When I served in government, it was well known that ACORN was receiving massive amounts of funding for questionable purposes. In fact, many a new political official would learn about the level of funding ACORN received and ask what could be done about this blatantly political subsidy. The grizzled green-eyeshade budget staffers would always shake their heads sadly at the new guy and say something like, “You’d better take that up with the Hill. ACORN is untouchable up there.”
If nothing else, the election of ACORN ally Barack Obama as president shined some light on ACORN’s practices and enormous federal funding for those activities, and it was that disinfecting sunshine that paved the path for the House vote to defund ACORN. ACORN, it seems, is now untouchable, but in the opposite way. All but the absolutely safest Democrats have abandoned it. As the Wall Street Journal noted, even ACORN promoter Barney Frank was conveniently — and suddenly — absent for the House vote. At the end of four or eight years, I doubt that the Obama White House will include the defunding of ACORN among their proudest accomplishments, but conservatives will probably place this at the top of the list.