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It’s not just the medical care you get that Democrats want to reform, it’s how you live. Democrats Bury ‘Community Transformation’ Plans in Health Care Bill
Senate Democrats inserted a wide-ranging provision for “Community Transformation Plans” in their half-completed health care bill, outlining the proposal on page 382 of the now-615 page bill, major sections of which have yet to be written.
Some Republicans have criticized the provision as a means to funnel money to liberal activist groups under the canopy of “community organizations,” whereby they will use the funds to promote big government health care but also monitor people’s eating and exercise regimens in the name of “healthy lifestyles.”
It would essentially politicize the Centers For Disease Control:
In the bill, the Affordable Health Choices Act(pdf), community transformation plans would be carried out using federal money and be overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC would distribute the money as well as coordinate the various state, local, and “community” entities responsible for carrying out the plans.
According to the bill, both state and local governments are eligible for the grants, as are “national networks of community-based organizations,” a group which is not defined in the bill.
Whichever type of group receives the funding, it must submit to the CDC director a plan for community transformation. As it states: “An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall submit to the [CDC] Director (for approval) a detailed plan that includes the policy, environmental, programmatic, and infrastructure changes needed to promote healthy living and reduce disparities.”(p. 383)
It would unleash an army of nannies:
“Activities within the plan shall focus on (but not be limited to)— (i) creating healthier school environments, including increasing healthy food options, physical activity opportunities, promotion of healthy lifestyle and prevention curricula, and activities to prevent chronic diseases;
“(ii) creating the infrastructure to support active living and access to nutritious foods in a safe environment;
“(iii) developing and promoting programs targeting a variety of age levels to increase access to nutrition, physical activity and smoking cessation, enhance safety in a community, or address any other chronic disease priority area identified by the grantee.”
The transformation plans must also take action to promote certain “healthy options” at privately owned restaurants as well as “prioritizing strategies” to “reduce racial and ethnic disparities,” although the bill does not explain how racial and ethnic disparities figure in to community transformation.
The state, local, or community organization groups must also monitor the progress of their transformation plans among community members, measuring things such as weight loss, physical activity, and eating habits.
It’s the end of personal choice as we knew it. Tell your Congresscritters what you think.
Not even Obama’s Army. Via Michelle Malkin, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has introduced the Taxpayer Protection and Anti-Fraud Act,
which would restrict access to taxpayer dollars available through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for groups that have been indicted for violations of state or federal laws. Almost 5,000 citizens have registered their support for the bill available through Bachmann’s online site, according to her press office.
As The Examiner has previously reported ACORN has received at least $53 million in federal funds since 1994, and the controversial group could potentially gain access to $8.5 billion in additional taxpayer dollars, unless Congress intervenes. The track record is not encouraging.
…“No one has a right to federal funds,” she said. “We have a fiduciary responsibility as members of Congress to establish criteria by which groups can gain access to federal dollars. I believe we should be able to raise the bar above indictment and not be restricted solely to convictions. This in no way denies someone their due process rights in court.”
You can sign the petition here.
What could go wrong having an organization whose members have been convicted of voter registration fraud be intimately involved in determining the distribution of tax dollars? Judicial Watch: ACORN Used in 2010 Census
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the U.S. Census Bureau detailing the substantial involvement of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in the 2010 Census. Included among the 126 pages of documents, obtained by Judicial Watch under threat of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, is ACORN’s original Census partnership application. The document describes 18 different areas of responsibility requested by the community organization, which is under investigation in multiple states for illegal activity during the 2008 election, including voter registration fraud.
Weren’t we assured that ACORN wasn’t going to be involved in the counting process?
In its official statement responding to the ACORN controversy, the Obama Commerce Department downplayed ACORN’s participation in the Census, and labeled “baseless” the notion that ACORN would be involved in any Census count. However, the Census Bureau offered ACORN the opportunity to “recruit Census workers” who would participate in the count. Moreover, as an “executive level” partner, ACORN has the ability to “organize and/or serve as a member on a Complete Count Committee,” which, according to Census documents, helps “develop and implement locally based outreach and recruitment campaigns.”
According to its application ACORN also signed up to: “Encourage employees and constituents to complete and mail their questionnaire; identify job candidates and/or distribute and display recruiting materials; appoint a liaison to work with the Census Bureau; provide space for Be Counted sites and/or Questionnaire Assistance Centers; sponsor community events to promote participation in the 2010 Census,” among 18 requested areas of responsibility. The documents also show the decision to add ACORN as a partner occurred in February, long after the January 15th Census partnership application deadline. (One Census official had bet “it was under Bush.”)
Other than that, they’re completely hands-off.
Other fun facts:
# The Census Bureau requested that ACORN “help us highlight [ACORN's] innovation and hard work and share best practices so other organizations can learn from your experiences.”
# Members of the Census Bureau and Department of Commerce staff assigned to organize the 2010 Census were unaware of when the decision to involve ACORN was made, how the Census Bureau choose and defined partners, or whether partners received payment.
# The Census Bureau did not conduct background checks on the 3.7 million people hired to conduct the 2000 Census, unless a preliminary name check provided a match. Overall, 8% of the applicants, or over 300,000 people, were considered risks for hire.
Doing the job the legacy media and the Democratic Congress won’t do: following the money. From Fox News, Lawmaker Pushes for Investigation into ACORN Finances
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a member of the Judiciary Committee, is demanding congressional hearings into the financial structure of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
King questions the actions of ACORN officials as well as the multitude of nonprofit activist groups that apparently overlap with ACORN and share the same headquarters address in New Orleans.
“This spider web, this myriad web of ACORN dollars and revenue streams, every bit of them should be looked at, all the corporations that they are networked with all of the boards of directors of those corporations, the inner locking connecting, the faces that are the same from board to board.”
Much ado about nothing, says ACORN:
ACORN believes an investigation of its finances is “…a continuation of the right wing Republican attacks which continues to stalk ACORN. This ACORN as ‘punching bag’ redundancy is not worthy of your audience.”
So far the focus on ACORN fraud has been on fake voter registrations. Why is a federal investigation needed? According to a former FEC Commissioner,
“ACORN has all these subsidiaries and affiliates that seem to be shell organizations with money being transferred between them and to investigate that takes a lot of resources,” said von Spakovsky, a visiting legal scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “I really think that’s the kind of thing that only someone like the FBI could thoroughly investigate.”
Why are they beating up on poor little ACORN? Michelle Malkin has the goods on their incestuous corruption:
They thought it would go away. They were wrong. Obama and the Left thought ACORN’s scandalous racket was a dead issue. But whistleblowers, investigative bloggers, and talk radio continue to press for transparency and taxpayer accountability. Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King has renewed efforts for congressional hearings into the financial structure of the massive, publicly subsidized activist group and its non-profit affiliates. Judicial Watch sheds light on ACORN’s partnership with the Census. Keep an eye on ACORN’s propaganda role in the Obama push for a government health care takeover. And Glenn Beck spotlights the left-wing strategy session to rescue ACORN.
Much more at her link, including the connections with the Obama campaign the New York Times decided wasn’t worth it’s journalistic effort.
With our tax dollars. More federal funding for ACORN despite indictments
Under the guise of due process concerns, congressional Democrats have opened the way for organizations with criminal histories to gain greater access to taxpayer funds. Exhibit A here is the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), now under investigation in at least 14 states for voter registration fraud.
Earlier this month, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, sponsored an amendment to the $140 million Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. The Frank measure allowed organizations being investigated by state or federal authorities on corruption charges to receive federal funds as long as they avoid conviction. Frank argued that his amendment, which was approved by the House, protected the presumption of innocence in federal spending.
But federal ethics rules have long stipulated that either an actual or apparent conflict of interest can put a government employee at risk of prosecution for ethics violations. So, if the Frank amendment becomes law, the federal government will have a double standard, ignoring the presumption of innocence for its employees with apparent conflicts of interest, but extending the presumption to its funding recipients.
Fighting a losing battle:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has crafted legislation to block ACORN from receiving such funding, but Frank and his Democratic colleagues are determined to block her effort. Only four Democrats voted against Frank’s amendment, which overturned an earlier amendment from Bachmann that would have precluded ACORN from receiving funds. This means 245 House members are on record supporting – or are unconcerned – about federal funding going to groups suspected of criminal behavior. “It is not only legitimate for Congress to decide the threshold for accessing taxpayer funds; it is incumbent upon us to do so,” Bachmann said. “And, for far too long, Congress has cavalierly distributed taxpayer money.” This is a shameful abdication of our fiduciary duties…”
This puts Congress in the position of paying off groups that are actively undermining our political system. Would be fodder for some powerful political ads, if we had a two-party system any more. We’ll see.
Thanks to Lucianne
U.S. Sen. David Vitter today introduced the Voter Fraud Prevention Act of 2009, which seeks to prevent voter fraud by implementing a series of requirements on individuals involved in the distribution of voter registration application forms for federal elections. U.S. Sens. Bunning, Hatch, Inhofe, McConnell, Coburn, DeMint, McCain, Sessions, Chambliss, Risch, Enzi, Bond and Ensign joined Vitter as co-sponsors of the bill.
“Last year, a significant number of voter fraud cases committed by ACORN and others were brought to light. These are a cause for grave concern because the right to free elections is one of our country’s most cherished freedoms,” said Vitter. “Voter fraud threatens that right, and individuals or organizations that attempt to manipulate the system to bring about their own desired result should be stopped before making a mockery of our electoral process.”
Vitter’s bill would help prevent voter fraud by requiring that individuals engaged in the distribution of voter application forms cannot be convicted of a felony, must legibly sign and print their name on the registration form and include other identifying material, including the name of any organization for which they are working on behalf of. Further, the bill requires that these individuals certify, under penalty of law, that they have not received financial compensation based on the number of forms they submit.
The Corner on why Federal legislation is needed:
You might wonder why federal legislation is needed when voter registration is handled by state and local officials. Well, you can thank the frenzy of obsessive litigation filed by unions and radical liberal groups (including the League of Women Voters). Because of constant problems with voter-registration drives conducted by third-party organizations like ACORN, including not turning in legitimate voter registration forms on a timely basis, states like Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico passed laws implementing similar requirements (some also requiring basic training for individuals who are registering voters and time limits for turning in completed forms). All of these groups immediately filed lawsuits claiming that these laws were outrageous violations of their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, the Voting Rights Act, and the National Voter Registration Act. Vitter’s bill is needed to override bad decisions in the courts and help the states implement such commonsense requirements.
Email your Senators here.
The dawn breaks for some in Congress. Criminal Charges Against ACORN Raise Concerns About Its Partnership With Census Bureau
Criminal charges filed in Nevada against ACORN, a liberal activist group that is under investigation in several other states for alleged voter registration fraud in 2008, have sparked increased concerns about the organization’s partnership agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau to help recruit workers for the 2010 Census.
Funny that previous ACORN voting registration fraud convictions didn’t seem to ring many bells.
The little unpleasantness in Nevada:
“By structuring employment and compensation around a quota system, ACORN facilitated voter registration fraud in this state,” said Attorney General Catherine Cortes Masto in a statement. “Nevada will not tolerate violations of the law by individuals, nor will it allow corporations to hide behind or place blame on their employees when its training manuals clearly detail, condone and, indeed, require, illegal acts in performing the job for the corporation.”
So the criminality is at the management level and is actually part of what their employees are taught to do. Kind of like the Mafia.
The Nevada charges will not play a role in the group’s work with the Census Bureau, ACORN spokesman David Redlener told CNSNews.com.
Why not? ACORN hasn’t written any training manuals yet?
In a written statement, he said that ACORN would primarily be responsible for “mailings and other in-house communications; displaying and/or distributing 2010 Census promotional materials; providing space to train new employees; sponsoring community events to promote participation in the Census; allowing the Census bureau to post ACORN’s name on the 2010 Census Web site; [and] linking 2010 Census Web site to ACORN’s Web site.”
Redlener further said the organization does not know if it will receive any federal funds for its partnership.
Right. ACORN will do all that using the Federal funds it already gets.
What is the root of the problem here?
The constitutionally required Census is done every 10 years and determines how congressional seats are apportioned among the states. Unlike in 2000, Congress has not authorized a bipartisan U.S. Census Monitoring Board to oversee the 2010 enumeration.
Why not, I wonder? Oh, right, the White House, that bastion of bipartisanship, wants to take it over.
So who’s guarding the henhouse?
The Census Bureau could not answer questions specifically on ACORN Tuesday, but a spokesman stressed that there is adequate oversight.
“In the partnership program, all the organizations do is help raise awareness about the Census,” Bureau spokesman Raul Cisneros told CNSNews.com. “Congress has oversight of the bureau and the census.”
It’ll be fine. Trust Congress.
Not in this lifetime.
President Obama is not called the Community-Organizer-In-Chief for nothing. Talking about his recent reminder to financial CEOs that he’s the only one standing between them and the pitchforks, from Pajamas Media, Obama the Pitchfork Operator: A Remake of the Soviet Classic
…To get the full flavor of the president’s implication we must remember that in Obama’s code language, the word “pitchforks” means “a vigorous campaign of threats and intimidation perpetrated by Obama-sponsored ACORN and union activists in conjunction with theatrical outrage from government officials, amplified by the complicit media, and coordinated from one political center, which has now moved to the White House.”
Unleashing mob rule:
In a balanced society, an angry mob is never a part of the equation. But if the goal is to throw a capitalist society off balance in order to change it, an angry mob is the ticket. Anger is known to be the easiest and the most effective tool of crowd manipulation. Angry mobs cancel out the rule of law. Infusing anger into a community and turning it into an angry mob, canceling out the rule of law, and changing the balance in a society — this is what community organizers do for a living.
This has been done before:
Most Americans will probably associate this trend with the protection racket that was rampant in Chicago in the 1930s. It follows the same pattern: the mob, in conjunction with the unions, would organize strikes and protests, do physical damage, and intimidate business owners. Then a mob representative would meet with the owner and offer “protection” by saying “I’m the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
Curiously enough, at about the same time, a similar drama was unfolding halfway across the world in the Eastern Siberia — only this time the role of the mob was played by a government that claimed to act in the interests of the workers. And while the mobsters were motivated by greed and used the workers simply to milk the capitalists, a workers’ government, motivated by the common good morality, used the workers for something much more sinister and immoral.
Much more at the link.
Speaking of the mob, ACORN is flush with our money. From Doug Ross, Change: $8B for ACORN while missle defense slashed $1.4B
And how much did President Obama find in the budget for his friends at ACORN? According to Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, ACORN is eligible for roughly $8 billion in block grants and redundant increases in the budget for the U.S. Census.
Throw in the $5.7 billion for the paid/conscripted volunteer program, AKA the GIVE Act, which ACORN will be a part of, and the magic number is $13.8 billion.
So we get to finance our own intimidation to the tune of $14 billion, at least. Never let it be said that the President is inefficient. He’s saved taxpayers a fortune by cutting out the Mafia middlemen.
H/T Protein Wisdom
You may have heard of the proposed tour of AIG executives’ homes by “regular folk” so they can see how those greedy pigs live in luxury. What you probably haven’t heard is who’s behind it. From Fausta’s Blog, Busload of Crazies to Tour Homes of AIG Executives This Weekend…and ACORN’s behind it
The French revolutionaries probably thought of themselves as community activists, too, guillotines and all.
The community activist group that’s going to help with the census is getting some unwelcome exposure. From the Washington Times, Hill panel testimony to accuse ACORN of mob tactics
A lawyer for a whistleblower on the activist group ACORN is prepared to tell a House panel Thursday that the group provided liberal causes with protest-for-hire services and coerced donations from the targets of demonstrations through a mob-style “protection” racket.
ACORN called it the “muscle for the money” program, according to prepared testimony Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh plans to deliver at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights and civil liberties.
Thanks to American Thinker