The Philadelphia Inquirer filed for bankruptcy earlier this year because you can download Democrat Party press releases for free at dnc.org. But party shill and journalist Karen Heller never got the memo. She's too busy reading the "conservative media" that dominates today's reporting.
In today's edition of the Inquirer, Heller defends ACORN from the "conservative 'media echo chamber' [that] successfully 'framed' ACORN coverage last year."
Who are these evil, awful ACORN people conservatives keep attacking? Grandmothers and great-grandmothers like Junette Marcano and Miriam McKnight, organizers of the West Oak Lane branch.
Do the ends justify the means, Karen?
Aside from its illegal, "non-profit" agenda of getting liberals elected, ACORN works ceaselessly to advance progressive efforts that ultimately harm the urban poor.
They lobby to increase the minimum wage, which destroys teen employment opportunities. They work against school choice, which would benefit the children of the urban poor. They erode the integrity of our electoral process through a pattern of corrupt activities, which are under investigation in 14 states and criminally charged in Nevada for voter fraud.
And, as an added bonus, ACORN played a substantial role in the mortgage meltdown by working to systematize "liar's loans" for the poor and indigent. These "no doc, no proof of citizenship, no proof of income" loans were the toxic chemicals swirling through the circulatory system of the financial world.
Acorn led the way in this movement. In 1986, for instance, it protested a potential acquisition by Louisiana Bancshares, a Southern institution, until the bank agreed to new, "flexible credit and underwriting standards" for minority borrowers which included counting public assistance and food stamps as income in mortgage applications.
Acorn also put pressure on the two quasi-government purchasers of mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to lower their standards, complaining that they were "strictly by-the-book interpreters" who stood in the way of new lending programs. Under pressure both organizations committed to backing billions of dollars in affordable housing loans under so-called "alternative qualifying" programs which approved loans to individuals who didn't qualify under traditional standards, including those who agreed to go to mortgage counseling classes run by community groups like Acorn...
...Under pressure from these threats, the trade group that represented mortgage bankers announced an agreement with HUD to sharply boost lending in low-income areas. These mortgage bankers... agreed to "voluntarily" help develop new mortgage products with laxer underwriting standards. The first member of the trade group to sign onto the new program was Countrywide Financial, which partnered with Fannie Mae to commit to $2.5 billion in lending in minority communities under new, lower standards.
Put simply ACORN was at the very heart of the financial crisis.
But Heller purposefully omits these points and instead highlights all of the good work that ACORN's done.
...critics seem infuriated by ACORN's voter-registration efforts in economically disadvantaged communities, among Latinos and people of color, folks who tend to vote Democratic. ACORN reports registering nearly 1.7 million voters in the 2004 and 2006 elections, and 1.3 million voters last year, 144,000 in Pennsylvania, more than half in Philadelphia.
Interestingly, Heller conveniently redacts the fact that ACORN produced at least 400,000 bogus voter registrations in 2008 alone.
When angry, embittered, increasingly disenfranchised people don't like what they see, they smear opponents by questioning their legitimacy, politics, methods, and goals. ACORN has been targeted by Berman & Co., a Washington outfit known for "Astroturf lobbying," launching fake grassroots efforts through Web sites, protests, and dubious front organizations funded by corporate clients.
Nice slur, Hackler, but I've never heard of "Berman & Co." and I suspect 99% of those investigating ACORN haven't either.
No, you partisan shill, taxpayers are rightfully angered that tens of millions of their dollars have been deposited into the bank accounts of a partisan criminal enterprise, the sole goal of which appears to be undermining the integrity of our elections.
So go collect your final paycheck, Heller, and then report to the DNC for your first day of work. They need someone to fax press releases to other dying newspapers in the Midwest.