House Republicans Defund the Nonexistent ACORN, Yet Again

Unkillable?<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=acorn&search_group=#id=71992408&src=yfPFCf-IZEb4yrYOYsjuCw-1-5">Dionisvera</a>/Shutterstock

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In the Friday the 13th film series, psycho killer Jason Voorhees lumbers around destroying lives with his machete. He is seemingly indestructible, reanimating even though he dies at the end of almost every movie in which he appears. The sexy teens (the flawed protagonists of this horror-flick franchise) are thus charged with brutally killing Jason again and again, time after time, no matter what.

That’s how House Republicans view ACORN, the defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (a longtime boogeyman for the right). It’s Jason, and John Boehner is a sexy teen. For years, conservatives accused the defunct organization of a fictional large-scale voter fraud plot. In actuality, ACORN was a New Orleans-based nonprofit that advocated for low-income families on issues such as predatory lending and public education.

The Huffington Post reports:

The House GOP quietly blocked funding for ACORN last week, even though the anti-poverty organization has long since been both defunded and disbanded.

The legislative assault on ACORN, which shut down in 2010, was included in a Department of Defense appropriations bill that cleared the House on Thursday…Section 8097 of the bill reads, “None of the funds made available under this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries.”

[…]

[T]he House GOP votes to defund ACORN all the time. Nearly every bill that clears the House Appropriations Committee includes a section barring the use of funds for ACORN, although the specific language varies among different bills.

ACORN, which was dissolved in 2010, could not be reached for comment.

After the 2012 presidential election, Public Policy Polling found that 49 percent of Republicans believed that ACORN had stolen the election for Barack Obama, a drop from 52 percent who believed ACORN had stolen the 2008 election for Obama. “This is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore,” PPP determined. Nearly eight months after that poll was released, ACORN still does not exist.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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