New York City freezes ACORN funds, Cuomo launches probe

posted at 9:30 am on September 16, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The media may be trying as hard as possible to ignore the series of undercover videos taken at ACORN offices around the nation, but politicians don’t have that luxury.  Even in New York, both state and city officials have reacted to voter outrage over the actions of ACORN staffers offering advice on hiding tax evasion and child prostitution, especially since these offices run in part on taxpayer money.  The New York Post reports that the city council in NYC have suspended payments to ACORN pending further investigation, and that Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo has launched an investigation (via JWF):

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo yesterday launched an investigation into pork-barrel grants given to ACORN by state lawmakers, as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn froze all city funding earmarked for the scandal-scared community-activism organization.

The actions by the Democratic officials followed release of a shocking undercover video that showed employees at a Brooklyn ACORN office giving illicit financial advice to activists posing as a pimp and prostitute who wanted to start a brothel. …

On Monday, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to block federal funding to the community group, while Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes opened an investigation into the local office in response to a report in The Post.

A spokesman for Cuomo said the attorney general would seek to make sure pork-barrel grants directed to ACORN by state lawmakers were spent on tax-preparation and loan-counseling services, as intended.

Cuomo wants to replace David Paterson as the Democratic candidate for governor, which makes this a rather interesting scenario.  Democrats used ACORN for their GOTV efforts in 2008 and before, and presumably Cuomo would like to have that kind of effort for his primary campaign, but it doesn’t look like he’d need it to beat Paterson.  He’ll need ACORN to win a general election against Rudy Giuliani, if the former mayor decides to run, though.  How tough will Cuomo get if Rudy tosses his hat into the ring?

That support might mean even more for the City Council, which can’t run on name recognition.  That’s the level where “community organizers” have the most impact.  Freezing ACORN’s funds seems like a risky move for Quinn, but a gutsy one, especially since the media has hardly blanketed the city with coverage of the scandal.  The New York Times finally got around to reporting it today, focusing mainly on the partisanship rather than the scandalous behavior uncovered in the videos.

Will other states like Maryland and California follow suit?  Will they do what Congress should be doing with federal funds for ACORN?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Follow the money. It goes to ACORN it feeds corruption.

seven on September 16, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Time to invest in latex glove manufacturers, we are going to have a lot of probing going on.

WashJeff on September 16, 2009 at 9:34 AM

dems investigating? SHARKS to follow,film at 6 n 10. Beck,Brietbart and da Pimp n Hooker has done lit da fuse.Gonna be a fun week and jimmah say dis be racists,he should know.

Col.John Wm. Reed on September 16, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Our videographer “pimp” and “prostitute” are the moral equivalent of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn — terrorists intent on setting off bombs against the moral equivalent of the Left’s Pentagon (that would be ACORN in case you’re having trouble getting my drift).

FlameWarrior on September 16, 2009 at 9:37 AM

This probe sounds like a sham to me.

faraway on September 16, 2009 at 9:37 AM

WashJeff on September 16, 2009 at 9:34 AM

lol so true! Anyone hear from Holder yet?

becki51758 on September 16, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Democrats used ACORN for their GOTV efforts in 2008 and before, and presumably Cuomo would like to have that kind of effort for his primary campaign, but it doesn’t look like he’d need it to beat Paterson. He’ll need ACORN to win a general election against Rudy Giuliani, if the former mayor decides to run, though. How tough will Cuomo get if Rudy tosses his hat into the ring?

Cuomo will launch an investigation, and publicise it widely during the primary, and quietly kill it shortly thereafter, in time to utilize ACORN for the general.

Vashta.Nerada on September 16, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Does this make Cuomo a racist??

diditagain on September 16, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Cuomo is looking down his garlic nose at them.

mankai on September 16, 2009 at 9:39 AM

ACORN? There’s a news story about ACORN? Must be one of those internet rumors.

/sarc (I really hate having to add that tag)

warden on September 16, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Of course the Times is more concerned with partisanship. Everybody – on both sides of the aisle – already knew the kind of shady illegitimate crap that ACORN does. The partisan “sting” aspect is the only new story as far as they’re concerned.

johnmackeygreene on September 16, 2009 at 9:41 AM

This probe sounds like a sham to me.

faraway on September 16, 2009 at 9:37 AM

I thought the same thing. Throw up smoke so as to get real investigations off of them.
Corruption is deep.

bridgetown on September 16, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Just as with the voter registration frauds, a few low level flunkies, heck, it might go up to mid level flunkies, will be thrown to the wolves. They’ll be fired, one or two “prosecuted” (with a first time prosecutor vs. long time defense attorney) and any conviction will result in a fine & suspended jail time. Then there will be a fundraiser to help the convict pay the fine.

There will be an announcement that ACORN has been reformed with stricter rules in place. Then ACORN will continue to keep blacks on the plantation and angry at “the man” and voting Democrat (multiple times). All on the taxpayer dime.

rbj on September 16, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Follow the money. It goes to ACORN it feeds corruption.

seven on September 16, 2009 at 9:33 AM

And if it goes to SEIU or any of the other 260 related organizations, it will get to ACORN, too. They ALL have to be cut off.

Daggett on September 16, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Cuomo is looking down his garlic nose at them.

mankai on September 16, 2009 at 9:39 AM

lol garlic nose

lol~!

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:44 AM

A small victory. This adds to the pressure. Will be surprised if something comes of it though.

promachus on September 16, 2009 at 9:44 AM

With our deficit as high as it is, it is criminal that taxpayer dollars are going to ACORN, an organization whose sole purpose is to drag even more taxpayer dollars out of the government.

Our politicians are all corrupt and incompetent. Throw them all out.

NoDonkey on September 16, 2009 at 9:45 AM

/sarc (I really hate having to add that tag)

warden on September 16, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Don’t add it. Doing so is the soft bigotry of low expectations!

Elizabetty on September 16, 2009 at 9:45 AM

This is going to be the litmus test for other states. Especially the ones who are facing a budget deficit like California. They are going to have to explain to their residents why they should pay more taxes and have their city offices shut down 1 or 2 days a week to save money on one hand and then turn around and justify why they are still funding this criminal organization.
Could get interesting. Eventually the fed govt will need to follow suit. (doubtful)

milwife88 on September 16, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Time to invest in latex glove manufacturers, we are going to have a lot of probing going on.

WashJeff on September 16, 2009 at 9:34 AM

The heck with the gloves. I say, “All the way up with a red hot poker.”

BuckeyeSam on September 16, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Serious investigation/ prosecution of ACORN by Cuomo?

Doubtful. We’re talking Nuevo York here.

Where a former Governor got more of a spanking from his hookers than he did from law enforcement after getting caught.

TXUS on September 16, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Maybe Rudy will become Guv’nah and rid this state of A’Cone

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Where a former Governor got more of a spanking from his hookers than he did from law enforcement after getting caught.

TXUS on September 16, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Priceless!

sherry on September 16, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Can’t wait for Patterson to double-down.

SouthernGent on September 16, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Can’t wait for Patterson to double-down.

SouthernGent on September 16, 2009 at 9:49 AM

How do you write that in braille?

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:50 AM

Maybe Rudy will become Guv’nah and rid this state of A’Cone

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:47 AM

It would take a true warrior to get it done. I’m beginning to think Acorn would scare the pants off of John Gotti.

sherry on September 16, 2009 at 9:51 AM

sherry on September 16, 2009 at 9:51 AM

ACORN acts tough.

The thing about street hustlers is this:

IF you project strength, they don’t mess with you.

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:52 AM

How do you write that in braille?

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:50 AM

. .. .
. .. .

SouthernGent on September 16, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Freezing ACORN’s funds seems like a risky move for Quinn, but a gutsy one…

I’ve heard Quinn called a lot of things, but this is the first time I’ve heard “gutsy”.

YAWN from one slush fund to another, that’s all it means.

LibertyBoyNYC on September 16, 2009 at 9:54 AM

How tough on Acorn will Cuomo get if Rudy decides to run? Well, now that he’s started the ball rolling he better keep it up, or anyone else running can use a lack of progress against him. For a dem he appears to be between Barack and a hard place.

Kissmygrits on September 16, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Time to invest in latex glove manufacturers, we are going to have a lot of probing going on.
WashJeff on September 16, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Most of those gloves are made in China and Malaysia. Don’t want to invest there. Let’s reopen Chico’s Bail Bonds instead. That’s where the money’s gonna flow. :-)

joejm65 on September 16, 2009 at 9:54 AM

“any of the other 260 related organizations”

Can we get a list( 260) so we can make sure we put the heat on sponsors?

Col.John Wm. Reed on September 16, 2009 at 9:55 AM

What’s with the suddenly insensitive commenting on this? More lefty trolls trying to paint the right as “extreme”?

All legit commenters, be warned!!

LibertyBoyNYC on September 16, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Cuomo needs time to send his staff out to paint and hardware stores to buy up all the whitewash they will need to cover ACORN’s criminality.

SKYFOX on September 16, 2009 at 9:56 AM

The probe is actually to determine whether the ACORN workers were unjustly fired.

Bishop on September 16, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Bunch of nuts over in those ACORN offices

…heh heh heh

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:57 AM

IF you project strength, they don’t mess with you.

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:52 AM

True, but now they have the ultimate godfather – Obama. When they are protected like that, their power goes to a whole new level. Whether or not these investigations or videos go anywhere, it’s nice to know that someone is willing to poke the bear for all to see.

sherry on September 16, 2009 at 9:57 AM

sherry on September 16, 2009 at 9:57 AM

He’s as rigid as a white flag flapping in the wind.

The truth be comin’ out, one video at a time. It’s up to us to just keep the pressure on. Democrats don’t handle pressure well.

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 9:59 AM

I suppose I don’t subscribe to the view that Obarfio is a tough nut to crack, if you will.

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 10:00 AM

I wonder if the tax money saved from no longer funding ACORN will be turned into “money to pay for healthcare”. Hmmm….

truetexan on September 16, 2009 at 10:01 AM

The media appears to have focused on ACORN’s story that the woman in San Bernardino spotted James and Hannah as frauds and was play-acting.

A clever response (it is, after all, a criminal organization), but my money’s on “Tresa” being a loon.

It’s difficult for poor ACORN to get quality workers, since, even though they’re joined at the hip with SEIU, they won’t let their own workers unionize. ACORN even went to court to prevent having to pay them minimum wage — the same minimum wage they thuggishly extorted from taxpayers campaigned for.

Nichevo on September 16, 2009 at 10:01 AM

He is easily flustered. Like that girl who no one ever pays attention to. When you pick up what she dropped, she gets all red in the face.

Obarky is rather analogous in his flimsiness

blatantblue on September 16, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Don’t worry, unlike McCain Rudy will expose any connection between ACORN and Cuomo, especially if Cuomo lacks energy to investigate that criminal enterprise.

cubachi on September 16, 2009 at 10:02 AM

There will be an investigation… there will be no arrests… they’ll just tell ACORN to clean up their act… to train their employees better…

ninjapirate on September 16, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Quote from Patterson: “I have not seen any evidence of corruption.”

he he

ted c on September 16, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Prediction: Cuomo conveniently finds ACORN to be as pure as the driven snow.

TheBigOldDog on September 16, 2009 at 10:06 AM

So, a democrat is trying to get out in front on this. Cuomo is at least playing a little smarter than Maryland which wants to prosecute the whistle blowers.

t.ferg on September 16, 2009 at 10:11 AM

An interview with James said that he and Hannah spent a total of $1,300. WOW. Talk about bangin for the buck!

Has anyone heard anything else from the Balimore AG’s office since it broke that ACORN lost their State charter. Did they pay 2008 taxes?

barnone on September 16, 2009 at 10:12 AM

There will be an investigation… there will be no arrests… they’ll just tell ACORN to clean up their act… to train their employees better…

ninjapirate on September 16, 2009 at 10:03 AM

The value of beating this over the head of incumbants is invaluable. So many campaign disclosure forms show Get Out The Vote (GOTV) payments to ACORN. Showing how those campaigns paid to “enable” child prostitution is going to be fun. “Does my honorable opponent pledge to refuse to fund child prostitution in his campaign, this time?”

barnone on September 16, 2009 at 10:17 AM

An interview with James said that he and Hannah spent a total of $1,300. WOW. Talk about bangin for the buck!

Has anyone heard anything else from the Balimore AG’s office since it broke that ACORN lost their State charter. Did they pay 2008 taxes?

barnone on September 16, 2009 at 10:12 AM

That’s just it. These two did it for $1300.00

The govt. investigation will cost millions, be tied up in the courts, environmental impact studies, zoning variances, kick backs to attorneys, certification by the AFL-CIO, Con Ed, PETA, and other various groups.

Jeff from WI on September 16, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Cuomo wants to replace David Paterson as the Democratic candidate for governor, which makes this a rather interesting scenario. Democrats used ACORN for their GOTV efforts in 2008 and before,

HILARY!!!!!!!

Topsecretk9 on September 16, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Cuomo wants to replace David Paterson as the Democratic candidate for governor, which makes this a rather interesting scenario. Democrats used ACORN for their GOTV efforts in 2008 and before, and presumably Cuomo would like to have that kind of effort for his primary campaign, but it doesn’t look like he’d need it to beat Paterson. He’ll need ACORN to win a general election against Rudy Giuliani, if the former mayor decides to run, though. How tough will Cuomo get if Rudy tosses his hat into the ring?

Don’t forget that in New York next year, both Senate seats are up for grabs, along with the governor’s position. And while Chuckie Schumer’s job is safe from any primary challenge, Kirsten Gillibrand isn’t, and she was one of the seven Democrats on Monday to vote against defunding ACORN. So depending on how far this scandal goes, being against ACORN could become a factor in the Democratic senate primary next year, and — by default, since they would be held on the same day — also in the NYS governor’s primary race.

So the strategerie by Cuomo may be to get ahead of the curve and run against Patterson and Gillibrand (i.e., the old-style Albany politics), since he appointed her to Hillary’s position. Good for his chances (great, if Rudy doesn’t run) while for Republicans it does open up the chance to get her Senate seat back by just noting Cuomo’s probe of ACORN and then wondering why Gillibrand backs them (unless the Dems can find a primary challenger also willing to attack ACORN who could still pull numbers downstate without being tarred as being in Glen Beck and the Republicans’ pockets. Good luck with that).

jon1979 on September 16, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Someone I know suggests that the next target should be the Head Start program in NYC. I wonder why would they think that?

Joan of Argghh on September 16, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Cuomo breaking free of the ACORN chains?

That would make politics rather refreshing, regardless of your leanings.

misslizzi on September 16, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Some others already said it. Color me unimpressed with saying anything. We’ll know they’re really turning off the spigot when ACORN begins appearing in the MSM outlets that up to now, have ignored the story.

When ACORN shows up regularly in the NYT and on the Networks, including MSNBC, we’ll know real pressure is being brought to bear.

All of this is a mute point since it’s all racist anyway, right?

catmman on September 16, 2009 at 10:40 AM

IIRC, John Conyers “investigated” ACORN a few months ago. His conclusion was that there was nothing to see here and we should all just move along, and that before the actual investigation even started.

I expect Cuomo’s “investigation” will go in a similar fashion.

Gator Country on September 16, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Can somebody PLEASE tell me why we need to waste tax payer dollars to “counsel” people on obtaining mortgages? I have many friends who are mortgage brokers, they give this advice all of the time….for FREE!!!!!!! Why do we need ACORN to help low income taxpayers? They usually don’t make enough to pay taxes! I know, I know they need help to recieve the rebates for taxes they never paid.

I am so appalled at how our money is being wasted. We work so hard for it. HOW DARE THEY! Barry is now community organizing the country.

We already know that Coumo is posturing he knows the tide is against him so he has to act like he cares. I wish he would go away as well.

margretto on September 16, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Crooked pro-union NYC Cops to investigate ACORN corruption??!!

ROFLMAO

Jeff from WI on September 16, 2009 at 10:49 AM

The Two Senators from Illinois voted NOT to cut off funds to ACORN…hmmmm Illinois one is filling the old Senate seat left by our President….hmmm. They don’t see where they may have a public relations perception problem?

Dr Evil on September 16, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Glenn Beck said he need 56 Senators and Representatives to step up for the Republic. Has anyone taken him up on his call – to fulfill their duty?

Dr Evil on September 16, 2009 at 10:52 AM

I hope Cuomo eats ACORNS lunch.

Dr Evil on September 16, 2009 at 10:53 AM

scandal-scared

That just about sums it up at this point, and we haven’t even seen the rest of the tapes or delved to the bottom of fraudulent voter registration drives.

When the Obama Administration won’t trust ACORN with the Census, why should any state or local government trust them?

unclesmrgol on September 16, 2009 at 10:56 AM

A spokesman for Cuomo said the attorney general would seek to make sure pork-barrel grants directed to ACORN by state lawmakers were spent on tax-preparation and loan-counseling services, as intended.

But burying the cash in a can in the back yard was was how ACORN does ‘tax preperation’

scrubjay on September 16, 2009 at 11:03 AM

What we need are conservatives to join and infilitrate ACORN in every community they exist and help uncover corruption and blow the whistle on them. Gather documents, use hidden video footage, audio recordings, etc.

Make it a nationwide effort.

roninacreage on September 16, 2009 at 11:06 AM

DEFUNDING THE LEFT should be the GOPs top priority in the Hose and Senate. Insert amendments into every piece of legislation they vote on to remove all funds at every level of every agency.

roninacreage on September 16, 2009 at 11:08 AM

This probe sounds like a sham to me.

faraway on September 16, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Cuomo is an opportunist scumbag

SmallGovtGuy on September 16, 2009 at 11:09 AM

. .. .
. .. .

SouthernGent on September 16, 2009 at 9:54 AM

SouthernGent brought his game today!

BobMbx on September 16, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Quote from Patterson: “I have not seen any evidence of corruption.”

ted c on September 16, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Did he really say that? Pretty clever denial on his part. ;)

jwolf on September 16, 2009 at 11:15 AM

As Clintons secretary of HUD, Cuomo was up to his eyeballs in ACORN. Cuomo left HUD fraught with more fraud and mismanagement than when he began. The pretense of an ACORN investigation is laughable.

anXdem on September 16, 2009 at 11:24 AM

No whitewash, Mr. Democrat.

We’ll be watching.

PattyJ on September 16, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Holder doesn’t have time for the ACORN mess. He is busy investigating the CIA and RACISM!!!!!!!!

mobydutch on September 16, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Will they shut down the “New York Agency for Community Affairs (NYACA)“, a front group for ACORN with a New Orleans address which receives donations from New York Democrat lawmakers like Sheldon Silver and Adam Clayton Powell, jr. and is set up to evade taxes?

No doubt tax cheat Geithner, who is in charge of the I.R.S., will be on this, pronto.

Buy Danish on September 16, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Anyone hear from Holder yet?

becki51758 on September 16, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Eric Holder is a man who is a coward when it comes ACORN relations.

MB4 on September 16, 2009 at 11:41 AM

In ACORN things Eric Holder has always been and I believe continues to be, in too many ways, essentially a cowards.

MB4 on September 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM

ACORN issues continue to be a topic of political discussion, but we, as average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about ACORN.

MB4 on September 16, 2009 at 11:46 AM

The New York Daily News actually has better coverage this time than the New York Post.

Buy Danish on September 16, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Barack Obama is a man who is a coward when it comes to ACORN relations. In ACORN things Barack Obama has always been and I believe continues to be, in too many ways, essentially a coward. ACORN issues continue to be a topic of political discussion, but we, as average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about ACORN.
- Eric Holder’s Doppelganger

MB4 on September 16, 2009 at 11:51 AM

O’Keefe and Giles are really smart about how this dribbles out. Could there be another shoe to drop………..in Chicago?

Herb on September 16, 2009 at 1:00 PM

How tough will Cuomo get if Rudy tosses his hat into the ring?

If Hillary tosses her name in the ring, Cuomo will be insignificant.

Schadenfreude on September 16, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Yeah, the fox is going to investigate the hen house.

Right.

Dave R. on September 16, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Considering Patterson just spoke out publicly on the need to decriminalize drug addiction and shower them instead with love and treatment (neither bad things in themselves, but much crime is drug-fueled), I can’t wait to hear what goodies he has to say about ACORN.

redfoxbluestate on September 16, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Rudy made his name (in Cuomo’s current job, if I recall right) using the RICO laws to help dismantle the NY mob. If Cuomo pulls his punches, Rudy will be there to point out the hypocrisy with ease.

Blacksmith on September 16, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Tonight’s 6 PM news broadcasts from New York City featured ACORN reports on NBC and ABC. Dunno if CBS did one — but the news blackout has clearly broken.

Paul_in_NJ on September 16, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Obama to Acorn: We’re Goin’ to be Callin’ on You to Help Shape the Agenda

http://foxyurl.com/uYa

jjrakman on September 16, 2009 at 8:31 PM