GOP and Fox News Bully ACORN Over Economic Stimulus

Right wing attacks one of the only groups working to end the foreclosure crisis.

The GOP and Fox News have been ganging up on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) like a couple of bullies picking on the scrawniest kid in the schoolyard--and they can only push that kid so far until he gives them a well-deserved bloody nose.  Last week, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) unjustly accused ACORN of receiving a $4.19 billion bailout from President Obama's economic stimulus package.  His false claims were echoed by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) on Fox, who claimed this money was a "payoff" for ACORN's activism in the last election.  That was all it took for bloviators Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin to resuscitate allegations of ACORN's voter fraud.  They even blamed the low- and moderate-income advocacy group for the subprime meltdown, rather than discuss the banks actually caused this mess and have subsequently received tens of billions in bailout funds they continue to squander.

These cries amount to nothing more than fearmongering in the name of obstructionism, what ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis called "a complete fabrication of overheated partisan fever dreams."  As Congress Matters noted, the $4.19 billion was actually set aside for "neighborhood stabilization activities related to emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes."  In other words, any non-profit housing developer could bid on this money.

Here comes the bloody nose.  Yesterday, the organization sent a letter to Boehner's office and media in Ohio shooting down each and every accusation and attacking Boehner on his home turf, a district where more than 4,800 families faced foreclosure in 2008 alone.  They also went after Boehner's record of voting against the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 and the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act.  Simultaneously, they're asking everyone to contact their Senators and tell them to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a version of which passed in the House last week despite the GOP's partisan rancor.

ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.
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