OPINION: Stand Up For ACORN, Cut Blackwater And Halliburton

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The right wing is launching an attack on ACORN. Not because ACORN is a corrupt or a negative organization, but because ACORN stands for things that they oppose. ACORN involves itself in issues such as making housing affordable for working class people, living wages for poor and working class people, education, voter’s rights and gun control.
ACORN is an organization that represents the interests of poor and minority communities. These are interests that the Republicans have traditionally voted against.

The right wing made an enemy of ACORN during the election, because it registered minority voters in urban areas (voters who typically vote democrat) and has continued its smear campaign against the organization.

The filmmakers who made the YouTube videos “exposing” ACORN are James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. Giles’ father is conservative Christian commentator Doug Giles and she interned at the National Journalism Center, a training center for conservative journalists.

The L.A. Times reported that O’Keefe said he targeted ACORN for the same reasons that the political right does: its massive voter registration drives that turn out poor African Americans and Latinos to cast ballots against Republicans.

What O’Keefe and Giles did was clearly an attempt to slander ACORN. Their videos are heavily edited and only reflect the character of a few low level employees. Despite the fact that they said that every ACORN office they visited played along with them, the Philadelphia ACORN office filed a police report against them.

Another ACORN worker in California said she quickly saw through O’Keefe and Giles act and decided to play along with them, even making up a fake story about how she killed her husband.

Prosecutors in Maryland are even considering prosecuting O’Keefe and Giles for illegally taping ACORN employees.

In what world does a politically motivated, possibly illegal investigation that was edited to make an organization look bad force congress to stop funding an organization that helps the poorest people in the nation?

If the GOP wants to let a few low level employees’ statements taken out of context decide on public funding for organizations, they need to answer for their support of Halliburton and Blackwater.

Blackwater employees have killed numerous innocent civilians in Iraq. They have also been charged with child prostitution in Iraq for bringing in child prostitutes to the green zone. A former United States Marine reportedly filed allegations in a federal court in Virginia that Blackwater CEO, Erik Prince, murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals cooperating in a federal investigation of Blackwater. He also said that Prince “‘views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Blackwater encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.’”

Overall, Blackwater has received over $1 billion in government contracts, which accounts for 90% of their revenue.

Another favorite right wing company, Halliburton, has their own scandals from both low and high level employees. Jamie Leigh Jones, a contractor for Halliburton claimed she was gang-raped by Halliburton employees and then imprisoned in a shipping container after she reported the incident. After years of Halliburton trying to seep the incident under the rug, the case is finally going to trial.

Halliburton’s former chairman has been convicted of bribing Nigerian officials. Halliburton has also been accused of defrauding the U.S. government. Still, Halliburton has been given upwards of 9.6 billion dollars for work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While ACORN and Blackwater are multi billion dollar companies, who have received billions from the government, ACORN has a budget of 25 million dollars a year, of which, only 2.5 million comes from the government. While a few low level ACORN employees have made bad judgments in giving advice to a right wingers posing as a pimp and a prostitute (some in jest, some to keep a white pimp out of jail), Blackwater and Halliburton employees have killed innocent civilians and have been accused of child prostitution and defrauding their own government.

ACORN is a good organization that does good work for America’s poorest. It is guilty of having low level employees with bad judgment. None of its workers have been convicted, or even accused of a crime. They are victims of a right wing media onslaught being led by Fox News. If the government decides to cut funding of organizations due to the actions of low level employees, they must apply the same rules to the GOP’s favorite government funded organizations. Blackwater owes the government 55 million dollars, which is enough to fund ACORN for 25 years.

The right wing’s attack on ACORN has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with votes. If the right was concerned with funding “immoral” organizations, they would’ve have abandoned Blackwater and Halliburton years ago. Blackwater is still getting money from the government under the name Xe and Halliburton still is receiving money from government contracts. The government funding and the crimes of Halliburton and Blackwater by far eclipse those of ACORN. I propose we use the funding from Blackwater and Halliburton to fund ACORN and other agencies with similar agendas.

OPINION: Stand Up For ACORN, Cut Blackwater And HalliburtonHouse Votes To Deny ACORN Federal Funding
ACORN Defends Itself Against “Bogus” Video

VIDEO: ACORN Allegedly Gave Tax-Evasion Advice To Pimp and ProstituteACORN Sues Maker Of “Pimp” Video

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