Judge urged to reverse ruling over ACORN funding

December 18, 2009

The government has asked a federal judge to let it cut ACORN's funding, saying a report commissioned by the embattled community activist group reinforces Congress' concern about misuse of federal funds. In papers filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., government lawyers sought a reversal of Judge Nina Gershon's ruling last week that the government's cutoff of ACORN funding was unconstitutional. Gershon said ACORN was punished by Congress without "judicial, or even administrative, process adjudicating guilt." ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, describes itself as an advocate for low-income and minority homebuyers and residents. Critics of the group say it has engaged in voter-registration fraud and embezzlement and has violated the tax-exempt status of some of its affiliates by engaging in partisan political activities. In asking Gershon to reconsider her ruling, the government cited the Dec. 7 report written by Scott Harshbarger, former attorney general for Massachusetts. It said the report "reinforces Congress' purpose in preventing fraud, waste and abuse" by describing ACORN's long-standing management problems.


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