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Update: Action delayed on Barney Frank effort to undo Bachmann amendment

UPDATE: Action on Rep. Barney Frank’s effort to undo Rep. Michele Bachmann’s amendment has been put off until Thursday.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a letter sent to Democrats Tuesday, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., sought support for an amendment he will be offering on the House floor today to alter language that Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., added to a home mortgage bill last week.

During markup of the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009, Bachmann successfully offered an amendment on voice vote that would prohibit funding in the bill from going to organizations or individuals that have been indicted for voter fraud.

“In the case of the current bill, we had very nearly finished the markup when we broke for votes on the floor.  When we returned, I was eager to get the markup completed, because I had promised the Majority Leader that we would have the bill ready before action this Thursday – as it now is,” Frank wrote to his colleagues in explanation. “In my haste, I agreed to two last Republican amendments, only one of which I should have accepted.  The other, which I read too hastily, was from Rep. Michele Bachmann.  It calls for the debarment from housing counseling funds for any organization which employs people who have been “indicted” for election fraud …”

“There is of course a major difference between people being indicted for such action and being convicted.  I apologize for the fact that I did not note that the amendment applied to organizations which had even one employee who had been indicted.”

Last week, Bachmann made it clear that she had intended her amendment to prohibit ACORN from receiving funds. At the time, the organization clarified to MinnPost and other news groups that it had never been indicted for voter fraud.

In an op-ed article, Bachmann indicated that she opposes Frank’s proposed changes, which, she said, “eviscerate the meaning of the amendment.”

In his letter to Democrats, however, Frank stressed that Bachmann’s use of the word “indictment” is “not only a violation of the fundamental principle of American justice that a person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, but also, in fact, an invitation for political mischief for opponents of some of these organizations.

“What Rep. Bachmann’s amendment does, in the form in which I unfortunately agreed to it, is to give any prosecutor anywhere in the country the power to knock an organization out of the funding stream, no matter how good and useful it is, simply by indicting any one of its employees.  No showing of any likelihood of conviction is required. In fact, an indictment which is allowed to languish and not brought to trial would have the effect of denying funds to organizations which the local officials support,” Frank wrote.

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Rich Little on 05/06/2009 - 10:44 am.

    Congresswoman Bachmann’s district has this highest rates of foreclosure in the state. Why is she wasting time on these ploys to endear her to the Fox News Channel-watching crowd? Is it comforting to her constituents losing their homes to foreclosure that she’s off battling Big Bad ACORN?

  2. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 05/06/2009 - 04:18 pm.

    But Rich, haven’t you heard? ACORN runs American elections and steals them all. No conservative just loses. ACORN plots in collaboration with the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, and the Elders of Zion.

  3. Submitted by Mike Haubrich on 05/06/2009 - 08:45 pm.

    Eric, you forgot that the involvement of BHO himself in the plot.

  4. Submitted by david granneman on 05/07/2009 - 10:09 am.

    hello all – breaking new about acorn

    State attorney general files charges against ACORN, 2 employees


    Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto discusses voter registration charges against the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now Inc. (ACORN,) while Secretary of State Ross Miller, left, and Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax look on during a news conference at Sawyer Building today.

    Law enforcement officials on Oct. 7 raid an office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now in Las Vegas.
    Photo by Craig L. Moran.

    ACORN, an activist group that turned in 90,000 completed voter registration forms in Clark County for last year’s election, violated state law by setting mandatory quotas for workers who canvassed neighborhoods looking for people to register to vote, according to the state attorney general’s office.

    Officials this morning released a complaint naming the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now Inc., as well as Christopher Howell Edwards, who was the group’s Las Vegas field director, and deputy regional director Amy Busefink.

    Canvassers were required to register at least 20 people a day, and could be fired if they didn’t, officials said. ACORN also instituted a bonus program called “blackjack” or “21 plus” in which a worker could earn an extra $5 per shift by registering 21 or more people.

    The problem with the quota system is it encouraged workers to turn in false registrations, said Secretary of State Ross Miller and Larry Lomax, Clark County’s registrar of voters.

  5. Submitted by david granneman on 05/07/2009 - 12:08 pm.

    hello all
    more good news regarding ACORN

    7 Pa. ACORN workers facing voter-form charges

    May 7 11:46 AM US/Eastern
    Associated Press Writer

    PITTSBURGH (AP) – Authorities in western Pennsylvania have accused seven people who worked for the community group ACORN of falsifying voter-registration forms.
    The seven have been charged with either forging, illegally soliciting or illegally filling out voter-registration cards in the lead-up to the 2008 election.

    Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. announced the charges at a news conference Thursday.

    ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has come under scrutiny for registration irregularities in other states.

  6. Submitted by david granneman on 05/07/2009 - 12:18 pm.

    hello all
    the people who say acorn never commited voter fraud. that is like saying al capone never committed any murders. acorn learned a lesson from al capone. you don’t need to kill anybody if you can hire someone to do it for you. acorn
    “subcontracts” people to commit voter fraud for them and when they are arrested claim they have no control over the subcontractors. last election at red lobster in coon rapids i was approached by acorn subcontractors – they asked me if i wanted to register to vote in this county. i said how do you know if i live in this county. they said it did not matter as they got paid by the number of names they collected.

  7. Submitted by John Roach on 05/07/2009 - 12:46 pm.

    Here is the **relevant** part of the, ahem, “breaking” story that Mr. Granneman has neglected to include in his cut’n’pastes:

    “…At Monday’s announcement, state and local officials strenuously emphasized that the false voter registrations didn’t translate to people being able to vote fraudulently.

    “This is a case of voter registration fraud,” said Secretary of State Ross Miller. “There is absolutely no evidence that there was any voter fraud in the last election.”

    Bachmann’s very silly–and off target–amendment specifies charges of “election fraud”. Since “voter registration fraud” is separate and distinct from “election fraud”, it seems that Bachmann’s wingnuttery has been effectively cancelled by her incompetence.

    The other natural consequence of her irresponsible and deceptive behavior is that she will have no more “last minute” amendments accepted by any committee chair. So, she performs an ineffective “grandstand” manuever and simultaneously ensures that she will be even further marginalized in the House. I’m sure her constituents are duly impressed.

  8. Submitted by david granneman on 05/07/2009 - 01:58 pm.

    hello all
    i guess to a liberal if you try with all your efforts to commit a crime and if because you are stopped by local officals from completing your crime – THAT MEANS YOU ARE INNOCENT OF THE CRIME
    that is staying to a bank robber that because you dropped the money on the way out the door – you are innocent of bank robbery.
    i guess it is ok because they only commited “voter registration fraud”. i guess you think it is ok to try and break the law if you dont succeed.

  9. Submitted by david granneman on 05/07/2009 - 02:26 pm.

    hello mr roach
    i have a question for you

    a person commits voter registration fraud because:

    a. they had noting better to do that day

    b. they taught it might be fun

    c. they intended to commit voter election

  10. Submitted by John Roach on 05/07/2009 - 05:38 pm.

    Hello Mr. Granneman,

    The answer is:

    d. A completed registration form for Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck pays the same as one for a real person, and it’s a lot easier to fill out–until ACORN audits the registrations, flags the fake ones for the authorities and fires you. But by then, you’ve spent the money so you don’t care; until some local prosecutor decides to come after you to make some headlines.

    Every story that covers this issue makes it clear that this is the correct answer. The authorities in the stories you youself posted make it very clear: “Voter registration” fraud has nothing to do with “election fraud”. It’s a pretty simple distinction that most reasonable people can easily make, but I fully understand if you don’t choose to do so.

    Ms. Bachmann and her amendment have now been sent back to the drawing board by a vote of the full House. Her ineffectiveness and embarrassment factor as a congressperson is growing every day. 2010 probably can’t come soon enough for many of her constituents.

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