By Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10)
When ACORN was announced as a national partner with the Census Bureau, I had grave concerns that the accuracy and integrity of the 2010 census would be jeopardized.
One of ACORN’s responsibilities would have been to recruit census workers. Given ACORN’s propensity for falsifying government documents, it seemed illogical that their employees would now be handling census forms. The Census Bureau was, in effect, inviting fraud in the 2010 census.
As the Ranking Republican on the Census Oversight Subcommittee, I privately encouraged the Bureau to reconsider. Subsequently, the Bureau and I engaged in a confrontational public dispute over their relationship with ACORN.
The Bureau would eventually listen to reason and agreed that ACORN could not be trusted to recruit census workers, but they continued to defend their partnership with this criminal enterprise. When the despicable conduct of ACORN was caught on tape and broadcast on BigGoverment.com, the Bureau officially got out of the business of apologizing for ACORN.
New Census Bureau Director Robert Groves deserves our respect for doing the right thing. Immediately following his confirmation, Director Groves pledged to me that he would seriously review ACORN’s partnership status. It is clear to me that Director Groves had ACORN on a short leash.
Director Groves’ decision is particularly remarkable considering that he was appointed by a Democratic President with close ties to the group. ACORN has essentially become the political field staff of the Democratic Party. Without question, there are many people in the Obama Administration who are unhappy with Groves’ decision.
Being dropped by the Census Bureau is proving to be a tipping point for ACORN, which has received at least $53 million in taxpayer funding. In March, Senator David Vitter offered an amendment that would have prevented ACORN from receiving additional federal funding. That amendment failed 53-43. On Monday, a similar amendment passed 83-7.
Now, every federal agency and every elected official must seriously reconsider their relationship with ACORN.