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Reid Blocks ACORN Probe

By Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Review-Journal - September 25, 2009

ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- is stinking up Washington.

And this is far more significant than if a suspiciously large number of operatives for a purely "private" outfit had been found systematically bending and breaking the law, because ACORN receives and spends taxpayer money -- lots of it -- and had carried the imprimatur of official partnerships with the IRS, the Census Bureau ... the kind of "cred" that in the political world comes only from "who you know."

Yes, ACORN has friends in high places -- friends who are still stonewalling attempts to trace where all that tax money went ... perhaps because they know who still has cookie crumbs all over their hands.

It didn't start with those undercover videos made by a couple of independent filmmakers posing as a prostitute and her pimp, visiting various ACORN offices around the country and getting helpful advice on how to hide their income and "qualify" for a tax-subsidized mortgage to set up a house of ill repute, declaring three of their dozen (albeit imaginary) underage illegal immigrant prostitutes as "dependents."

That was just a final shoe dropping loudly enough that the problem could no longer be ignored.

Here in Clark County, Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said last year he saw "rampant fraud in the 2,000 to 3,000 registrations ACORN turns in every week," with some 48 percent of those forms being "clearly fraudulent."

The Las Vegas headquarters of ACORN, "a Democrat-allied organization," was raided after being "accused of submitting multiple voter registrations with duplicate and false names," the Washington Times reported last fall. The outfit claimed it had registered to vote in Nevada, among others, the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

The raid "set off a skirmish over efforts to expand the electorate on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama," the Times reported.

Mr. Lomax noted ACORN had hired 59 inmates from a work-release program at a nearby prison and that some inmates who had been convicted of identity theft had been made supervisors. "That led some local wags to joke that at least ACORN was hiring specialists to do their work," reported John Fund at The Politico, last November.

ACORN's 2008 Las Vegas field director, Christopher Edwards, pleased guilty last spring to two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit compensation for registration of voters, in a deal that saw him agree to testify against fellow defendants.

Fox News' Eric Shawn reported there were at least 11 investigations across the country involving thousands of potentially fraudulent ACORN forms. Yet none of this was sufficient to block President Obama and his congressional minions from upping federal subsidies to outfits such as Mr. Obama's former associates at ACORN from the mere millions to the billions of dollars in their "economic stimulus" bill last winter.

Only when presented with the undeniable evidence of the "pimp and ho" videotape did the IRS last week announce it would terminate ACORN's participation in the agency's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program -- shortly after the Census Bureau advised ACORN it could forget about helping with its decennial head count.

Smoke? Fire? Washington Democratic leaders have opted to just lay low and not smell nothin'.

Despite all this evidence and a request in writing by 28 GOP senators -- and despite the fact the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 on Sept. 14 to block ACORN from bidding for any more federal grant money -- "Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is refusing to hold a Senate hearing on ACORN's activities," the National Republican Senatorial Committee complained Wednesday.

Mr. Reid replied additional investigations might distract lawmakers from addressing more important matters, including health care and economic recovery.

"It's become increasingly clear that ACORN may have manipulated tens of thousands of ballots in last year's federal election -- an area where Congress has clear oversight responsibilities -- yet Harry Reid won't lift a finger," said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. "It's hard to see his latest roadblock as anything but another example of Harry Reid protecting his liberal allies in Washington while remaining out of touch with his constituents in Nevada."

That's a politically motivated shot, of course. Stripped of the gratuitous elbowing, however, the question does remain: Do Sen. Reid and congressional Democrats really believe that if they just ignore the big mess their pet bear has dumped in the middle of the room, it'll somehow stop stinking?

Note: Comments made by reporters and editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal are presented with a yellow background.

t wrote on September 25, 2009 05:42 AM: Anyone know the procedure for re-calling a US Senator? Do we have time before the 2010 elections to re-call Harry Reid?

ted wrote on September 25, 2009 05:37 AM: I sent Harry Reid an e-mail some time ago, asking for a full investigation of ACORN. I got a reply back, Harry Reid says ACORN is " a fine upstanding orginization" that is doing much good for the country. Harry Reid will get 4 honest votes next election, his only chance, and his plan, is to flood Nevada with fraudulent ACORN votes to put him back in office. How can those 4 people that plan on voting for Harry Reid look at themselves in the mirror every morning?

K G B wrote on September 25, 2009 05:32 AM: How soon before the "Bush did it, so its alright" crowd gets a hold of this?

RHG wrote on September 25, 2009 05:30 AM: And now the leftwing nuts at ACORN are using tax dollars in a sleazy attempt to sue into silence anyone who sheds light on their criminal practices. What Reid and his fellow tyrants with the Democrat party are hoping for is the usual short attention span of the American people. And, of course, with the help of their allies in the so-called "mainstream" news media who never see no evil, hear no evil or speak no evil when it comes to Democrats and a leftwing agenda Reid and his pals might get their way (again).

Glenn Beck, Sobbing wrote on September 25, 2009 05:21 AM: Wake up sheeple! Them ACORNS are socialists who want to kill grandma. And they're terrorists! Also.

Marie wrote on September 25, 2009 04:55 AM: The folks in Nevada should be so proud of Senator Reid.

djnfla wrote on September 25, 2009 04:48 AM: I am sure Sen. Reid knows who has had their hands in the ACORN cookie jar...I am praying that in 2010, voters will send Sen.Reid packing.

Jerry wrote on September 25, 2009 04:45 AM: May God help our country. We have insane, irrational people like Harry Reid in our national Congress.

RJ special report wrote on September 25, 2009 03:59 AM: The RJ (Republican Journal) is making a mountain of acorns out of a mole hill.Yet this 'newspaper' had barely a bad word to write about GW Bush for eight years or his GOP-controlled Congress from 2000 - 2006.The RJ and it's party have been marginalized by America's voters. Get over it -- you lost, so man up and quit your whining.

Russ from N.J. wrote on September 25, 2009 03:58 AM: Reid is dirty, Washington is dirty.November 3, 2009 is a off year election, Get out and VOTE. VOTE all incumbants out of office.Remember, Reid and the democrats here in Nevada has hurt the state and the people while getting rich.Remember to VOTE November 3, so we can take our country back. Democrats must be voted out.

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