Glenn Beck echoed a false Republican talking point by stating, “By including ACORN, or groups like them, in the stimulus package, we have guaranteed them billions of dollars to buy more votes for the party that helps them the most.” In fact, the stimulus bill does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding.
During the May 6 broadcast of his Fox News program, Glenn Beck echoed a false Republican talking point by stating, “By including ACORN, or groups like them, in the stimulus package, we have guaranteed them billions of dollars to buy more votes for the party that helps them the most.” Beck then likened this to “seed money for the Democratic votes.” However, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding; ACORN itself has said that it is ineligible for the funds and has no plans to apply for them.
In falsely claiming that the act steered money to ACORN, Republicans have pointed to a provision in the act that would appropriate $2 billion for “emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes, as authorized under division B, title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 [...] That additional award criteria for such competitions shall include demonstrated grantee capacity to execute projects, leveraging potential, concentration of investment to achieve neighborhood stabilization.” The bill does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding.
Moreover, ACORN has denied that it is eligible for “neighborhood stabilization” funds -- the term used for the redevelopment funds in earlier versions of the act -- and has stated that it does not intend to apply for them. After House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-OH) office issued press releases claiming that the recovery bill “makes groups like ACORN eligible for a $4.19 billion pot of money for 'neighborhood stabilization activities,' ” in a January 28 press release, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis called the claim an “obfuscation” that “was picked up across the right-wing echo chamber and has been used as a fig leaf by conservatives in their attempts to justify their opposition to progressive economic policies.” Lewis further stated: “We have not received neighborhood stabilization funds, have no plans to apply for such funds, and didn't weigh in on the pending rule changes.” On January 29, Lewis wrote at the Huffington Post: "[L]et's be clear. ACORN isn't getting any of this money. Since it is set aside for non-profit housing developers to help purchase, rehab, and resell foreclosed properties, we aren't eligible for it in the first place."
From the May 6 broadcast of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: But here's the one thing nobody else is going to say. If you look at President Obama, you have to realize we didn't elect a president; we elected a former community organizer. So why don't we start looking at him in those -- with those eyes? He's a community organizer. He has helped orchestrate a power grab of industry, energy, health care, and taxes. He wants to control it.
Let me explain through two stories that are in the news right now. If we understand community organizers, we'll understand Barack Obama. First, community organizers. What do they do? They organize communities. What, are they all in disarray?
Take the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN. ACORN says they are, quote, “committed to social and economic justice,” and to help, quote, “those who have historically been locked out become powerful players in our democratic system.” Remember, President Obama just said the other day he wants his Supreme Court nominee to have empathy and understand social justice. That sounds like ACORN, not a justice. Hmmm.
They neglect to mention that this is one technique for accomplishing those things. The one technique is fraud. ACORN is facing fraud charges in Nevada, and there's a lot of other states that are getting into that act. Another way is intimidation. How many times have you seen community organizers like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson threaten to bring their groups to the streets to bring social justice to anyone they perceive as a threat?
Who organized the bus tours of the homes of AIG executives so they could protest and scare the daylights out of their kids? It was ACORN. They're not really helping those who have been locked out. It's about helping those that help them.
This is a power grab. By including ACORN, or groups like them, in the stimulus package, we have guaranteed them billions of dollars to buy more votes for the party that helps them the most. Just as this is seed money for the Democratic votes, the auto bailout will help the party flourish for years to come.