Judicial Watch • National Council of La Raza

National Council of La Raza Archives | Judicial Watch

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 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.

 

 

 

 

The influential Mexican La Raza group that’s received millions of federal tax dollars to promote its leftist, open-borders agenda has added several new branches to its growing network of community organizations dedicated to serving Latinos.Among them is yet another public “charter” school that pushes a radical Chicano movement, known as “reconquista,” with a custom-designed curriculum financed byU.S. taxpayers. The plan is to conquer the American southwest, return it to Mexicoand perform ethnic cleansing of Americans, Europeans, Africans and Asians.The politically-connected, Washington D.C. group National Council of La Raza (NCLR) has helped further this agenda by expanding its operations nationwide with the generous help of Uncle Sam. This month the NCLR, which describes itself as the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, announced the addition of seven affiliates to its network of 300 “community groups.” The new chapters are located in different parts of the country, includingMinnesota, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan and Colorado.Among them is a publicly-funded high school (“El Colegio”or The School) inMinneapolis with an innovative curriculum that focuses on ethnicity. “El Colegio” describes itself as a “Latino-focused” school that integrates experimental-based teaching strategies using Chicano, Mexican and Latino cultures and traditions. This month it became an official affiliate of the NCLR, which helps operate similar schools in other parts of the country.Judicial Watch exposed this La Raza movement in American public education a few years ago in a special report focusing on a Southern California elementary school that specializes in bashing the U.S. and promoting the Chicano movement. That NCLR-backed school (Academias Semillas Del Pueblo) is a training ground for the Mexican reconquista agenda and is run by a Calexico-educated activist (Marcos Aguilar) who opposes racial integration and says Mexicans in the U.S. don’t want to attend white schools or drink from white water fountains.It may seem baffling that American tax dollars are wasted on such causes, but the explanation is rather simple. The NCLR is powerful and politically connected with leaders regularly attending congressional hearings and White House meetings. The group, which endorsed and campaigned for Obama in 2008, is also tight with the administration.In fact, fact the president violated his own lobbyist ban to hire one of the NCLR’s top officials (Cecilia Munoz) as director of intergovernmental affairs. Munoz supervised all legislative and advocacy activities on the state and local levels and was heavily involved in the congressional immigration battles before Obama issued an “ethics waiver” to make her part of his administration.Obama’s first Supreme Court appointee, Sonia Sotomayor, was also a member of the NCLR and the group was quick to thank the president for the “historic appointment,” which it called a “monumental day for Latinos.” No wonder, in its latest press release announcing new affiliates the NCLR points out that its “impact continues to grow on a daily basis.”

Sign Up for Updates!