Bachmann letter to Obama: Investigate ACORN

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann says today that she sent this letter to President Obama on the ACORN flap:

Dear Mr. President,

Last week, both the House and Senate voted to cut off federal funding to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) after videos emerged showing ACORN workers advising a couple on how to avoid taxes and seek HUD grants to set up a prostitution ring as a legitimate business. The American people were rightly outraged by this behavior and these motions passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, succeeding in the Senate by an 83 – 7 vote and the House by a 345 – 75 vote.

This is hardly the first time, however, that ACORN has made the headlines and the people have called for ACORN to be cut off from federal funds. In fact, there was a rather public debate about ACORN’s federal funding in the House in May when Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank led an effort to strip my language from the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act (H.R. 1728) that would have kept ACORN from accessing federal funds under that legislation because of their continuing involvement in voter registration efforts that ended in criminal investigations, indictments, and consent decrees.

Given this context, it was disappointing to hear that this issue hasn’t made it to your radar screen. As you stated yesterday on ABC’s This Week, “It’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money… It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to.”

In point of fact, ACORN has received more than $53 million in direct federal funding since 1994, could be eligible for at least $8.5 billion more through the “stimulus” package and other government programs signed into law this year, and could be eligible for an additional $1.5 billion from a housing slush fund the House is considering. With all due respect, Mr. President, I know that you are exceedingly busy and have any number of issues competing for your time and attention, and I know that in the scheme of trillion-dollar-bills and record high deficits and debts even $10 billion may not seem like much; but every dollar the taxpayers send to Washington deserves our full care and attention. The issue of where we set the bar for accessing federal funds should be a gateway issue for us all, as we have a fiduciary duty to the American people. Taxpayer funding is a privilege that must be earned and it is our responsibility – the President’s and Congress’ – to ensure that only those who have satisfied the highest standards are eligible.

As I have written your Administration before, I again urge you to use your existing authority to stop the flow of federal tax dollars to ACORN immediately and ask that you direct the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee to open an investigation of ACORN and its affiliates. Established in 1986, this long-standing Committee, coordinated through the Office of Management and Budget in the White House, is responsible for examining whether individuals and organizations should be barred from accessing federal funding and is authorized to suspend those they determine have acted improperly. ACORN’s long list of investigations and indictments, and the fresh evidence of illegal conduct caught on video tape should provide you and the Committee ample reason to take this action.

The American people view ACORN’s pattern of criminal activities as a serious issue and you must hold this organization accountable for its actions. Thank you for your consideration of this request and I look forward to hearing from you.


Michele Bachmann

Member of Congress


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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Stephen Lehman on 09/21/2009 - 03:22 pm.

    Fine, go ahead and investigate ACORN if you’ve got nothing better to do, but do it AFTER you investigate Cheney, Rusmfeld, Addinton, and Yoo for torture, KBR (Halliburton) for fraud and theft by swindle, and Blackwater for murder. If there’s any time left, the government can look into whether or not there are more than a handful of idiots working–or formerly working–for ACORN. Let’s see: toruture, the U.S. defrauded of billions of defense dollars, and murder versus three ACORN offices out of 1,200 staffed by knuckleheads. I wonder how Rep. Bachmann will prioitize these matters?

    Has there ever been a bigger political ado about nothing than the right wing frothing over ACORN? As major political scandals go, this ranks right up there with Michelle Obama wearing sleeveless dresses.

  2. Submitted by Karl Bremer on 09/21/2009 - 04:06 pm.

    This is called “reporting”? More like stenography. Where’s the opportunity for ACORN to respond? Wouldn’t Bachmann’s own website be the appropriate place for this, and not a “news” story? Or does every member of congress get free space to reprint their press release at MinnPost now?

  3. Submitted by David Dempsey on 09/21/2009 - 04:21 pm.

    Enough of this demagogue. Please investigate her; there’s plenty of material.

  4. Submitted by Tim Ward on 09/21/2009 - 09:32 pm.

    This is reporting? How about some analysis and context?

  5. Submitted by Chris Edwards on 09/23/2009 - 12:55 am.

    Agreed, as with the rest of the free thinking world, that Bush/Cheney should be investigated for crimes against humanity as well as those committed against the American population for misleading millions into supporting their agenda! I have been raised to believe that two wrongs do not make a right.
    For far too long, the majority of American people/voters have been divided by “left” and “right” in their viewpoints. Take the blinders off and pay attention to where this country is headed and where our ancestors intended it to.

    Of course this is just my opinion and doesn’t mean jack if you don’t want it to.

    It’s too bad that politicians in general were not as vocal about war crimes and the real reasons that the Iraq war was started as they have been lately about health care or government sponsored groups. The fact that they were not as vocal about it, that the media did not shove it in our faces as much, should fuel your fire more than some BS intended to keep the American people divide down the line. Keeping us left or right. wake up please.

  6. Submitted by Natalia Halvin on 09/23/2009 - 11:08 am.

    This “letter” was obviously not written to the president, but for publication. It’s not a request, but a political diatribe.
    She repeatedly speaks for everyone. I’m curious, when did Michelle Bachmann become the voice for the American people? The tone of her letter is patronizing. Does she really think she needs to educate the president?
    I’ve watched the Acorn video, and while I agree that Acorn needs to clean house – I do not think that it is the most pressing item on the agenda (or even in the top 20). Why is it that Ms. Bachmann suddenly is concerned with every dollar the government spends, when she gleefully voted in favor of billions of dollars in cost plus, no competition contracts for Haliburton? Could it be that nobody at Acorn is contributing to her campaign, and Acorn doesn’t have friends (if you count Dick Cheney as a friend) that can positively influence her political career?

  7. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 09/24/2009 - 01:51 pm.

    What I find astonishing is who the right wing evangelicals direct their rage. It is quite telling about their lack of credibility and Christian spirit.

    In a big financial crisis, they go after an anti-poverty group.

    In the mortgage crisis they blame minority home owners.

    In the health care debate their target immigrants.

    The Republicans attack the poor, the minority, and the immigrant as the villains in our society. It is truly sickening.

    If Haliburton/KBR/ and Blackwater are ripping our government off in Billions of shoddy contract work, electrocuting soldiers, and killing civilians they don’t say a word.

    Worse than that, they distract us from real villains by pointing at the least among us, and the defenseless.

  8. Submitted by Steve Rose on 09/25/2009 - 12:56 pm.


    You ask “Does she really think she needs to educate the president(sic)?” The President, on national TV admitted, “It’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money… It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to.” He clearly needs to be informed by someone, wouldn’t you agree?

    Let’s stay on topic, and all agree that importing children for the purpose of prostitution is a bad thing. It is not something I want to occur nor fund.

    I heard that ACORN is suing the makers of the expose’ films for illegally recording them. It is also true that the Baltimore ACORN office fired two women featured on film providing advice. On what grounds? Certainly, ACORN is not using evidence against them, which was illegally obtained.

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