A community organization established by Wade Rathke, founder of ACORN, will be participating in a “navigator” drive aiding people attempting to sign up for health-care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Fox News report. The organization, United Labor Unions Council Local 100, is based in New Orleans and was created by Rathke after ACORN went bankrupt amidst widespread scandal.
United Labor Unions Council Local 100’s website links to ACORN International, another offshoot of the now defunct ACORN, on their website.
Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, a non-partisan watchdog group, said, “At a time when our government has ceased functioning due to an appropriations gap, it is ironic that America’s tax dollars are being doled out to an entity whose poor stewardship of our funds was well-established by Congress.” Congress voted to defund ACORN in 2009 after secret videos revealed ACORN employees coaching people on how to conduct illegal activities.
While it remains unclear whether or not Local 100 has received any of the $67 million in Navigator grants appropriated to aid the rollout of Obamacare, Epstein reported that there is little oversight on who receives the funds and that the ban on funding ACORN-related groups, adopted after the 2009 scandal, was dropped from the Health and Human Services appropriations bill.
Representative Tim Murphy (R, Pa.), who chairs the oversight committee tasked with overseeing the Navigator grant program, said, “With the administration rushing to hand out billions of dollars for the health law to countless groups, the potential for fraud and abuse is exceptionally high.”
Though Local 100 is not officially related to ACORN, former ACORN administrators, including Wade Rathke and Bertha Lewis, have reconstituted the scandal-plagued community-organizing group in the form of a multiplicity of local organizations.