Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
How high does it go?
Is there any remaining doubt that ACORN is a criminal organization? Only partisans on the left and nitwits can truly believe that ACORN is an honest organization with a few bad apples. This barrel is rotten through and through, and the corruption goes right to the top. Yet, this outfit has received over 50 million dollars in public funds and is slated to receive $8.5 billion under the stimulus package. This is nothing less than a serious breach of public trust. Here is what must be done.
First, Congress, if it has any credibility left at all, needs to cut off all ties with ACORN and cut off every dime from this organization. There is nothing that can justify any tax-payer money going to this bunch. In addition, every government agency must cut off all ties to ACORN. The Census Bureau has just done that in light of the newest allegations.
The US Justice Department must launch (if it has not already) a massive investigation into ACORN and its finances. That investigation should join hands with the Treasury Department (IRS) and any other agency that would have oversight into ACORN's funding and activities, such as HUD. This should take the form of a task force operation.
Federal law enforcement already has a historical base of crimes committed by ACORN personnel. There have been some 70 voter fraud convictions in some 13 states. Those could serve as the basis for a conspiracy/RICO investigation to connect the dots and connect those defendants to higher ups.
What the two private film makers did in visiting ACORN offices should have been done long ago by federal investigators operating in an undercover capacity. During the late 1980s, while I was a DEA agent in Pittsburgh, we visited several hydroponics shops undercover trying to determine which shops were knowingly selling growing equipment to marijuana growers. This was part of a nation-wide effort. This could have been and should have been done already by federal law enforcement. If not, someone should have to answer why.
Just like a drug conspiracy case, this is an excellent opportunity for the FBI and other federal agencies to start developing informants, calling people into the grand jury and making deals in concert with the various US Attorney's offices around the country in an effort to work their way "up the ladder" to the top levels of ACORN. Title III operations (wiretaps) should also be utilized. If not, again, someone should have to answer why.
Ultimately, this conspiracy investigation has to be carried up into the political arena. It is obvious that some, if not many Democratic politicians have been compromised by ACORN. I have little doubt that several ACORN officials, if forced, could incriminate some verrrry high-level politicians.
For that very reason, I am not optimistic that a full investigation will be carried out by Eric Holder's Justice Department, nor by Tim Geithner's Treasury Department. Keep in mind the financial scandals surrounding the Clinton Administration when figures like Charlie Trie, Johnny Chung and John Huang were allowed to quietly plead guilty, pay fines, do community service-and not name their higher ups in the political realm-which would have led straight to the White House (Oval Office).
For that reason, this is a case for a truly non-partisan special prosecutor since it has clear political connections at high levels. This is not a case where justice would be served by the prosecution of some low-level ACORN employees who were caught on tape.
If these things are not done, then we will have to conclude that our top law enforcement agencies have been compromised by politics. I have no doubt that the professional investigators in these agencies are willing and eager to investigate this scandal to the fullest. The question is whether their leaders at the cabinet level have the same mindset.