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BK Blog Post
Posted by Wade Rathke.
Wade Rathke is the founder of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) – a nationwide activist network engaged in community organizing.
New Orleans The House directory may say that Bob Goodlatte is the elected Representative from Virginia and now, thanks to the drift of time and the Republican seizure of control of the Congress, he is also Chair of the Judiciary Committee. Regardless of what the directory says though, Goodlatte is quickly proving he may have been elected by Virginians, but he’s is really the representative of the Fox News, Tea People, and rightwing wacko caucus in his branch of Congress.
In a faceoff with the Obama Administration, Goodlatte is having a bullyboy tantrum because he and his peeps want to see the records on how the $36.6 billion in bailout money given to JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and other banks was really spent. He says he is concerned that the department “may be systematically subverting Congress’s budget authority by using settlements to funnel money to activist groups.” The Justice Department is telling Goodlatte that they are still reviewing his request.
My, oh, my, what could he be talking about? Has any other group other than ACORN and its affiliates and even associates been banned by budget amendments to one Congressional appropriation after another over the last five years? I spoke too soon in 2014 when it seemed that clearer and calmer heads were finally laying off the coup de grace and kicking ACORN’s dead horse. Now that the Republicans have control of both houses of Congress once again they have added the “ban ACORN funding” amendments to budget bills.
The Fox News screamers and blogging crews have long pushed the fabrication that money was going to ACORN and its allies from the bailout to which, whenever I’ve been asked, I’ve answered plainly, “I wish!” That is particularly true when they’ve claimed that we’ve gotten billions from the bailout. Yeeha!
The excitement comes from a provision in the settlements that banks could allocation funds to groups involved in foreclosure relief, abatement, and housing loan counseling that had been approved by HUD. Certainly it is true that ACORN Housing had been one of the top HUD certified housing counseling agencies before the conservative attacks on ACORN, and it is equally true that as rebranded from ACORN Housing Corporation to Affordable Housing Centers, HUD had certified them as OK and not banned under the initial anti-ACORN family resolutions. Sadly, AHC could still not survive the storm even hiding behind pillar and post, and threw in the towel years ago, giving the haters another pelt on their wall. Still it continues as craven, unprincipled politicians unable or unwilling to legislate successfully in the interest of their constituents simply throw more red meat to the lions as they try to manage their modern circus.
Who might these HUD certified groups be? Well, they are legion which may be what is baffling Goodlatte. HUD and Secretary Julian Castro make it easy. Just click, and if you know your state you can find all of the HUD certified counseling agencies in your area. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau also lets you find one by zipcode.
Is any of this new for large settlements anyway? Of course not! Any lawyer could tell Goodlatte and the Foxes that cy pres provisions are common in all class actions where left over money is given to groups dedicated to the relief of such injustices when individuals cannot be located to receive the resources.
Wait! What dope am I smoking? I’m trying to respond to crazy politics with rational truth, and that never works. So, hey, box office box 3924, zip code 70177, sent the billions care of me, and I’ll deal with the Goodlatte demagogues and Fox News haters all day and night. No problem!