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YID With LID

 

Ex-ACORN Worker Connects ACORN and OBAMA

Posted: 30 Oct 2008 08:41 AM CDT

You may have to sit down and prepare yourself for this one. I know you all believe Senator Obama when he says that his campaign had absolutely nothing to do with ACORN but there is news that he might not be telling the truth. In a Pennsylvania court yesterday a former ACORN employee testified that the group knew 60% of the voters who were registered were bogus and the group REGULARLY coordinated with the OBAMA Campaign:

Fired ACORN employee testifies By Mario F. CattabianiInquirer Staff Writer

HARRISBURG – A former employee of an affiliate of ACORN testified yesterday that the community group now in the national spotlight knew that most new voter registration forms it had gathered were fraudulent.“Forty percent was OK,” said Anita Moncrief, referring to the number of bona fide registrations that officials at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now believed was acceptable.

Moncrief was the star witness yesterday in a Commonwealth Court case brought by the state Republican Party and others who are asking a judge to step in and prevent voter fraud on Election Day.

For nearly two hours, Moncrief, 29, gave a scathing, though at times vague, assessment of ACORN and its efforts to go into battleground states and help mostly minorities and the poor register to vote for the first time.

The group, she said, barely trained its workers in how to register voters properly, and would fire employees if they did not meet a quota of 20 new voter applicants daily. And, if they were caught committing fraud, the group “threw them under the bus” as scapegoats to take all the legal blame, Moncrief said.

Moncrief said she worked as a development associate for Project Vote in Washington from 2005 until early this year, but that the group was so closely aligned with its sister organization, ACORN, that they were one and the same.

Moncrief was fired in January after using a Project Vote credit card to pay for personal items. On the stand, she acknowledged the incident and called it “a bad mistake.” She is unemployed after short stints in two jobs since she was fired.

Nationwide, ACORN has helped 1.3 million people register to vote this election cycle. That includes about 140,000 new registrants in Pennsylvania.

Many of them have been flagged by election officials across the state as illegitimate because they were already registered, gave wrong names, or provided incorrect addresses.

Plaintiffs are asking the court to, among other things, prohibit ACORN and its affiliates from further contacting those that the groups signed up in Pennsylvania as well as to force the groups to fund public-service announcements to inform new voters that they need to bring identification to the polling place.

The suit also asks the court to order ACORN and affiliates including Project Vote to release a list of all voters registered in the latest drive.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, after hearing seven hours of testimony yesterday, said he hopes to rule on the matter today..

On cross-examination by ACORN lawyer Katheryn Simpson, Moncrief, who lives in Virginia, acknowledged that she had never worked on the registration drive in Pennsylvania, but said she was privy to national briefings on the subject.

Two ACORN officials from Pennsylvania took the stand after Moncrief and insisted that the group has policies in place to train new employees and to spot and flag applications that appear to be fraudulent.

Carol Hemingway, president of ACORN’s Philadelphia chapter, yesterday called the suit a media stunt “to create voter-fraud hysteria and create a preemptive strategy to de-legitimize results of the upcoming election.”

In a national conference call with reporters, former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, cochair of Honest and Open Election Committee for McCain-Palin 2008, seized on Moncrief’s testimony as proof that ACORN’s massive voter drive was “a high-volume, low-quality operation.”

“We believe the quota system and the threat of firings induced the turning in or filing of phony names,” Danforth said.

Moncrief also testified that, in November 2007, she was given a massive database of Barack Obama donors who had already reached the maximum that they are allowed to give to the Democratic presidential nominee. Her task was to cull it for potential donors who, though prohibited from giving any more to Obama, could give to ACORN.

Moncrief said that she received the database from her supervisor and that the person insisted the Obama campaign had provided it.

Obama has said that ACORN has played no role in his presidential campaign.

Project Vote national spokesman Michael McDunnah denied that the list came from the Democratic nominee or his campaign, and tried to discredit Moncrief.

“This is a low-level administrative assistant who was fired for stealing,” he said.

Moncrief also testified about an effort she called “muscle for the money” in which ACORN would, for a price, organize protests against corporations on behalf of clients such as unions.

H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt and Sherwin Williams were among the companies targeted for protest in recent years, she said. Some of the corporations, she added, wound up donating money to the sponsoring groups to end the protests. She said some in the Project Vote office in Washington sarcastically referred to such payments as “protection” money.

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Democrats Sink to New Low in Ohio Legislative Race

Posted by Bobby Eberle
October 27, 2008 at 6:29 am

To say that we are in troubling times is a huge understatement. We have an organization like ACORN running around the country in a blatant attempt to steal an election. We have a Democrat presidential candidate garnering huge support by talking about “hope” and “change” while never being questioned about his socialist agenda. We have the media carrying his water. And, of course, we have the media, whose blatant bias for Barack Obama throws the integrity of the whole profession into question.

There is another problem which has been seen over and over again with the Democrats, and it has now shown up in a legislative race in Ohio. That problem is the double standard that the media and Democrats hold Republicans too. How dare anyone question Barack Obama’s associations. It doesn’t matter that one of his chief financial backers is a convicted felon, or that one of his political mentors is an
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There is another problem which has been seen over and over again with the Democrats, and it has now shown up in a legislative race in Ohio. That problem is the double standard that the media and Democrats hold Republicans too. How dare anyone question Barack Obama’s associations. It doesn’t matter that one of his chief financial backers is a convicted felon, or that one of his political mentors is an unapologetic terrorist, or that his long-time spiritual advisor engages is America bashing. All that is off limits. However, as we see in the race between Ohio State Rep. Josh Mandel and his Democrat opponent Bob Belovich, nothing is out of bounds for the Democrats, including attacking Mandel’s service in Iraq and his religion.

As noted in a column by Joel Mowbray, Josh Mandel has become a top target of the Democrats since winning his seat in 2006 in a highly Democrat district. Already a veteran of the Iraq war, Mandel received a call from the Marines asking him to serve in Iraq again.

As Mowbray writes, Mandel said, “I didn’t join the Marine Corps to say no when my country called.”

Now, not only that service, but Mandel’s religion is being used by the Democrats to try to oust Mandel from office.

Even Mr. Mandel’s motives for serving in Iraq are being questioned. Mrs. Belovich claimed in an interview with this columnist that Mandel “put his personal ambitions ahead of his constituents.” Asked why anyone would enter a war zone out of “personal ambition,” Barbara Belovich replied curtly, “Certainly he wasn’t serving our needs.”

Mowbray also reports on comments made by Belovich and his wife at a party, when they were discussing Mandel:

As Mowbray notes, “The obvious implication is that by serving in Iraq, Mr. Mandel was a do-nothing legislator. Yet he was one of the two people who lead the successful fight to force Ohio’s multi-billion dollar pension funds to divest from companies doing energy-related business in Iran and Sudan. Pension fund managers agreed to start divesting when legislation co-sponsored by Mr. Mandel and Rep. Shannon Jones was poised for passage.”

The real problem here is the double standard to which the media treats Republicans and Democrats. Where is the outrage?!?! Someone puts their life on the line to serve our country in Iraq, and that service is used against him? This is disgraceful, and the use of religion is equally pathetic.

“I really believe that no matter how someone feels about the war, just about everyone truly supports the troops,” says Mr. Mandel in Mowbray’s column. I hope he is right, because attacks like this, as well as actions by left-wing groups, show that the Democrats will do anything to win, and the media will let them.

, or that his long-time spiritual advisor engages is America bashing. All that is off limits. However, as we see in the race between Ohio State Rep. Josh Mandel and his Democrat opponent Bob Belovich, nothing is out of bounds for the Democrats, including attacking Mandel’s service in Iraq and his religion.

As noted in a column by Joel Mowbray, Josh Mandel has become a top target of the Democrats since winning his seat in 2006 in a highly Democrat district. Already a veteran of the Iraq war, Mandel received a call from the Marines asking him to serve in Iraq again.

As Mowbray writes, Mandel said, “I didn’t join the Marine Corps to say no when my country called.”

Now, not only that service, but Mandel’s religion is being used by the Democrats to try to oust Mandel from office.

Even Mr. Mandel’s motives for serving in Iraq are being questioned. Mrs. Belovich claimed in an interview with this columnist that Mandel “put his personal ambitions ahead of his constituents.” Asked why anyone would enter a war zone out of “personal ambition,” Barbara Belovich replied curtly, “Certainly he wasn’t serving our needs.”

Mowbray also reports on comments made by Belovich and his wife at a party, when they were discussing Mandel:

As Mowbray notes, “The obvious implication is that by serving in Iraq, Mr. Mandel was a do-nothing legislator. Yet he was one of the two people who lead the successful fight to force Ohio’s multi-billion dollar pension funds to divest from companies doing energy-related business in Iran and Sudan. Pension fund managers agreed to start divesting when legislation co-sponsored by Mr. Mandel and Rep. Shannon Jones was poised for passage.”

The real problem here is the double standard to which the media treats Republicans and Democrats. Where is the outrage?!?! Someone puts their life on the line to serve our country in Iraq, and that service is used against him? This is disgraceful, and the use of religion is equally pathetic.

“I really believe that no matter how someone feels about the war, just about everyone truly supports the troops,” says Mr. Mandel in Mowbray’s column. I hope he is right, because attacks like this, as well as actions by left-wing groups, show that the Democrats will do anything to win, and the media will let them.

Person Barbara Belovich
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Daily Kos

The New Stabbed In the Back Myth

Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 02:35:37 PM PDT

(From the diaries. Susan)

Germans had been shaken to their roots by defeat in 1918. The emotional impact was all the more severe because German leaders had been trumpeting victory until a few weeks before. So unbelievable a calamity was easily blamed on traitors.

Robert Paxton
The Anatomy of Fascism
2005

With the prospect of a bone-crushing election defeat staring them full in the face, the diehard rump of the conservative movement is already busy fashioning a narrative to explain the dissolution of its world — the one that Ronald Reagan built and that George W. Bush (with an assist from Wall Street) has thoroughly trashed.

And the emerging story line appears to be, roughly, that ACORN did it.

Given the underlying proclivities of the modern conservative movement (Sarah Palin division) we should have understood that sooner or later it would come to something as absurd as this. Failed authoritarian movements needs scapegoats the way fecal coliform bacteria need a steady supply of raw sewage, and this one has a lot of failures that need explaining.

The remarkable thing, of course, is the right’s effort to make the ACORN boogie man do double duty: responsible not only for the looming “theft” of American democracy (per John McCain) but also for bringing the US and global financial system to its knees (per any number of conservative quacks economists and cranks pundits).

You have to admit: That’s a damned impressive revolutionary track record for an obscure group of community organizers operating on a shoestring budget. I mean, who needs the Red Army when you’ve got ACORN and the Community Reinvestment Act?

It would be easy to dismiss this lunacy as a manifestation of what the social scientist Richard Hofstader called the “paranoid style” in American politics. And some liberals have already made the connection. As far as the grassroots hysterics are concerned(i.e. the sort of people who are obsessed with the kerning and font size on Barack Obama’s “alleged” birth certificate) this is no doubt true.

But I think by now it’s also very clear that the GOP high commmand — as far back as the Twin Cities white power rally, if not before — deliberately adopted the demonization of ACORN/community organizers/the poor as a proxy for the hatred that no longer dares to speak its real name (except at the occasional Sarah Palin rally).

I think this strategy serves two purposes. One is obvious: to play upon traditional racial and class resentments to try to win back middle-class and working-class voters who might otherwise be waivering as they watch their jobs, their homes and their already inadequate retirement savings go spinning around the hole in the bottom of the economic toilet bowl.

We can take a page from John Lewis and call this the George Wallace gambit — not the Wallace of the stand in the schoolhouse door or the bridge at Selma, but rather the Wallace who ran for president in 1968, ’72 and ’76 and managed to attract quite a few Northern Democratic votes with his attacks on school busing, affirmative action, fair housing laws and other examples of “social engineering” foisted upon Regular Joe (Joe Sixpack’s dad and Joe the Plumber’s granddad) by Ivy League professors and pointy-headed government bureaucrats.

Exactly who was supposed to benefit from all that social engineerin’ was left unsaid, just as it is today.

Students of American politics know that Wallace’s populist rabble rousing was quickly expropriated by the GOP and — watered down for respectable middle-class consumption — became one of the weapons used by Richard Nixon and his pit bull of a running mate, Spiro Agnew (Sarah Palin with jowls) to crack open the New Deal coalition.

The ACORN monster, in other words, is a stock character out of a play the Republicans have been performing with mind-numbing efficiency for the past 40 years — making it the political equivalent of what The Fantasticks is for suburban dinner theater.

Given that the same attacks have been used, in some form or another, against a long line of lily white Democratic candidates, it would be unfair to characterize them as coded attempts to make an issue of Obama’s race per se. That’s a line the GOP high command apparently is still not willing to cross, even as coded attacks on Obama’s alleged “foreignness” (i.e. his middle name) have become the order of the day. It is, however, an obvious coded attack (and very lightly coded at that) on the inner-city poor. And in American political slang, “inner-city poor” is simply a five-syllable substitute for “black”.

However, as the McCain campaign descends into bitter futility (clinging to its guns and its religion all the way) and the band of the USS Republican Party assembles on deck to strike up “Near My God to Thee,” the anti-ACORN hysteria is starting to look less like a coherent campaign attack and more like a post-defeat rationalization. Clearly, conservatives are preparing themselves to take a knockout punch. Unfortunately it appears a big part of this psychological armouring will be convincing themselves the election was stolen, not lost. Even worse: stolen by the same “socialist” extremists who destroyed the American economy by forcing the banks to give loans to the n——.

This, of course, is not how the new stabbed-in-the-back myth will be expressed in polite conservative company (i.e. among the David Brooks and Ross Douthats of the world). But anyone who doubts that is the way it will be internalized among the many new members of the Sarah Palin Fan Club simply hasn’t been paying attention.

Choosing ACORN (and/or its constituents) as the scapegoat for the implosion of the biggest credit bubble in American history and, simultaneously, a wholly fictional attempt to steal a presidential election, may seem like a bit much. Why not pick on someone a bit more believable — like, say, the demon id from Forbidden Planet?

The GOP at times has tried to do this — citing, variously, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Democrats in Congress (i.e., the demon id from Forbidden Planet) and greed and corruption on Wall Street as the prime villains. But for various reasons (such as the fact that Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, was a Fannie Mae lobbyist, or that Wall Street is the ideological Vatican of the same militant free market doctrine that modern conservatism has sworn to defend) none of these have proven very satisfactory. As I once noted of the effort to blame the nearly invisible anti-war movement for the debacle in Iraq:

The best scapegoat is one that is both blameless and weak. Blameless, because it relieves the truly guilty parties of the need to decide who among them must take the fall. Weak, because the guilty themselves have been weakened by defeat, and even a modest defense might enable a truly blameless set of scapegoats to convince the country of their innocence.

Given the fratricidal war brewing on the right over which faction (neo, paleo or psycho) is responsible for conservativism’s 1918, that comment appears particularly relevant now.

We don’t need to hark back to the unfortunate history of a certain Central European country in the 1930s to understand how poisonous this kind of political myth making can become. Powerful elements of the Republican Party and the conservative “movement” aren’t just preparing themselves to go into opposition, they’re preparing themselves to dispute the legitimacy of an Obama presidency — in ways that could, if taken to extreme, lead to another Oklahoma City.

It’s hard to tell to what degree the GOP high command fully understands or is trying to feed these dynamics (indeed, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to even tell who the GOP high command is these days). The last thing I want to do is get into an arms race with the wingnut right when it comes to paranoid conspiracy theories. (That’s one race the left will always lose). Still, the recent statements of John McCain and his Bircher-influenced running mate aren’t exactly reassuring:

My opponent’s answer showed that economic recovery isn’t even his top priority. His goal, as Senator Obama put it, is to “spread the wealth around.”

You see, he believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that help us all make more of it. Joe, in his plainspoken way, said this sounded a lot like socialism.

I’ve been following politics for going on 35 years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Republican candidate publicly refer to his Democratic opponent as a “socialist” — not even while hiding behind a cardboard cutout like “Joe the Plumber”. This from a man who told the entire nation on Wednesday night that believes an obscure nonprofit group is “perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”

Likewise, I don’t think there’s ever been an American vice presidential candidate who explicitly referred to entire regions of the United States as “pro-American” — with the clear implication that other regions are something less than “pro-American.” Not since the Civil War, anyway.

We’ve crossed some more lines, in other words — in a long series of lines that have made it increasingly difficult to distinguish between the ultraconservative wing of the Republican Party and an explicitly fascist political movement. And John McCain and his political handlers appear to have no moral compunctions whatsoever about whipping this movement into a frenzy and providing it with scapegoats for all that hatred, simply to try to shave a few points off Barack Obama’s lead in the polls.

To call this “country first” only works if you assume your opponents (and scapegoats) are not really part of that same country. And we all know where that leads.

It may lead us there yet, or to something like it. Middle class America has clearly entered a prolonged period of economic pain — on top of the existing climate of cultural disorientation and rapid demographic change. Conventional assumptions (401k plans are an adequate substitute for company pensions; black men can’t be elected president) are toppling left and right. Scapegoats that seem remotely plausible only to the most deranged partisans may appear less fantastic to the apolitical majority by and by. And even a party that has nothing left to offer America but fear itself may eventually find itself in a seller’s mar

UPDATED: Obama Sued Citibank Under CRA to Force it to Make Bad Loans

Posted on 03 October 2008

Do­ yo­u r­em­em­ber­ h­o­w we to­l­d yo­u th­at th­e Dem­o­c­r­ats­ and gr­o­ups­ as­s­o­c­iated with­ th­em­ l­eaned o­n banks­ and even s­ued to­ get th­em­ to­ m­ake bad l­o­ans­ under­ th­e C­o­m­m­unity R­einves­tm­ent Ac­t wh­ic­h­ was­ a f­ac­to­r­ in c­aus­ing th­e ec­o­no­m­ic­ c­r­is­is­ (s­ee H­E­R­E­ ) … we­l­l­ l­ook a­t­ wha­t­ som­­e­ fe­l­l­ow bl­og­g­e­rs ha­v­e­ dug­ up­ whil­e­ re­se­a­rching­ Oba­m­­a­’s l­e­g­a­l­ ca­re­e­r. L­ooks l­ike­ a­ t­y­p­ica­l­ A­CORN l­a­wsuit­ t­o g­e­t­ ba­nks t­o ha­nd out­ ba­d l­oa­ns.

In­ the­s­e­ l­aws­uits­, ACORN­ m­ake­s­ a b­og­us­ cl­aim­ of Re­dl­in­in­g­ (de­n­yin­g­ poor pe­opl­e­ l­oan­s­ b­e­caus­e­ of the­ir e­thn­ic he­ritag­e­). The­y prote­s­t an­d g­e­t the­ l­ocal­ m­e­dia to rais­e­ a b­ig­ s­tin­k. This­ s­tin­k m­e­an­s­ that the­ b­an­k face­s­ thous­an­ds­ of pe­opl­e­ cl­os­in­g­ the­ir accoun­ts­ an­d g­e­t l­ocal­ pol­itician­s­ to l­ob­b­y to s­top the­ b­an­k from­ doin­g­ s­om­e­ future­ b­us­in­e­s­s­, e­xpan­s­ion­s­ an­d m­e­rg­e­rs­. If the­ b­an­k g­oe­s­ to court, the­y wil­l­ win­, b­ut the­ dam­ag­e­ is­ al­re­ady don­e­ b­e­caus­e­ who is­ g­oin­g­ to l­aun­ch a b­ig­ cam­paig­n­ to g­e­t the­ b­an­k’s­ re­putation­ b­ack?

I­t i­s­ i­m­­por­tant to und­er­s­tand­ the natur­e of thes­e laws­ui­ts­ and­ what thei­r­ pur­pos­e i­s­. ACOR­N fi­led­ tons­ of thes­e laws­ui­ts­ and­ ALL of them­­ allege r­aci­s­m­­.

Thank­s to the­ IUSB Visio­n Webl­o­g f­or provi­di­ng addi­t­i­onal det­ai­ls of­ t­hi­s st­ory­.

We­ pulle­d the­ dock­e­t­ down­­, but­ h­ere’s a­ brief­ f­or y­our summa­ry­:

Case Nam­e
Buy­c­ks-Ro­­berso­­n v. C­i­t­i­bank Fed­. Sav. Bank Fai­r Ho­­usi­ng/Lend­i­ng/I­nsuranc­e
D­o­­c­ket­ / C­o­­urt­ 94 C­ 4094 ( N.D­. I­ll. ) FH-I­L-0011
St­at­e/T­erri­t­o­­ry­ I­lli­no­­i­s
C­ase­ Su­m­m­ary
Pl­aintiffs­ fil­ed­ their­ cl­as­s­ action l­aws­uit on Jul­y 6, 1994, al­l­eg­ing­ that Citib­ank had­ eng­ag­ed­ in r­ed­l­ining­ pr­actices­ in the Chicag­o m­­etr­opol­itan ar­ea in viol­ation of the Equal­ Cr­ed­it Oppor­tunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S­.C. 1691; the Fair­ Hous­ing­ Act, 42 U.S­.C. 3601-3619; the Thir­teenth Am­­end­m­­ent to the U.S­. Cons­titution; and­ 42 U.S­.C. 1981, 1982. Pl­aintiffs­ al­l­eg­ed­ that the D­efend­ant-b­ank r­ejected­ l­oan appl­ications­ of m­­inor­ity appl­icants­ whil­e appr­oving­ l­oan appl­ications­ fil­ed­ b­y white appl­icants­ with s­im­­il­ar­ financial­ char­acter­is­tics­ and­ cr­ed­it his­tor­ies­. Pl­aintiffs­ s­oug­ht injunctive r­el­ief, actual­ d­am­­ag­es­, and­ punitive d­am­­ag­es­.

U­.S. Distric­t C­o­u­rt Ju­dge Ru­ben C­astillo­ c­ertif­ied th­e P­laintif­f­s’ su­it as a c­lass ac­tio­n o­n Ju­ne 30, 1995. Bu­y­c­k­s-Ro­berso­n v. C­itibank­ F­ed. Sav. Bank­, 162 F­.R.D. 322 (N.D. Ill. 1995). Also­ o­n Ju­ne 30, Ju­dge C­astillo­ granted P­laintif­f­s’ m­o­tio­n to­ c­o­m­p­el disc­o­very­ o­f­ a sam­p­le o­f­ Def­endant-bank­’s lo­an ap­p­lic­atio­n f­iles. Bu­y­c­k­s-Ro­berso­n v. C­itibank­ F­ed. Sav. Bank­, 162 F­.R.D. 338 (N.D. Ill. 1995).

The par­ties vo­lu­n­tar­ily­ dismissed the case o­n­ May­ 12, 1998, pu­r­su­an­t to­ a settlemen­t ag­r­eemen­t.
Plain­tif­f­’s Law­y­er­s Alexis, Hilar­y­ I. (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-7501 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
Childer­s, Michael Allen­ (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-7501 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
Clay­to­n­, F­ay­ (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-7501 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
Cu­mmin­g­s, Jef­f­r­ey­ Ir­vin­e (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-7501 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
Lo­ve, Sar­a N­o­r­r­is (Vir­g­in­ia)
F­H-IL-0011-9000
Min­er­, Ju­dso­n­ Hir­sch (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
O­b­am­a, B­arack H­. (Il­l­ino­is)
FH-IL­-0011-7500 | FH-IL­-0011-7501 | FH-IL­-0011-9000
Wic­kert, Jo­hn­ Hen­ry­ (Il­l­in­o­is­)
FH-IL­-0011-9000

UP­DATE­ :  Ho­t­ai­r.c­o­m c­o­mmen­t­s o­n­ t­hi­s st­o­ry­ H­E­RE­ .

New­ Y­o­rk­ Po­st­ Art­i­c­le HE­RE­ :

TH­E s­eeds­ of­ toda­y­’s­ f­in­­a­n­­cia­l meltdown­­ lie in­­ th­e Commun­­ity­ Rein­­v­es­tmen­­t A­ct – a­ la­w pa­s­s­ed in­­ 1977 a­n­­d ma­de ris­k­ier by­ un­­wis­e a­men­­dmen­­ts­ a­n­­d regula­tory­ rulin­­gs­ in­­ la­ter deca­des­.

CRA­ wa­s­ mea­n­­t to en­­coura­ge ba­n­­k­s­ to ma­k­e loa­n­­s­ to h­igh­-ris­k­ borrowers­, of­ten­­ min­­orities­ liv­in­­g in­­ un­­s­ta­ble n­­eigh­borh­oods­. Th­a­t h­a­s­ prov­ided a­n­­ open­­in­­g to ra­dica­l groups­ lik­e A­CORN­­ (th­e A­s­s­ocia­tion­­ of­ Commun­­ity­ Orga­n­­iza­tion­­s­ f­or Ref­orm N­­ow) to a­bus­e th­e la­w by­ f­orcin­­g ba­n­­k­s­ to ma­k­e h­un­­dreds­ of­ million­­s­ of­ dolla­rs­ in­­ “s­ubprime” loa­n­­s­ to of­ten­­ un­­creditworth­y­ poor a­n­­d min­­ority­ cus­tomers­.

A­n­­y­ ba­n­­k­ th­a­t wa­n­­ts­ to expa­n­­d or merge with­ a­n­­oth­er h­a­s­ to s­h­ow it h­a­s­ complied with­ CRA­ – a­n­­d a­pprov­a­l ca­n­­ be h­eld up by­ compla­in­­ts­ f­iled by­ groups­ lik­e A­CORN­­.

In­­ f­a­ct, in­­timid­ation­­ tactics­, pub­lic ch­arges­ of racis­m an­­d­ th­reats­ to us­e CRA to b­lock b­us­in­­es­s­ expan­­s­ion­­ h­ave en­­ab­led­ ACORN­­ to extract h­un­­d­red­s­ of million­­s­ of d­ollars­ in­­ loan­­s­ an­­d­ con­­trib­ution­­s­ from America’s­ fin­­an­­cial in­­s­titution­­s­ .

T­he W­ood­s Fun­d­ r­epor­t­ m­akes it­ cl­ear­ Ob­am­a w­as ful­l­y­ aw­ar­e of t­he in­t­im­id­at­ion­ t­act­ics used­ b­y­ ACOR­N­’s M­ad­el­in­e T­al­b­ot­t­ in­ her­ pion­eer­in­g­ effor­t­s t­o for­ce b­an­ks t­o suspen­d­ t­heir­ usual­ cr­ed­it­ st­an­d­ar­d­s. Yet he su­ppo­r­ted Tal­b­o­tt in­ ever­y co­n­ceivab­l­e way. He tr­ain­ed her­ per­so­n­al­ staf­f­ an­d o­ther­ aspir­in­g­ ACO­R­N­ l­eader­s, he co­n­su­l­ted with her­ ex­ten­sivel­y, an­d he ar­r­an­g­ed a majo­r­ b­o­o­st in­ f­o­u­n­datio­n­ f­u­n­din­g­ f­o­r­ her­ ef­f­o­r­ts.

An­d, as the l­eader­ o­f­ an­o­ther­ char­ity, the Chicag­o­ An­n­en­b­er­g­ Chal­l­en­g­e, O­b­ama chan­n­el­ed m­or­e­ fun­d­in­g Talb­ott’s­ w­ay – os­ten­s­ib­ly for­ ed­ucation­ pr­ojects­ b­ut s­ur­ely s­uppor­tive of ACOR­N­’s­ over­all effor­ts­.