The Obama administration continues giving leftist groups huge sums to conduct minority housing counseling, this month allocating $40 million with one of the single biggest chunks of cash going to the open borders giant National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
It’s a scandal-plagued program that has received large amounts of taxpayer dollars in the last few years and there seems to be no end in sight. In fact, to justify giving leftwing groups more money to counsel poor minorities on housing issues the administration has spent $36.2 million on studies, a Judicial Watch investigation found last summer.
Incredibly, the multi-million-dollar research always concludes that housing counseling is a positive and valuable thing for low-income populations and minorities. The idea is to help minorities seeking a good home or struggling to keep one on the verge of foreclosure through community groups that benefit from public funding. Last year alone Uncle Sam gave the nonprofits $42 million to accomplish this mission.
The NCLR, whose federal funding skyrocketed since one of its top officials got a job in the Obama White House, is always among the largest recipients. Last year the powerful open borders group got $2 million to help combat predatory lending, train poor Latinos about financial literacy and help them become homeowners. In this month’s round the NCLR, which describes itself as the “largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization,” got $1,224.655 for “comprehensive counseling.”
Other big recipients include several branches of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, which aims to increase the “flow of private capital into traditionally underserved communities.” Two of the group’s Washington D.C. branches will split around $3 million, according to figures released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A similar D.C.-based group (NeighborWorks America) that claims to be “one of the country’s preeminent leaders in affordable housing and community development” is also getting close to $3 million for “comprehensive” and “training.”
Other nonprofits, like Florida-based Centro de Ayuda Hispana (Hispanic Helps Center) and the Agricultural Labor Program Incorporated are getting smaller grants, $18,167 and $15,000 respectively. The first group specializes in helping low-income Hispanics attain a good quality of life and the second focuses on farm workers. In all, 334 groups will share this month’s $40 million allocation which is being promoted as a necessary government investment to prevent future foreclosures.
“Make no mistake: these grants will do a lot of good,” according to Obama HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The HUD-approved counseling agencies this funding supports are crucial in helping families manage their money, navigate the home buying process, and secure their financial futures. The evidence is clear that housing counseling works. These grants are a smart investment to help families and individuals find and keep housing which helps promote neighborhood stability in the long term.”
As evidence Donovan offers the agency’s costly research showing the “effectiveness of housing counseling.” Judicial Watch’s investigation uncovered contracts that show the Obama administration has paid a company called ABT Associates $36.2 million to conduct the studies, titled “Foreclosure Counseling Outcome Study” and “Pre-Purchase Counseling Outcome Study.” That in itself is a scandalous waste of taxpayer dollars.
The Obama-tied “La Raza” group that annually gets millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote its leftwing causes has engaged in a war with an entertainment giant over a Hispanic cartoon character that doesn’t look ethnic enough.
It involves a new Disney princess named Sofia who will star in an upcoming animated television movie called “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess.” In an effort to be politically correct, Disney has created an ethnically diverse United Nations of cartoon princesses over the years. There have been Native American, Asian and African American princesses that evidently looked ethnic enough to the various liberal groups that monitor these things.
But the new Hispanic princess looks too white for the boisterous and politically-connected open borders movement. Sofia is fair-skinned and has blue eyes so she doesn’t appear ethnic enough. The new princess also talks to rabbits and squirrels and she lives in a fantasy storybook world called Enchantia, a “make-believe melting pot kingdom.” The cartoon’s executive producer says Sofia is a “mixed-heritage princess” with Spanish and Scandinavian parents.
This has angered the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which is also criticizing Disney for not adequately promoting the first princess with “Hispanic-inspired roots.” Evidently the cartoon is not “Latina” enough to meet the group’s criteria. This ignores the fact that the Hispanic community is very diverse and ranges in appearance from fair skin, light eyes and hair to brown skin and black eyes and hair.
“It would be nice to see Disney make a full-out push for a Latina princess,” according to an NCLR official quoted in a news story about the new cartoon character. “Little girls look to these characters to see themselves represented. If they don’t see themselves, it makes a difference.”
This implies that all Hispanics look the same, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Then again, the NCLR specializes in promoting the Mexican La Raza (“the race”) agenda, which advocates a radical Chicano curriculum in publicly-funded charter schools throughout the nation. The NCLR gets a steady flow of government cash to promote its leftist, open-borders agenda via a network of community organizations dedicated to serving Latinos.
Last summer a Judicial Watch investigation exposed that the NCLR’s already generous federal funding skyrocketed after one of its top officials (senior vice president Cecilia Muñoz) got a job in the Obama White House. In fact, the government cash more than doubled the year Muñoz became the president’s director of intergovernmental affairs, from $4.1 million to $11 million. Earlier this year President Obama elevated Muñoz to the more powerful and prestigious post of Domestic Policy Director.
President Obama has elevated the one-time vice president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) from White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs to the more powerful and prestigious post of Domestic Policy Director.
That means Cecilia Muñoz, a renowned open borders lobbyist in Washington D.C., will be the president’s top adviser on domestic issues and she’ll coordinate the policy-making process and supervise the execution of domestic policy in the White House. Clearly the position wields tremendous power and influence.
This can only mean good things for the influential nonprofit she once led and lobbied for, the NCLR, which promotes itself as the nation’s largest Latino civil rights group. Months ago a Judicial Watch investigation uncovered that the NCLR, which for years has raked in millions of taxpayer dollars, has benefitted handsomely from Muñoz’s quick rise in the Obama Administration. In fact, the group’s federal funding has skyrocketed since she got her White House job in 2009.
JW’s probe revealed that government cash for the NCLR more than doubled the year Muñoz joined the White House, from $4.1 million to $11 million. A big chunk 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. The NCLR also received additional taxpayer dollars from other federal agencies in 2010, the JW probe found. The Department of Housing and Urban Development doled out $2.5 million for housing counseling, the Department of Education contributed nearly $800,000 and the Centers for Disease Control a quarter of a million.
Additionally, NCLR affiliates nationwide raked in tens of millions of government grant and recovery dollars in 2010 thanks to the Muñoz factor. An offshoot called Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) saw its federal funding nearly double to $18.3 million following Muñoz’ appointment. A social service and legal assistance organization (Ayuda Inc.) that didn’t receive any federal funding between 2005 and 2008 got $600,000 in 2009 and $548,000 in 2010 from the Department of Justice. The group provides immigration law services and guarantees confidentiality to assure illegal aliens that they won’t be reported to authorities.
Obama issued a special “ethics waiver” to bring Muñoz aboard since it violated his own lobbyist ban. At the pro illegal immigration NCLR, Muñoz supervised all legislative and advocacy activities on the state and local levels and she was heavily involved in the congressional immigration battles that took place in the George W. Bush Administration. She also brought in a steady flow of government cash that’s allowed the Washington D.C.-based group to expand nationwide and promote its leftist, open-borders agenda via a network of community organizations dedicated to serving Latinos.
The White House press release announcing Muñoz’s promotion this week says she also “leads the administration’s efforts to fix the broken immigration system so that it meets America’s 21st century economic and security needs.” Obama calls her a “trusted advisor who has demonstrated sound judgment day in and day out.”
President Obama is determined to push through a foreign ambassadorship for a controversial figure whose close ties to a spy from a terrorist-sponsoring nation derailed a similar post for the same aspiring diplomat in the Clinton Administration.
The tale actually dates back to the late 1990s when Bill Clinton nominated Puerto Rican activist Mari Carmen Aponte, a former board member of the leftist National Council of la Raza (NCLR) and Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), as ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
Aponte had worked as a volunteer in the White House personnel office and helped raise campaign money for Clinton. But she had a rather large skeleton in her closet, a decade-long romantic relationship with a reported Cuban intelligence spy named Roberto Tamayo. Aponte and Tamayo lived together and the couple met frequently with Cuban intelligence agents, according to various news reports.
Since 1982 Cuba has appeared on the State Department’s list of countries that have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. That means restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales and other financial restrictions. Iran, Sudan and Syria also appear on the list alongside the communist island.
Aponte’s relationship with the Cuban spy came out when the FBI vetted her for the Dominican ambassadorship years ago and has resurfaced because Obama is set on making her the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador. To avoid discussing her relationship with Tamayo at Senate confirmation hearings, Aponte withdrew Clinton’s nomination to be ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
Evidently, Obama thought enough time had passed to make it all disappear. The president originally nominated Aponte in December 2009 and made her a recess appointee about a year later in order to bypass Republican opposition. As her temporary, one-year tenure expires, Senate confirmation can no longer be avoided so the issue has again resurfaced.
Members of the vocal Congressional Hispanic Caucus are making it a race issue, accusing Republicans of denying a Hispanic woman a rare shot at a prestigious diplomatic post, according to a national news story. An Illinois congressman (Luis Gutierrez) took it a step further, comparing Aponte’s opposition to scrutiny Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor got during her confirmation hearings.
“Between Mari Carmen Aponte and Sonia Sotomayor, there seems to be something amiss over in the Senate with Republicans refusing to confirm strong, smart Puerto Rican women for important positions for which they are eminently qualified,” Gutierrez said.
A Judicial Watch investigation reveals that federal funding for a Mexican La Raza group that for years has raked in millions of taxpayer dollars has skyrocketed since one of its top officials got a job in the Obama White House.The influential and politically-connected National Council of La Raza (NCLR) has long benefitted from Uncle Sam’s largess but the group has made a killing since Obama hired its senior vice president (Cecilia Muñoz) in 2009 to be his director of intergovernmental affairs.Ignored by the mainstream media, Judicial Watch covered the appointment because the president issued a special “ethics waiver” to bring Muñoz aboard since it violated his own lobbyist ban. At the pro illegal immigration NCLR, Muñoz supervised all legislative and advocacy activities on the state and local levels and she was heavily involved in the congressional immigration battles that took place in the George W. Bush Administration.She also brought in a steady flow of government cash that’s allowed the Washington D.C.-based group to expand nationwide and promote its leftist, open-borders agenda via a network of community organizations dedicated to serving Latinos. Among them are a variety of local groups that provide social services, housing counseling and farm worker assistance as well as publicly-funded charter schools that promote radical Chicano curriculums. Judicial Watch published a special report on this a few years ago.This week a JW probe has uncovered details of the alarming increase in federal funding that these NCLR groups have received since Muñoz joined the Obama Administration. In fact, the government cash more than doubled the year Muñoz joined the White House, from $4.1 million to $11 million.Not surprisingly, a big chunk 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. Since Obama named her Labor Secretary, Solis has launched a nationwide campaign to protect illegal immigrant workers in the U.S.Just this week Solis penned declarations with Guatemala and Nicaragua to preserve the rights of their migrants.The NCLR also received additional taxpayer dollars from other federal agencies in 2010, the JW probe found. The Department of Housing and Urban Development doled out $2.5 million for housing counseling, the Department of Education contributed nearly $800,000 and the Centers for Disease Control a quarter of a million.Additionally, NCLR affiliates nationwide raked in tens of millions of government grant and recovery dollars last year thanks to the Muñoz factor. An offshoot called Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) saw its federal funding nearly double to $18.3 million following Muñoz’ appointment.A social service and legal assistance organization (Ayuda Inc.) that didn’t receive any federal funding between 2005 and 2008 got $600,000 in 2009 and $548,000 in 2010 from the Department of Justice. The group provides immigration law services and guarantees confidentiality to assure illegal aliens that they won’t be reported to authorities.