President Obama’s choice to head the scandal-plagued Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) misspent that agency’s funds—allocated to improve low-rent properties—as mayor of San Antonio, according to a federal audit.
Nevertheless if the president has his way, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro may soon be in charge of the agency whose millions his city evidently misused. This means President Obama has picked yet another winner to join his cabinet. A political news site broke the story this week, but don’t expect the mainstream media to bother covering it. They’re too busy drooling over stories of another Mexican-American running the monstrous agency that aims to create inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
The last Mexican-American mayor of San Antonio who ran HUD pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about payments to a mistress. His name was Henry Cisneros and he was appointed by Bill Clinton. Actually HUD has been rocked by a number of scandals—under both Democrat and Republican administrations—over the years. George W. Bush’s HUD secretary, Alphonso Jackson, was forced to resign in the midst of a federal investigation involving cronyism. Ronald Reagan’s HUD secretary, Samuel Pierce, was embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal that saw 16 people, including some of his top aides at the agency, convicted.
Under Obama the agency has maintained this high standard of corruption, by among other things, violating a federal funding ban for the fraud-infested Association of Community for Reform Now (ACORN). After a series of exposés about the leftwing group’s illegal activities Congress imposed the ban to stop the massive flow of taxpayer dollars that for years filled its coffers. Nevertheless, a Judicial Watch investigation found that HUD continued giving the group tens of thousands of dollars to “combat housing and lending discrimination.”
Under Obama HUD has also launched a number of controversial programs, including a special initiative to help illegal immigrants throughout the United States. HUD also intervened against Arizona’s strict immigration control law by warning that federal housing obligations prohibit “discrimination against protected class members.” The agency even deployed its assistant secretary to intercept a Fremont Nebraska measure banning illegal aliens from renting in its jurisdiction.
Then there’s the contentious St. Paul, Minnesota case in which the agency unscrupulously meddled with a local issue in the name of race. In an effort to maintain its neighborhoods, the city improved housing enforcement by targeting landlords with a history of violations. A minority contractor claimed that the new code enforcement measures reduced the availability of low-income rentals, causing a disparate impact upon African-Americans. St. Paul got slammed with federal lawsuits and the U.S. Supreme Court was expected to hear the case, but the city backed down amid intense federal pressure. Judicial Watch has sued HUD for records that will shed light on how the Obama administration improperly and successfully pressured St. Paul city officials to take the extremely rare action of withdrawing a Supreme Court appeal.
Castro, the keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, is undoubtedly expected to keep the Obama administration tradition of playing the race card. In his third term as San Antonio mayor, the 39-year-old is considered a rising star in his party. Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin Castro, represents Texas’s 20th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last summer the nation’s future Housing Secretary said that amnesty would be an urban stimulus as undocumented residents become normal participants in local economies. Legalizing illegal aliens will make communities safer, Castro said, and will boost local and national economies.
In its quest to bring poor minorities the same quality of medical care as their wealthier, white counterparts the Obama Administration has launched a “coordinated federal action plan to reduce racial and ethnic asthma disparities.”
As the election nears, the new government task force will show Americans how the president is working to close the racial/ethnic gap on asthma, a disease it claims disproportionately affects minority children and kids living below the poverty level. In announcing the new multi-agency task force recently, the administration reveals that the asthma rates of African American and Puerto Rican children are more than double the rate of Caucasian children in the United States.
Furthermore, poor and minority children are more likely to have asthma and their health outcomes are worse. Black children are twice as likely to be hospitalized and four times as likely to die from asthma as white children, according to the new task force figures. Additionally, asthma is linked to academic performance because 10.5 million school days are missed annually due to asthma.
Thus the need for yet another taxpayer-funded program to help shave the gap. It’s not enough that, under Obamacare, dozens of new “health equity” offices have already been created to end the health disparities between poor minorities and whites. In fact, more than $100 million has already been dedicated to an initiative to help lower chronic diseases “disproportionately seen among poor and minority populations.”
This latest effort focuses strictly on asthma, which may leave some wondering if the administration plans to create task forces for other individual diseases as well. There would be plenty to choose from, according to the U.S. government’s annual comprehensive report on Americans’ health. This year’s edition features an unprecedented section on socioeconomic status that says practically all ailments—from depression to edentulism (lack of natural teeth) to cancer and childhood attention deficit disorder—are more prevalent among poor minorities.
Getting back to the new minority asthma task force, several federal agencies have teamed up with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to form it. They include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A key factor in the asthma disparity is the “unacceptable burden of pollution” that “low-income and minority communities often face,” the chair of Obama’s White House CEQ said in a statement announcing the task force.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan says it’s essential that the government ensures all children have a healthy place to call home. “The numbers don’t lie. Asthma disproportionately impacts low-income minority families,” Donovan said, adding that the new task force will help the federal government support the development of “innovative new approaches to improve and control asthma.”
That can only mean one thing; doling out more taxpayer dollars for yet another one of the president’s “innovative new approaches” to assist low-income minorities. This includes a $4.5 billion law—pushed through by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2010—that focuses on conquering childhood obesity among poor minorities who live in “food deserts” that don’t have healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
The Obama Administration has spent $36.2 million on studies that justify awarding huge sums to leftist groups that help poor minorities with “housing counseling,” a Judicial Watch investigation has found.
JW launched a probe to uncover how much taxpayer money is being spent on research that, incredibly, always concludes housing counseling is a positive and valuable thing for low-income populations and minorities. The Obama Administration has poured tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of leftwing community groups that help minorities seeking a good home or struggling to keep one on the verge of foreclosure. In fact, in last few months alone, the nonprofits have received $42 million.
Among them are hundreds of national, regional and local organizations like the powerful open borders group with close ties to the president, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Earlier this year the NCLR, whose federal funding has skyrocketed since one of its top officials got a job on the Obama White House, got nearly $2 million to help combat predatory lending, train poor Latinos about financial literacy and help them become homeowners.
The National Community Reinvestment Corporation, a famously liberal activist group that seeks to eliminate “discrimination” in housing and mortgage lending, and the equally leftist National Urban League, which advocates for social justice and claims voter identification laws are racist also got a chunk of change this year. The first group received $2.5 million from Uncle Sam and the second got $1.05 million.
To justify the exorbitant allocations, last week the administration released two in-depth studies that essentially say the government-funded housing counseling program is the best thing since sliced bread. Not surprisingly, both studies also concluded that Uncle Sam must keep funding the dubious program for the good of mankind. Read all about it in a 197-page report titled “Foreclosure Counseling Outcome Study” and a 91-page “Pre-Purchase Counseling Outcome Study.”
How much did American taxpayers spend on these studies? That’s what JW set out to find and the figure is downright enraging. Since 2009 the company hired by the Obama Administration to conduct the studies, ABT Associates, has received $36.2 million, according to documents obtained by JW. This includes $18.3 million for “program study and evaluation,” the government records show.
To produce the pro housing counseling reports released last week, ABT Associates received at least $2.5 million, according to a government contract signed in the fall of 2011. The deal was for “impact evaluation” of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) “pre-purchasing counseling program.” The administration has yet to reveal the amount it paid for the second study, which is also linked above. JW will continue investigating this matter.
For the second time in just a few months a U.S. government agency notorious for wasteful spending is dedicating tens of millions of dollars to help local communities blow their federal money more efficiently.
It may sound like a bad joke but it’s business as usual at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the bloated agency that’s given leftist groups millions of dollars to provide low-income populations and minorities with “housing counseling.” Read more about that in a Judicial Watch report published just days ago.
This month HUD awarded $70 million in grants to help communities and nonprofit organizations use their taxpayer dollars more efficaciously. The agency announcement justifies the allocation by explaining that the nation is in a “budget climate where state and local governments are challenged to do more with less.” This evidently requires millions to help communities and nonprofit organizations “improve their use of federal funds to revitalize neighborhoods, help the homeless and produce more affordable housing.”
Here is how HUD’s Assistant Secretary, Mercedes Marquez explains it: The cash will complement a program to help communities “ensure that scarce federal dollars are targeted to where they are needed most and can achieve the highest impact.” As a result the money will go a long way toward meeting the agency’s goals of community development, affordable housing and homeless assistance, Marquez added.
The $70 million comes on the heels of a separate $20 million HUD allocation for pretty much the same cause. In that announcement HUD asserted that the money would help “improve performance and boost the capacity of state and local governments to implement their federal block grant programs for housing and community development.” Marquez made a similar statement about stretching federal dollars for the greatest possible benefit to the public.
This sort of thing is par for the course at HUD. Under Obama the agency has launched a number of controversial programs, including a special initiative to help illegal immigrants nationwide. HUD also intervened against Arizona’s strict immigration control law by warning that federal housing obligations prohibit “discrimination against protected class members.” HUD also deployed its assistance secretary to intercept a Fremont Nebraska measure banning illegal aliens from renting in its jurisdiction.
HUD has also been embroiled in a huge scandal surrounding federal grants awarded to the famously corrupt Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN). In 2009 Judicial Watch sued the agency for the records and in 2010 a HUD Inspector General report revealed that ACORN embezzled millions of dollars for “housing counseling” in one year alone and destroyed the documents to hide the fraud.
The Obama Administration keeps pouring huge sums of taxpayer dollars into the coffers of leftist groups that specialize in “housing counseling” for minorities seeking a good home or struggling to keep one on the verge of foreclosure.
The latest allocation—$42 million in counseling grants—was announced just a few days ago by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the administration’s continuing effort to help families find decent housing and prevent future foreclosures. The cash will go to hundreds of national, regional and local organizations that profess to assist low-income populations.
Among them is the National Community Reinvestment Corporation, a famously liberal activist group that seeks to eliminate “discrimination” in housing and mortgage lending, and the equally leftist National Urban League, which advocates for social justice and claims voter identification laws are racist. They are getting $2.5 million and $1.05 million respectively. The entire list of recipients and what they do can be found here for those who care to sort through it.
The powerful open borders group with close ties to the president, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), is also getting a chunk of change this round. Under this latest housing counseling allotment, the NCLR will receive nearly $2 million to help combat predatory lending, train poor Latinos about financial literacy and help them become homeowners.
The NCLR has raked in tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for its various causes over the years and has seen its federal funding skyrocket since one of its top officials got a job in the Obama White House. Last summer a Judicial Watch investigation uncovered government documents that show the NCLR’s federal funding more than doubled the year its one-time senior vice president (Cecilia Muñoz) joined the Obama Administration.
The NCLR’s government cash flow boomed from $4.1 million to $11 million, according the internal documents obtained in the course of JW’s probe. A large portion of the money (60%) came from the Department of Labor, which is headed by a former California congresswoman (Hilda Solis) with close ties to the La Raza movement.
Muñoz was originally hired by President Obama in 2009 to be his director of intergovernmental affairs. Earlier this year she was promoted to White House Domestic Policy Director, which means she’s the president’s top adviser on domestic issues and the coordinator of the policy-making process. Now Muñoz supervises the execution of domestic policy in the White House.
Her new power and influence in the administration can only mean one thing for the NCLR, which remains dear to her heart; more taxpayer dollars for projects like Latino housing counseling.
The U.S. government agency that works hand in hand with the open borders movement— the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)— is dedicating more than half a million dollars to help “limited English proficient” populations access taxpayer-funded public housing programs.The move comes less than a week after a separate agency—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—allocated $25 million to battle childhood obesity in “hard-to-reach, limited English proficiency and minority communities.” In this case the CDC claims that, while the rate of childhood obesity is high overall in the U.S., it’s particularly higher in minority and low-income communities.When it comes to public housing the government must ensure that persons who are limited English proficient (LEP) have access in their native languages to information on all programs, services and activities provided by Uncle Sam. So the agency has doled out $649,000 to seven “community organizations” that “serve diverse communities” across the county. “Through these partnerships, HUD will ensure that the LEP individuals and families have meaningful access to information on fair housing, homeownership, lead abatement, housing assistance, and countless other services,” according to HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.The community groups will use the taxpayer dollars to create “fair housing presentations and trainings on HUD programs” in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Amharic and Korean in Washington D.C. They will also conduct “community meetings and refugee orientation sessions” to educate Bosnians and Arabic speakers about affordable housing in St. Louis. In New York they will distribute brochures in Nepalese, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish, Korean and Chinese and in San Diego posters, brochures and other tools will be created in Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi-Turkish, Somali, Burmese and Bhutanese.Earlier this year HUD teamed up with President Obama’s favorite open borders group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), to promote a billion-dollar program with Spanish ads encouraging Latinos—possibly illegal immigrants—to apply for free U.S. taxpayer dollars. The campaign warned Hispanics that time was running out to get up to “$50,000 in help” from Uncle Sam to pay their mortgage, past due charges, taxes, insurance and even legal fees associated with their home.Under Obama, a number of government agencies have allocated huge sums of money to programs that specifically target minorities. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) has spent nearly $10 million to bring “environmental justice” to poor and minority communities around the country and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has dedicated tens of millions of dollars to provide inner city neighborhoods with healthy foods.The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also dedicated vast resources to minority causes. A few months ago it ordered Colorado officials to protect the interests of “language minority populations” by strengthening a Court Interpreter Oversight Committee that assures immigrants who don’t speak English get free translators. Before that the agency announced the administration’s commitment to eliminating written tests that discriminate against minorities in the workplace.
Besides the Department of Justice (DOJ), other federal agencies are quietly working behind the scenes and dedicating extensive resources to fighting local laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration.For instance, this week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revealed that a “spate of state and local immigration related laws” has forced it to launch an “initiative to build a stronger network of community organization partners who serve the Hispanic population.” In the coming months the agency will hold a series of regional conferences to meet with organizations that work directly with the country’s Hispanic population.The new taxpayer-financed project to combat immigration control measures nationwide was buried in HUD’s annual report to Congress, which failed to provide further details about its work on behalf of illegal aliens. The document is supposed to describe for lawmakers how the agency is addressing discrimination and promoting fair housing. It’s been a “groundbreaking” year because HUD is resolving individual housing discrimination complaints faster and focusing on complaints that affect multiple people, according to the report.Of particular interest is that the agency is launching more investigations using its “authority to initiate cases on behalf of discrimination victims where no one has filed a complaint.” Reading between the lines, this seems to refer to illegal immigrants. Besides the DOJ, which has challenged laws in Arizona and Alabama and created a secret group to monitor immigration control measures, other government agencies, such as the Department of Labor, have dedicated taxpayer dollars to help illegal aliens. So why shouldn’t HUD join the bandwagon?The agency proudly admits that it caved into the “concerns” of “Latino advocacy groups” (specifically the National Council of La Raza) by intervening when Arizona passed its strict law last year. HUD forced the state to publish an “advisory opinion” that federal “housing obligations” prohibit “discrimination against protected class members.” HUD also deployed its assistant secretary to Fremont Nebraska after it passed an ordinance banning “undocumented immigrants” from renting in the area.
President Obama’s favorite La Raza group has teamed up with a federal agency to promote one of the administration’s many government cash giveaways with Spanish ads encouraging Latinos—possibly illegal immigrants—to apply for free U.S. taxpayer dollars.The new campaign warns Hispanics that time is running out to get up to “$50,000 in help”from Uncle Sam to pay their mortgage, past due charges, taxes, insurance and even legal fees associated with their home. The money is being disbursed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of a billion-dollar Emergency Homeowner Loan Program (EHLP).In 2008 the agency revealed that some 5 million fraudulent or defaulted home mortgages were in the hands of illegal immigrants, who obtained the loans from banks that were pressured by the government to offer them. In fact, the agency in charge of preserving and promoting public confidence in the nation’s financial system, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), began pushing banks to offer services to illegal aliens years earlier and many still do today.It’s logical to assume that the involvement of the nation’s most powerful open borders group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), in promoting government-funded mortgage aid is geared, at least in part, towards undocumented immigrants. The EHLP expired but recently got extended amid record-high unemployment to help people keep their homes. The NCLR, which has seen its federal funding skyrocket since one of its top officials got a job in Obama’s White House, wants to make sure Latinos get a piece of the pie. This week it launched a Spanish-language public service campaign to highlight the program’s “fast-approaching” deadline.“The biggest challenge now is ensuring that people know about this opportunity and take advantage of it during the short period that it is available,” according to the NCLR director who announced the campaign that will help Latinos “seize” an “opportunity.” In the ad HUD Assistant Secretary Mercedes Marquez alerts Hispanics of the imminent deadline to get their government cash and directs them to a Spanish HUD website that assures the money will be disbursed in a “fair and impartial manner.”Last year Marquez , a strong ally of the open borders movement, awarded an NCLR affiliate known as Chicanos Por la Causa nearly $40 million in grants to “stabilize neighborhoods and rebuild economies.” The money came from a Neighborhood Stabilization Program that has doled out $2 billion to community groups to combat the negative effects of “vacant and abandoned homes.”Just a few weeks ago a Judicial Watch investigation revealed that federal funding for the NCLR, which for years has raked in millions of taxpayer dollars, has catapulted since Obama hired its senior vice president (Cecilia Muñoz) to be his director of intergovernmental affairs. In fact, the government cash more than doubled the year Muñoz joined the White House, from $4.1 million to $11 million. Additionally, NCLR affiliates nationwide raked in tens of millions of government grant and recovery dollars last year thanks to the Muñoz factor.