Patterico's Pontifications

3/6/2012

Front Groups for the SEIU . . . and the Teamsters . . . and ACORN!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:44 am



The Daily Caller reports on a number of front groups for the SEIU. This post expands on the Daily Caller report, and shows that the front groups are not merely tied to the SEIU, but also to the Teamsters — and to a descendant of our old friend ACORN.

The Daily Caller piece explains:

The politically aggressive Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has quietly created a national network of at least eight community-organizing groups, some of which function alongside the Occupy Wall Street movement, a Daily Caller investigation shows.

Incorporated by the SEIU as local non-profits, the groups are waging concerted local political campaigns to publicly attack conservative political figures, banks, energy companies and other corporations.

Each local group has portrayed itself as an independent community organization not tied to any special interest. But they were founded, incorporated, and led by SEIU personnel.

The front groups, which operate as 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations, pretend to engage in grassroots activity, such as going to a Republican senator’s office, and claiming to be unemployed D.C. residents demanding that the senator meet with them concerning an Obama jobs bill. The only problem is that the puppeteers are not far behind:

A source told the Daily Caller that while African-American and Hispanic protesters sat in McConnell’s office, two Caucasian women from Our DC directed the protesters from the hallway. The staffers called reporters, operated laptops and posted messages to Twitter.

As Rick Perry might say: “oops.”

Despite these groups’ utter lack of transparency, the Daily Caller provides extensive evidence tying these groups to the SEIU. For example:

An SEIU-tied Washington, D.C. law firm incorporated each of them. The founding board members are solely SEIU executives and organizers. In each city the founding addresses match those of SEIU locals.

In addition to that and other evidence, the Daily Caller tells us that the IP addresses of the front groups’ web sites tie back to an SEIU server.

Good stuff, and excellent research.

A tipster provides me with more, giving me further links and ties between one of the front groups and several unions and “community organizing” organizations. In addition to finding ties to Son of ACORN and the Teamsters — the main thrust of this post — my tipster also found more evidence tying one of the front groups named by the Daily Caller to the SEIU.

That organization is Houston-based “Good Jobs = Great Houston,” a non-profit, like most of these other groups . . . and a group tied to unions, ACORN descendants, and other parts of the institutional left.

For example, a visit to the Good Jobs = Great Houston web site reveals the following disclaimer, which shows a direct tie to the SEIU:

F. Warranty Disclaimer

THIS WEBSITE IS PROVIDED TO YOU “AS IS.” YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THE SEIU WEBSITE SHALL BE AT YOUR SOLE RISK. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, GOOD JOBS=GREAT HOUSTON, AS WELL AS ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS (COLLECTIVELY, GOOD JOBS=GREAT HOUSTON), DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN CONNECTION WITH THE WEBSITE AND YOUR USE THEREOF. GOOD JOBS=GREAT HOUSTON CANNOT AND DOES NOT WARRANT THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, CURRENTNESS, NONINFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF THE SITE’S CONTENT OR THE CONTENT OF ANY SITES LINKED TO THIS SITE. NOR DOES GOOD JOBS=GREAT HOUSTON GUARANTEE THAT THE WEBSITE WILL BE ERROR FREE, OR CONTINUOUSLY AVAILABLE, OR THAT THE WEBSITE WILL BE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS. THE SEIU PARTIES DO NOT WARRANT, GUARANTEE, OR ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE PROVIDED, ADVERTISED OR OFFERED BY A THIRD PARTY THROUGH THE GOOD JOBS=GREAT HOUSTON WEBSITE OR ANY HYPERLINKED WEBSITE OR FEATURED IN ANY BANNER OR OTHER ADVERTISING.

Man, that’s funny. Let’s screenshot it in case they try to scrub it:

Yeah, that seems pretty direct all right. Did they mean to leave the legal language so revealing? As Rick Perry might say, again: oops!

There is other evidence tying this organization to SEIU. Take a look at the following magical address:

4299 San Felipe, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77027

That very special address — right down to the suite number! — is the address of three “coalition partners” of Good Jobs = Great Houston: Mi Familia Vota, Hope Local 123, and SEIU Local 1. All four list the same office address, and the 2 unions link to the same page. And SEIU Local 5 in Houston is at the same address and suite number. Fancy that.

Next we have . . .

The Teamsters Connection

Teamsters Online described a “community canvasser” job with Good Jobs=Great Houston! as being a “Teamster Job”:

And while the link appears to be dead, a Twitter site calling itself “Union Jobs” advertised the same job:

And then we have . . .

The ACORN connection

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

Here is the contact info for Good Jobs = Great Houston. Please take special note of the address:

Contact Us

Good Jobs=Great Houston
2955 Gulf Freeway
Houston, TX 77007

Phone: 713-236-8245
Fax: 713-236-8279

Google and real estate listings show that address to be a combination office space/warehouse. Check here and here and here.

Coincidentally, this is the same address as that of the Texas Organizing Project:

Houston Office:
2955 Gulf Freeway Suite B
Houston, TX 77003

832-387-5845
info@organizetexas.org

Oddly enough, the “Texas Organizing Project” is a “coalition partner” of Good Jobs = Great Houston.

And the really fun part is: the Texas Organizing Project? Yeah, that would be the new name for ACORN in Texas:

State chapters have incorporated themselves under new names. New York became New York Communities for Change. California became Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. Texas became Texas Organizing Project.

So Good Jobs = Great Houston and Texas Organizing Project (Son of ACORN) are not just “coalition partners,” but also make their address in the same warehousey location in Houston.

Hmmmm.

You could do the same exercise with virtually all these groups, and probably find all kinds of union ties. I think the ACORN tie surprised me the most least.

Keep in mind that the front groups pretend to be independent, grassroots organizations. Even as their puppeteers direct their actions, and organize under the auspices of well-funded unions, they claim non-profit status, and would have you believe they are genuine grassroots groups.

Hahahahahahahahhaha. Uh, not so much.

If Andrew Breitbart were alive today, this is the kind of shenanigans by the institutional left he would want us to expose. Nice work by the Daily Caller . . . and my tipster.

We are all Breitbart!

8/14/2010

Brad Friedman’s Latest ACORN Falsehoods

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:13 pm



Last seen trying (unsuccessfully) to get me fired for calling him on his lies, Brad Friedman resurfaces today (no links for liars!) to mischaracterize yesterday’s decision on ACORN funding:

The appellate court determined that Congress can target a specific group for punishment . . .

Oh, really?! The appellate court approvingly quoted a past decision saying the precise opposite:

We therefore hold that corporations must be considered individuals that may not be singled out for punishment under the Bill of Attainder Clause.

What the court actually said was that defunding ACORN does not constitute punishment:

[W]e doubt that the direct consequences of the appropriations laws temporarily precluding ACORN from federal funds are “so disproportionately severe” or “so inappropriate” as to constitute punishment per se. . . . In sum, the plaintiffs have failed to show that the appropriations laws constitute “punishment” under the functional test. . . . Nor is the legislative record sufficient to demonstrate “punishment” cumulatively with the historical and functional tests of punishment analyzed above.

If one did not have Friedman’s history of deception as a guidepost, one might call Friedman’s mischaracterization a mistake, born of some combination of laziness and poor reading skills.

But we do have that history. So there you go.

8/13/2010

Patterico Vindicated on the Constitutionality of Stripping ACORN of Funding

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 pm



It’s not that I’m always right, mind you. It’s just that when I’m vindicated on a point, you can bet I’m going to point it out.

Back in March, when a silly federal judge ruled that Congress’s decision to strip ACORN of funding violated the Bill of Attainder Clause, I said:

I don’t find the decision convincing. It seems to me that the opinion essentially establishes some sort of ongoing right to federal funding. . . . Congress is simply saying: we choose not to fund a particular organization. Such decisions, it seems to me, are for Congress to make, and not some federal judge.

. . . .

Does Judge Gershon believe that Congress must wait until ACORN is convicted of criminal violations in a court of law before Congress can choose not to give my tax dollars to ACORN — or that Congress has to set up some kind of quasi-judicial review of misconduct allegations before it can defund an organization? Does Judge Gershon believe that Congress can set no parameters on how our tax dollars are spent, and must leave all discretion on that issue to federal bureaucrats?

Neither proposition makes sense to me.

Guess what? It appears that the Second Circuit agrees:

The withholding of appropriations, however, does not constitute a traditional form of punishment that is “considered to be punitive per se.” . . . . Congress must have the authority to suspend federal funds to an organization that has admitted to significant mismanagement. The exercise of Congress’s spending powers in this way is not “so disproportionately severe and so inappropriate to nonpunitive ends” as to invalidate the resulting legislation as a bill of attainder.

Duh.

Oh . . . there’s just one more thing . . .

IN YOUR FACE, BRAD FRIEDMAN!

P.S. I went to the Brad Blog (no links for liars!) and couldn’t find Brad’s item on this. I’m sure I just overlooked it . . .

UPDATE: Friedman has now posted on the decision. (No links for liars!) You’ll never believe this . . . but his post actually gets everything completely wrong.

Seriously. I know: it’s shocking.

6/10/2010

ACORN: It’s Back

Filed under: Crime,Obama — DRJ @ 12:12 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

In response to a Judicial Watch FOIA request, the government has provided FBI documents that implicate ACORN in election fraud and other wrongdoing:

“Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) related to the 2007 investigation and arrest of eight St. Louis, Missouri, workers from the “community organization” Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) for violation of election laws and voter fraud.

The documents include handwritten notes from FBI investigators interviewing canvassers working with Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate. Among the highlights from the FBI handwritten notes:

* [ACORN] “Told employees not to talk to the FBI. ‘FBI trying to intimidate you.’”

* Fraudulent cards:
o To cause confusion on election day to keep polls open longer
o To allow people who can’t vote to vote.
o To allow to vote multiple times.

* Project Vote will pay them whether cards fake or not – whatever they had to do to get the cards was attitude.

* Constantly threatened

* Staff restricted on what to say to FBI

* “Poverty pimpin” (sic) ACORN

* ACORN HQ is wkg for the Democratic Party.

* PV [Project Vote] pays ACORN $6.00 per card…Said “You treat the cards like (cash) $”

* Some [names] went right from the phone book and made up the rest.

* Canvassers: homeless, volatile, drug users, drunks…

* Anyone who was against PV (Project Vote) or ACORN’s goals “right wing”

* She thought if she used a completely fake name it would be less like ID Theft…”Yeah, it’s against the law, I know.”

In addition to the hand-written notes, the documents also include copies of the arrest warrants, criminal case cover sheets and court documents. In April 2008, all eight ACORN employees involved in the scandal pled guilty to voter registration fraud.

In March 2010, Judicial Watch obtained a separate batch of FBI documents detailing federal investigations into alleged ACORN corruption and voter registration fraud in Connecticut. The FBI and Department of Justice initiated investigations. However, the Obama Justice Department, while noting that ACORN had engaged in “questionable hiring and training practices,” closed down the investigation in March 2009, claiming ACORN broke no laws.

“These documents show the need for a national criminal investigation by the Obama Justice Department into ACORN. Is Attorney General Holder doing nothing because of Obama’s close connections to ACORN and Project Vote? The information in these new documents has national implications that cry out for further investigation,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.”

At the Judicial Watch website link above, there are additional links that provide information for each allegation.

Also, the Daily Caller and Big Government have more on ACORN’s attempts to rebrand and reinvent itself.

H/T JD.

— DRJ

4/7/2010

Maddow: O’Keefe HID Important Facts About ACORN!!!! (Patterico Responds: Except That He Didn’t)

Filed under: ACORN/O'Keefe — Patterico @ 8:41 pm



Apparently Rachel Maddow has jumped on the pimp hoax bandwagon. Here is the beginning of Raw Story’s wildly misleading summary of Maddow’s wildly pointless diatribe:

When conservative activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles released tapes last fall purporting to show ACORN employees advising them on how to set up a child prostitution ring, it resulted in widespread praise for their intrepid journalism and a Congressional defunding of the anti-poverty group. But it is now becoming clear to all but their most fervent supporters that the O’Keefe “expose” was deliberately misleading.

“If you were a member of Congress and you voted to defund ACORN because of the outrage portrayed in these tapes,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow proclaimed on Tuesday, “you were had.”

Last week, California Attorney Gerneral Jerry Brown released some of O’Keefe’s raw footage, which he obtained as part of an agreement not to prosecute O’Keefe for violating state privacy laws. Maddow reviewed several of the most severe distortions revealed by the footage, starting with O’Keefe’s claim that he was wearing his outrageous pimp outfit when he visited the ACORN offices.

I am unaware of any such claim. I know O’Keefe has been faulted, with some justice, for failing to contradict a Fox News yakker who made that claim in his presence. I’m inclined to go easy on him for that, because I think it’s easy to criticize people for on-the-fly decisions (especially decisions not to act) made while facing a nationwide audience on TV. In any event, a failure to contradict is not a “claim.”

Now, some yahoos like Maddow have tried to argue that O’Keefe tried to hide the fact that he was wearing normal clothes in ACORN offices. Here is a screenshot from the very seconds of the very first video O’Keefe ever released:

Hiding in Plain Sight

The accompanying voiceover:

Scenario: a young woman pretending to be a prostitute and a man pretending to run for Congress one day walk into ACORN’s Baltimore Headquarters . . .

Remember, the Rachel Maddows of the world maintain that O’Keefe hid the fact that was actually wearing normal clothing, and pretended to be someone running for Congress. Click the link, watch the first 20 seconds of the ACORN video, and marvel at the fact that Rachel Maddow claims O’Keefe was trying to hide these facts. He hid his normal mode of dress and his character’s future Congressional campaign about as well as Maddow hides her leftism.

About as well as Jackie Mason hides his Jewish heritage.

About as well as [give us your comparison below in the comments].

As for the other Big Revelations from Maddow and company, I have but one question: what is revealed on the unedited videos released by Jerry Brown that we didn’t know from the unedited audio that has been available since Day One?

If you need me, I’ll be over here . . . listening to the crickets chirping.

4/1/2010

Attorney General Releases California ACORN Report

Filed under: ACORN/O'Keefe — DRJ @ 7:12 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

California Attorney General Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr. has completed his investigation and there’s good news and bad news for everyone, although in general Brown does his best to bolster ACORN and damage O’Keefe. Here is the Attorney General’s press release:

“California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today released a report, including newly obtained videotapes, that shows some members of the community organizing group ACORN engaged in “highly inappropriate behavior,” but committed no violation of criminal laws.

Brown’s report also uncovered “likely violations” of state law, including dumping 500 pages of confidential records into a dumpster, failure to file a 2007 tax return, and four instances of possible voter registration fraud by ACORN in San Diego in connection with the 2008 election, as well as other irregularities in the group’s California operations. These irregularities have been referred to the appropriate authorities.

“A few ACORN members exhibited terrible judgment and highly inappropriate behavior in videotapes obtained in the investigation,” Brown said. “But they didn’t commit prosecutable crimes in California.”

Last September, Gov. Schwarzenegger asked Brown to investigate the activities of ACORN in California. His request was triggered by tapes made by undercover videographer James O’Keefe III that purported to show ACORN employees providing advice on how to conduct a prostitution ring and commit other serious crimes.

But new, unedited videotapes discovered through Brown’s investigation, as well as other evidence, shed clearer light on interactions between O’Keefe and the now-defunct ACORN.

Videotapes secretly recorded last summer and severely edited by O’Keefe seemed to show ACORN employees encouraging a “pimp” (O’Keefe) and his “prostitute,” actually a Florida college student named Hannah Miles, in conversations involving prostitution by underage girls, human trafficking and cheating on taxes. Those videos created a media sensation.

Evidence obtained by Brown tells a somewhat different story, however, as reflected in three videotapes made at ACORN locations in California. One ACORN worker in San Diego called the cops. Another ACORN worker in San Bernardino caught on to the scheme and played along with it, claiming among other things that she had murdered her abusive husband. Her two former husbands are alive and well, the Attorney General’s report noted. At the beginning and end of the Internet videos, O’Keefe was dressed as a 1970s Superfly pimp, but in his actual taped sessions with ACORN workers, he was dressed in a shirt and tie, presented himself as a law student, and said he planned to use the prostitution proceeds to run for Congress. He never claimed he was a pimp.

“The evidence illustrates,” Brown said, “that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality. Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor.”

The original storm of publicity created by O’Keefe’s videotapes was instrumental in ACORN’s subsequent denunciation in Congress, a sudden tourniquet on its funding, and the organization’s eventual collapse.

In New Orleans, O’Keefe faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of $5,000 on reduced federal charges related to misrepresentation in gaining access to the Louisiana office telephones of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

Brown’s report found numerous faults with ACORN’s activities in California, including:

– Failure to “recruit, train and monitor its employees to ensure compliance” with state law.

– Likely violation of state civil laws designed to protect personal information when employees of the San Diego office disposed of 20,000 pages of records in a dumpster. These violations could result in private litigation if any of the victims were injured by disclosure.

– Four instances of “possible voter registration fraud in San Diego in connection with the 2008 election.”

– Failure to file a 2007 state tax return, an omission the Franchise Tax Board is pursuing.

– Sloppiness in its handling of charitable assets, although no misuse of those assets was found. The California Attorney General will monitor investigations into ACORN’s overall finances by the IRS and Louisiana Attorney General.

ACORN announced that it is closing its operations nationwide today. While a successor to ACORN in California called ACCE emphasizes that it is no longer part of ACORN, the Attorney General’s report notes that ACCE is “run by the same people, raising concerns about its ability to cure the defects in the organization.” The report notes that the Attorney General will closely scrutinize ACCE’s operations.

The full Attorney General’s report is attached. The unedited O’Keefe videotapes from California are available on the Attorney General’s website at http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/multimedia/index.php. Tapes from other states are available on request.”

A PDF of the AG’s full ACORN report is here and the attachments are here. In addition, links to audio and video regarding the California ACORN office are here. I haven’t looked at everything yet but some things that stand out:

  • That “new, unedited videotapes discovered through Brown’s investigation, as well as other evidence, shed clearer light on interactions between O’Keefe and the now-defunct ACORN.”

    What “new, unedited videotapes”?

  • Brown says tapes were “severely edited by O’Keefe” and also that “Evidence obtained by Brown tells a somewhat different story …”

    Really? I need to read the complete report because I’d like to know what this refers to.

  • Brown says O’Keefe “never claimed he was a pimp …”

    That sounds like a clever, parsing way to avoid saying O’Keefe posed as a pimp.

  • Brown found likely violations of state law, including:

    — “Likely violation of state civil laws designed to protect personal information when employees of the San Diego office disposed of 20,000 pages of records in a dumpster ***;

    — Four instances of “possible voter registration fraud in San Diego in connection with the 2008 election”;

    — Failure to file a 2007 state tax return, an omission the Franchise Tax Board is pursuing.”

  • Brown says ACORN is closing its offices nationwide but also notes that ACORN’s successor organization, ACCE, remains open and “the Attorney General will closely scrutinize ACCE’s operations.”

    I hope he means that.

  • Finally, I’d like to see someone request release of the tapes from other states (the press release indicates Brown has them and that they are available by request), especially the tape that was never fully released because of pending litigation.

    — DRJ

    3/23/2010

    Brad Friedman’s Lies Fail to Save ACORN

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:08 am



    For once, the liars aren’t winning. For months now, Brad Friedman has engaged in a fundamentally dishonest campaign to save ACORN, by claiming that an inconsequential detail about James O’Keefe’s costume somehow erased the fact that ACORN employees sought to aid what they believed was a child prostitution ring.

    Now, despite Friedman’s best (but still dishonest) efforts, ACORN is dead:

    The once mighty community activist group ACORN announced Monday it is folding amid falling revenues — six months after video footage emerged showing some of its workers giving tax tips to conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute.

    Meanwhile, the New York Times is issuing a correction on the trivial clothing matter, but is continuing to accurately insist that O’Keefe “posed” as a pimp at ACORN:

    In the encounters, the activists posed as a prostitute and a pimp and discussed prostitution with the workers.

    Which, by golly, is the absolute truth, as I have demonstrated here time and time again.

    In Friedman’s post about the correction, he rends his garments in despair and continues to do the only thing he knows, which is to aggressively push a wholly fictional account of the entire ACORN episode:

    …the “paper of record” has issued a correction for tomorrow’s papers, in which they repeat the falsehood that James O’Keefe “posed as a pimp” in ACORN offices. He didn’t. He posed as the fake prostitutes law school boyfriend trying to help save her from a pimp who had stalked and threatened to kill her, as a review of even O’Keefe’s own unauthenticated text-transcripts show.

    You lie!

    As I have shown here on multiple occasions, James O’Keefe repeatedly told ACORN workers that he wanted to set up a house where Giles and underage prostitutes (as young as 12 and 13 years old) would turn tricks and give the proceeds to O’Keefe for his Congressional campaign. Here, from my multiple posts on the issue, is a wholly representative passage that Brad Friedman simply wishes out of existence.

    O’Keefe: But, one of the things I was one of the things we also wanna do um one of my goals you asked you asked do you know how you wanna do this, I think one of the goals is not only can Eden protect some of these 13, 14, 15 year-old girls

    Theresa (ACORN) Yeah.

    O’Keefe: coming over from El Salvador. In addition to protecting them and getting their feet on the ground so that they can you know perform the tricks and you know learn the how LA prostitution scene is I was also wanting to um use some of the this is very lucrative and potentially we can use a lot of the money we’re getting from the underaged girls from El Salvador and use some of the money for [a] campaign one day

    Virtually the same thing happened at every ACORN office, as the unedited audio and transcripts clearly show.

    But he didn’t pose as a pimp, Brad Friedman?

    Your shameless lies didn’t work, Friedman. I can see why you thought they would have. Progressive lies so often do.

    But not this time. Not this time. ACORN is dead, and all the lies in the world won’t save it.

    Good riddance to ACORN — and good riddance to your relevance, Friedman.

    3/20/2010

    ACORN on the Verge of Bankruptcy

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:48 pm



    It’s a tiny flicker of good news among the crushing weight of impending doom.

    I’m delinquent in posting about this news, which comes via the New York Times:

    The community organizing group Acorn, battered politically from the right and suffering from mismanagement along with a severe loss of government and other funds, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, officials of the group said Friday.

    I have been severely behind on my series of posts refuting the lies of Brad Friedman & Co., and you can blame a crushing workload for that. I’d try finishing them this weekend, but I’m still weighed down with work, and anyway it would all be overshadowed by this looming disaster where the government is going to take over 1/6 of the economy. I’m having a hard time concentrating on a pissant like Brad Friedman.

    Anyway, the point is, all his lies don’t seem to be doing much for ACORN. So maybe my input isn’t needed anyway.

    3/12/2010

    Federal Decision on ACORN Funding: Does ACORN Have a Right to Your Tax Dollars??

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 am



    News broke a couple of days ago that a federal judge had ruled that Congress violated the Constitution when it passed a bill cutting off ACORN’s funding. Specifically, the judge ruled in her opinion that the Congressional act had violated the Bill of Attainder Clause.

    I don’t find the decision convincing. It seems to me that the opinion essentially establishes some sort of ongoing right to federal funding. This isn’t like a case where the Government actually punishes someone — such as the hypothetical Eugene Volokh Execution Act of 2009 mentioned in this 2009 Eugene Volokh post on the subject. Congress is simply saying: we choose not to fund a particular organization. Such decisions, it seems to me, are for Congress to make, and not some federal judge.

    When I received financial aid in college, I had to sign an affirmation that I had registered for the Selective Service. If I didn’t sign the affirmation, I didn’t get the aid. Congress was not required to prove that I had failed to register. Congress simply refused to give funds to a particular class of people. Nobody had any right to those funds, it seems to me, so Congress could set such parameters if it wished.

    Does Judge Gershon believe that Congress must wait until ACORN is convicted of criminal violations in a court of law before Congress can choose not to give my tax dollars to ACORN — or that Congress has to set up some kind of quasi-judicial review of misconduct allegations before it can defund an organization? Does Judge Gershon believe that Congress can set no parameters on how our tax dollars are spent, and must leave all discretion on that issue to federal bureaucrats?

    Neither proposition makes sense to me. This can’t be what the Bill of Attainder Cause is designed to prevent.

    For my lefty friends who are cheering this decision: would you also cheer on a decision striking down a hypothetical Defund Blackwater Act of 2010? Or would the Constitution mean something different in that context?

    I hope this case is appealed, because I think it would be interesting to see how the federal appellate courts (in particular the Supreme Court) would handle it. Since Prof. Volokh has discussed this in the past, I have asked him to weigh in.

    3/11/2010

    Judge Dismisses ACORN Lawsuit Against Investigative Journalists

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:37 pm



    Ben Sheffner has the news. The suit was dismissed for failure to serve the defendants:

    It was with great fanfare that ACORN, along with two recently-fired employees of its Baltimore office, sued last September over the surreptitious taping of the employees advising O’Keefe and Giles on running a prostitution business out of a house. ACORN’s general counsel, Arthur Schwartz, told the Washington Post at the time that the defendants, young filmmakers O’Keefe and Giles, plus Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart.com LLC, which disseminated the videos, had committed “clear violations of Maryland law” against audio recording without consent from all parties. But ACORN appears to have lost interest in the case since filing it, confirming my suspicion that it was little more than a press release on pleading paper.

    It’s not as if Breitbart, Giles, or O’Keefe are hard to find. ACORN didn’t serve them because ACORN didn’t want to. As Ben explains at the link, the lawsuit was a loser legally. But it was great P.R. And that was always the only reason for this abusive lawsuit brought in bad faith.

    Next Page »

    Powered by WordPress.

    Page loaded in: 0.2445 secs.