Congressional Republicans have finally demanded an end to federal funding for ACORN after more than a dozen states have opened investigations into fraud in their voter-registration efforts.  House Minority Leader John Boehner has not only called to end that funding for ACORN but also for all federal candidates to stop contracting with ACORN while investigations continue into their business practices:

House Republican leader John A. Boehner of Ohio escalated the war on ACORN today, calling for it to be cut off from all federal money and going so far as to call for a ban on ACORN contracting with candidates for federal office.

ACORN, a community organizing group allied with Democrats, has been blamed by the GOP for pushing housing policies that Republicans say contributed to the housing crisis. It has been the subject of investigations for voter registration fraud and its Nevada offices were recently raided. …

ACORN receives federal money through the affordable housing trust fund after that money has been sent to states and local governments. So Congress, to keep the group from getting money, would need to specifically forbid ACORN from being eligible to get federal funds.

“Contracting for services between candidates for federal office and ACORN, as Sen. Obama has done, must end,” says Boehner. “Now that the taxpayers own Fannie Mae, any funding from Fannie Mae’s nonprofit foundation to ACORN must stop.”

The federal government should never have funded ACORN in the first place, especially when it and other organizations like it take partisan positions in elections.  The very fact that Senator Barack Obama hires ACORN and spends $800,000 on them in a month represents a conflict of interest in providing federal funds.  Essentially, those who earmark funds to ACORN have done nothing different from those who have their legislative aides do campaign work out of their offices — and everyone knows it.

Politico takes a strange position today on the supposed difference between voter fraud and voter registration fraud as some sort of mitigation on ACORN.  Supposedly, only the former is an “insult to the democratic process”, but voter registration fraud intends to set the conditions necessary for voter fraud and cannot be distinguished from it.  Registration on this massive scale intends to create placeholder registrations that allow people to cast multiple votes and pervert elections.

The pattern seems very clear.  Wherever ACORN works, they file hundreds and thousands of bogus registrations.  These aren’t isolated incidents, but strongly suggest a systemic effort to undermine democracy.  Not only should taxpayers not fund such an organization, but the Department of Justice should treat it the same way they treat organized-crime syndicates.