The ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa, is set to present the results of a new study that ties ACORN to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
The latest findings expand on a report the committee issued last year, which said that ACORN used overlapping charitable organizations to cover up that they were using their public funding for partisan political ends. The new report details both tactics and financial transactions between ACORN and its affiliates.
“Perceptions that ACORN is a charitable organization are simply wrong and part of ACORN’s efforts to deceive the American people,” Issa said.
The House Oversight committee has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matters with federal policy implications.
Investigators on the committee dug into numerous ACORN bank accounts to track money that flowed from one affiliated organization to the next, according to the report. ACORN and SEIU whistle-blower testimony is said to confirm the accounting shenanigans that went on between the two organizations.
The Issa report claims ACORN and SEIU achieved political ends through a pattern of threatening banks and state officials’ offices with litigation action.
“The committee investigation found ACORN prepared for these fraudulent activities by issuing membership letters documenting which banks caved-in to ACORN’s pressure; through political plans targeting congressional districts to get sympathetic candidates elected, and via e-mails and legal complaints reflecting ACORN’s ability to coerce and compel public officials to meet certain demands. These findings reflect a pattern, signature or trade secret common to all ACORN affiliates. This signature crime is known as Muscle for the Money,” the report reads.
ACORN has received millions of dollars of support from the SEIU, and many prominent politicians such as impeached former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich allegedly received support from SEIU-funded ACORN groups.
A PDF version of the full report, including internal ACORN emails documenting their strong-arm tactics, is available here.
Issa is scheduled to speak at CPAC on Friday.
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