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ObamACORN payback: It’s still in there

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 29, 2009 09:39 AM


Photoshop credit: Leo Alberti

On Monday, I noted GOP House Speaker John Boehner’s warning about the ObamACORN funding provisions in the House version of the Generational Theft Act of 2009.

As expected, the slush fund/payback program for the left-wing fraudsters is still in there. Here’s the direct link to the section in H.R. 1. And here’s the relevant section:

For an additional amount for `Community Development Fund’ $1,000,000,000, to carry out the community development block grant program under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.): Provided, That the amount appropriated in this paragraph shall be distributed according to the same funding formula used in fiscal year 2008: Provided further, That in allocating the funds appropriated in this paragraph, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall not require an additional action plan from grantees: Provided further, That in selecting projects to be funded, recipients shall give priority to projects that can award contracts based on bids within 120 days from the date the funds are made available to the recipients; Provided further, That in administering funds provided in this paragraph, the Secretary may waive any provision of any statute or regulation that the Secretary administers in connection with the obligation by the Secretary or the use by the recipient of these funds (except for requirements related to fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and the environment), upon a finding that such waiver is required to facilitate the timely use of such funds and would not be inconsistent with the overall purpose of the statute.

For a further additional amount for `Community Development Fund’, $4,190,000,000, to be used for neighborhood stabilization activities related to emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes as authorized under division B, title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-289), of which–

(1) not less than $3,440,000,000 shall be allocated by a competition for which eligible entities shall be States, units of general local government, and nonprofit entities or consortia of nonprofit entities: Provided, That the award criteria for such competition shall include grantee capacity, leveraging potential, targeted impact of foreclosure prevention, and any additional factors determined by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Provided further, that the Secretary may establish a minimum grant size: Provided further, That amounts made available under this Section may be used to (A) establish financing mechanisms for purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed-upon homes and residential properties, including such mechanisms as soft-seconds, loan loss reserves, and shared-equity loans for low- and moderate-income homebuyers; (B) purchase and rehabilitate homes and residential properties that have been abandoned or foreclosed upon, in order to sell or rent such homes and properties; (C) establish and operate land banks for homes that have been foreclosed upon; (D) demolish foreclosed properties that have become blighted structures; and (E) redevelop demolished or vacant foreclosed properties in order to sell or rent such properties; and
(2) up to $750,000,000 shall be awarded by competition to nonprofit entities or consortia of nonprofit entities to provide community stabilization assistance by (A) accelerating state and local government and nonprofit productivity; (B) increasing the scale and efficiency of property transfers of foreclosed and vacant residential properties from financial institutions and government entities to qualified local housing providers in order to return the properties to productive affordable housing use; (C) building industry and property management capacity; and (D) partnering with private sector real estate developers and contractors and leveraging private sector capital: Provided further, That such community stabilization assistance shall be provided primarily in States and areas with high rates of defaults and foreclosures to support the acquisition, rehabilitation and property management of single-family and multi-family homes and to work in partnership with the private sector real estate industry and to leverage available private and public funds for those purposes: Provided further, That for purposes of this paragraph qualified local housing providers shall be nonprofit organizations with demonstrated capabilities in real estate development or acquisition and rehabilitation or property management of single- or multi-family homes, or local or state governments or instrumentalities of such governments: Provided further, That qualified local housing providers shall be expected to utilize and leverage additional local nonprofit, governmental, for-profit and private resources:

Matthew Vadum points out a few other goodies targeted to liberal non-profits that bring the total potential ObamACORN payoff to $5.2 billion:

Title XII of the spending legislation backed by the Democratic congressional leadership and the Obama administration would dole out $1 billion in old-fashioned slush funds for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program. Local politicians love CDBG because it is flexible. The program gives them wide latitude when spending grant money and allows local leaders to use federal dollars on local projects that they wouldn’t dream of spending their own local tax dollars on. ACORN loves CDBG because it is adept at lobbying for CDBG funds.

A separate $10 million is provided in the stimulus package to develop or rehabilitate low-income housing under the Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP)…

Although ACORN operatives usually get their hands on such funds only after they have first passed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or state and local governments, the new spending bill largely eliminates these dawdling middle men, making it easier to get Uncle Sam’s largess directly into the hands of the same people who run ACORN’s various vote fraud and extortion rackets. And the legislative package provides these funds without the usual prohibition on using government money for lobbying or political activities.

The current version of the stimulus package would allow nonprofit groups to compete with states and localities for $3.44 billion from the $4.19 billion Neighborhood Stabilization Program allocation. The remaining $750 million from the program plus the $10 million in SHOP funds would be set aside exclusively for nonprofit groups.

Probably chief among the groups to benefit from stimulus spending will be ACORN, the infamous network of 100-plus left-wing activist groups.

The “neighborhood stabilization” section is on p.89 of the Senate version of the bill here. Current allocation: $2.25 billion.

Where will Senate Republicans stand on taxpayer subsidies to President Obama’s favorite left-wing militant activist/subprime shakedown group?

Recall that John McCain, who appeared at a pro-shamnesty ACORN rally in 2006, defended Obama’s community service record and had to be goaded, prodded, begged, and dragged into spotlighting the radical group’s fraudulent activities during the campaign.

Will Sens. McCain and Mitch McConnell “reach across the aisle” and join Obama and the Senate Democrats to reach into our pockets and fork over these billions to these left-wing rackeeters?

Get an answer.

Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121.

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