 2011 McGavin was appointed as director of Hardest Hit. Before that he was director of counseling for ACORN Housing in Chicago and operations manager for a Chicago ACORN offshoot called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA). His strong ties to ACORN make him a suspect candidate to handle such a huge amount of taxpayer dollars.

The Obama-tied community organization supposedly shut down after a series of exposés about its illegal activities, including fraudulent voter registration drives and involvement in the housing market meltdown. Read all about it in Judicial Watch’s special report, “The Rebranding of ACORN.” The legal scandals led Congress to pass a 2009 law banning federal funding for ACORN, which for years enjoyed a huge flow of taxpayer dollars to promote its various leftwing causes.

The Obama Administration has violated the congressional ACORN funding ban, however. Last summer Judicial Watch uncovered records that show ACORN got tens of thousands of dollars in grants to “combat housing and lending discrimination.” The money came via Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which awarded a $79,819 grant to AHCOA.

In addition to violating the ACORN funding ban, the grant was astounding because federal investigators had previously exposed fraud by the same Florida-based ACORN/AHCOA affiliate. HUD’s inspector general found that the group “inappropriately” spent more than $3.2 million in grants that were supposed to be used to eliminate lead poisoning in its housing program.

 

 

 

 

The Obama-tied community organization famous for operating fraudulent voter registration drives during the 2008 presidential campaign is suing a state for failing to offer voter registration services at public welfare agencies.

New England United 4 Justice (NEU4J), a reincarnation of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), has joined forces with several other civil rights groups to sue Massachusetts for disenfranchising millions of low-income citizens by not registering them to vote during visits to welfare offices where they collect free taxpayer services. Specifically, this means poor ethnic minorities who traditionally vote Democrat.

This sort of minority disenfranchisement widens the gap between the registration rates of high and low-income individuals, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court this month. The 32-page complaint was posted by a national legal newswire that quotes a state welfare official indirectly committing to remedy the situation; “voting is one of the most important civic duties, and helping people comply is one of our top priorities,” the official proclaimed.

NEU4J is the reincarnation of ACORN in New England, according to a Judicial Watch analysis of records. Its president, Maude Hurd, was previously the national president of ACORN and a board member at ACORN Housing.  Its executive director is Noemi Ramos, who was ACORN Boston’s head organizer, and its vice president is former ACORN Massachusetts President Sandra Ramgeet. Much like ACORN, NEU4J promotes social justice by representing low and moderate income families.

This is scandalous because ACORN supposedly shut down after a series of exposés about its illegal activities, including fraudulent voter registration drives and involvement in the housing market meltdown. Read all about it in Judicial Watch’s special report, “The Rebranding of ACORN.” The legal scandals led Congress to pass a 2009 law banning federal funding for the Chicago-based community activist organization with strong ties to the president. For years ACORN enjoyed a huge flow of taxpayer dollars to promote its various leftwing causes.

The Obama Administration has violated the congressional ACORN funding ban, however. Last summer Judicial Watch uncovered records that show ACORN got tens of thousands of dollars in grants to “combat housing and lending discrimination.” The money came via Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which awarded a $79,819 grant to yet another ACORN reincarnation called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA).

In addition to violating the ACORN funding ban, the grant was astounding because federal investigators had previously exposed fraud by the same Florida-based ACORN/AHCOA affiliate. HUD’s inspector general found that the group “inappropriately” spent more than $3.2 million in grants that were supposed to be used to eliminate lead poisoning in its housing program.

 

The untold story of the Obama Administration’s widely reported, $335 million discrimination settlement with Countrywide Financial Corporation is that, under a secret Justice Department program, a chunk of the money won’t go to the “victims” but rather leftist groups not connected to the lawsuit.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will determine which “qualified organizations” get leftover settlement cash and Democrat-tied groups like the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the open-borders National Council of La Raza (NCLR) stand to get large sums based on the hastily arranged deal which got court approval in just a few days.  

Judicial Watch has investigated this controversial arrangement and in 2010 sued the DOJ to obtain information about the policy directing big portions of cash settlements from its civil rights lawsuits to organizations not officially connected to the cases. In response to JW’s lawsuit, the DOJ was forced to acknowledge that it has no official guidelines regarding “qualified organizations” that get leftover settlement funds and that it doesn’t monitor how the money is used.  

In the Countrywide case, details of the unscrupulous arrangement are buried deep (page 10 of the 17-page settlement) in the court document where Bank of America’s Countrywide Financial Corporation agrees to pay to resolve allegations that it discriminated against qualified black and Hispanic borrowers. The lender denies all of the charges, but wanted to end the case and caved into the government’s terms.

Here’s a synopsis straight out of the court settlement; all money not distributed to allegedly aggrieved persons within 24 months shall be distributed to qualified organizations that provide services including credit and housing counseling, financial literacy and other related programs targeted at African-Americans and Hispanics. Recipients may include “non-profit community organizations that provide education, counseling and other assistance to low-income and minority borrowers…”

This language essentially comes from ACORN’s mission statement. The famously corrupt group has raked in tens of millions of taxpayer dollars over the years but a series of scandals involving misuse of public funds, embezzlement, intimidation tactics, employee abuse, questionable hiring tactics and fraudulent voter registrations led Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the federal government from funding ACORN. The group simply transformed into various “spinoffs” and affiliated organizations and continues to get public money. Read all about it in a special JW investigative report, “The Rebranding of ACORN.”

The NCLR also stands to get money under the Countrywide settlement because the influential Mexican La Raza group is tight with the president and offers Latinos “housing counseling” that’s previously been funded by Uncle Sam. A JW probe uncovered documents in June that reveal federal funding for the group has skyrocketed since one of its top officials— Cecilia Muñoz—got a job in the Obama White House. Keeping with the mutual praise, the NCLR quickly issued a press release commending the administration for holding Countrywide “accountable for targeting communities of color.”

The landmark deal is the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history and has been widely celebrated by liberal groups as well as various media outlets, some of which believe the punishment wasn’t harsh enough. One newspaper editorial called it a “pittance compared to the grievous harm the lender brought to families across the nation.”

The money is supposed to be distributed to more than 200,000 minority victims—nearly one-third of them in California—who took out home loans between 2004 and 2008. According to the DOJ they were charged higher interest rates and fees than white borrowers based on their race not their credit. Thomas Perez, head of the DOJ’s bloated civil rights division, called it “discrimination with a smile” because victims had no idea they were being victimized and instead were thrilled just to get a home loan and realize the American dream.

 

 

 

 

A Justice Department program that annually distributes hundreds of millions of dollars to combat juvenile delinquency is under fire for giving a famously corrupt leftist group—Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)—money that was fraudulently spent.

It marks the latest of several controversies for the DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) which has managed to maintain a copious budget through the years despite multiple allegations of cronyism. During the George W. Bush Administration, the OJJDP was accused of giving money to politically-connected groups that didn’t necessarily meet the agency’s goals.

This week the DOJ Inspector General released a report that exposes corruption surrounding a $138,130 grant that OJJDP awarded to an ACORN branch in New York City. The audit found that there were internal control weaknesses, unsupported grant expenditures, lack of contractor monitoring, weaknesses in budget management, inadequate grant reporting, unmet conditions and deficiencies with the program’s overall performance.

The IG also describes the New York group as a “pass-through entity” for ACORN, the crooked nonprofit that’s raked in huge sums of taxpayer dollars over the years. In 2009 Congress actually passed a law (Defund ACORN Act) to ban federal funding for ACORN after a series of exposés about the group’s illegal activities, which include fraudulent voter registration drives and involvement in the housing market meltdown. The group also has close ties to President Barack Obama.

Earlier this year a Judicial Watch probe found that the Obama Administration violated the ban on federal funding for ACORN by giving the beleaguered group nearly $80,000 to “combat housing and lending discrimination” against minorities. After sorting through droves of government records, Judicial Watch investigators discovered that an ACORN affiliate in New Orleans, ACORN Housing Corporation Inc., got $79,819 as part of a larger $40 million allocation to “fair housing organizations” that educate the public and combat discrimination.

This year Judicial Watch also published a special report (“The Rebranding of ACORN”) about the organization’s transformation into various spinoffs and affiliated groups. Amid a massive fraud scandal and a series of criminal probes, ACORN supposedly dismantled but the reality is that it simply changed its name. For instance, under the rebranding New England United 4 Justice, ACORN has been one of the driving forces behind the movement to end economic segregation and social injustice in the U.S. (Occupy Wall Street).

 

A famously corrupt leftist community organization with deep ties to President Barack Obama is largely behind the national movement to “end economic segregation” and social injustice in the United States.Best known as Occupy Wall Street, the rowdy protests have received quite a bit of mainstream media coverage around the world. Besides New York, disruptive marches have been held in other major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami and Boston and more are scheduled in the coming days.Among the goals is to get major banks to stop preying on the poor and people of color, according to the organizer of a Boston offshoot of an Occupy Wall Street rally. The event, promoted as Take Back Boston, was organized by dozens of local community groups that claim big banks have a pattern of pushing “bad loans on people of color and the poor.” As a result of the “predatory lending,” foreclosures have skyrocketed in urban communities, the organizers say.Among the Take Back Boston organizers is a spinoff of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Amid a massive fraud scandal and a series of criminal probes, ACORN supposedly dismantled but the reality is that it simply changed its name. In fact, Judicial Watch recently published a special report(“The Rebranding of ACORN”) about the organization’s transformation into various spinoffs and affiliated groups.In this particular case, ACORN’s Boston office simply rebranded into New England United 4 Justice. Same crooked group with the same general mission and president, but a different name. Headed by Maude Hurd, the former president of ACORN and ACORN Housing, New England United 4 Justice promotes “social justice” for “low and moderate income families.” The group also seeks to educate the general public about social justice issues and the needs of poor and middle class families.This sort of rebranding has allowed ACORN to skirt a 2009 congressional ban on federal funding, consequence of its many transgressions. A few months ago a Judicial Watch investigation found the Obama Administration gave an ACORN reincarnation called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) a $79,819 grant to “combat housing and lending discrimination.”

The criminal enterprise that Obama’s Justice Department refuses to investigate despite extensive evidence of fraud and corruption is guilty of a felony in yet another state.It marks the latest of many legal defeats for the Chicago-based community group known as ACORN, famous for illegal voter registration drives, embezzling federal funds and a tight knit relationship with the president. In fact, Obama once worked at ACORN and the group’s massive campaign drives helped him get elected in 2008.Facing more than a dozen felony charges in Nevada, ACORN pleaded guilty to one count this week for illegally paying canvassers to register voters during the 2008 presidential campaign. The deal means that ACORN will avoid going to trial, which was scheduled for later this month in Las Vegas. A judge will determine the sentence on August 10, according to a spokeswoman for the Nevada Attorney General’s office, the prosecuting agency.Since ACORN is a corporation, it will only be fined and there will be no prison term, the Attorney General’s spokeswoman told Judicial Watch. The fine is expected to be a maximum of $5,000. In November the ACORN supervisor overseeing the illicit  Nevada voter registration scheme pleaded no contest to two counts of conspiracy.ACORN has a long, sordid history of election fraud and questionable hiring and training practices. The group has been busted for forging voter registration applications in key battleground states and submitting falsified forms in more than half a dozen others. In 2007 ACORN settled the largest case of voter fraud in the history of Washington State after seven workers were caught submitting about 2,000 fake registration forms.Last fall a federal investigation revealed that the crime-infested community organizationembezzled millions of taxpayer dollars for “housing counseling” and destroyed documents to hide the fraud. The probe, conducted by the inspector general for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also determined that ACORN violated federal laws and policies by spending its “housing counseling” funds to pay the salaries of its employees, even after they were terminated.Incredibly, the Obama Justice Department has failed to conduct a criminal probe of ACORN, which has assumed a new identity (“restructured” and “rebranded”) to shed its criminal history and keep its public funding. In fact, last spring Judicial Watch uncovered FBI recordsthat reveal the Obama Justice Department actually killed a federal investigation of ACORN.Judicial has been the leader in exposing ACORN and its affiliated organizations in the last few years. Click here to see public records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act as well as lawsuits filed against the government to obtain documents relating to ACORN’s federal housing grants and its involvement with the 2010 U.S. Census.

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