The Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay the community group ACORN for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group, The New York Times reports.
The opinion was signed by David Barron, the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. Brian Kettenring, the deputy director of national operations for ACORN, praised Barron’s decision.
So much for President Obama’s October 1, signing into law a bill that included a provision saying no taxpayer money — including money authorized by previous legislation — could be “provided to” the group or its affiliates.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a statement saying “the bipartisan intent of Congress was clear — no more federal dollars should flow to ACORN.”
“It is telling that this administration continues to look for every excuse possible to circumvent the intent of Congress. Taxpayers should not have to continue subsidizing a criminal enterprise that helped Barack Obama get elected president. The politicization of the Justice Department to payback one of the president’s political allies is shameful and amounts to nothing more than old-fashioned cronyism.”
But what can we expect from a Justice Department under the auspices of Barack Obama — who played an active role training Chicago ACORN members in leadership seminars. In turn, those volunteers worked on his campaigns. He also served as the legal representative for the group, now known primarily for facilitating voter fraud and encouraging other nefarious activities.
The Hill reports that the very Department of Justice that is now deciding in favor of the group, provided it over $200,000 in grants between 2002 and 2009, according to a recent report by the department’s inspector general.