Lawmaker plans resolution to defund ACORN

From CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

State Rep. Gary Banz is joining state lawmakers across the country in calling for an end to taxpayer funding for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Congress voted to defund ACORN and both the IRS and Census Bureau have severed their relationships with the organization. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has identified several states that provide funding to ACORN and its affiliates – New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Illinois. In response, ALEC’s members have passed a resolution calling on all states to conduct audits to identify and immediately end all funding to ACORN and its affiliates.

Banz, a Midwest City Republican, plans to introduce a resolution at the beginning of the legislative session next February opposing any further government funding of ACORN.

“ACORN has more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 75 cities across the nation and some of those organizations have received taxpayer money,” Banz said. “Fortunately, it does not appear Oklahoma currently funds the group, but the recent revelations of apparently illegal ACORN activity have called into question their mission and the appropriateness of any taxpayer funds being given to them.”

Banz, said the taped evidence of ACORN employees willfully assisting tax evasion and child prostitution was the last straw.

“I proudly join other state lawmakers around the country in calling for an end to all state funding of this group,” Banz said.

Even before two undercover journalists recently documented ACORN counselors advising illegal activities, the group had lost considerable ground with mainstream supporters. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops severed all ties with ACORN last summer. That move came after the church’s ties to ACORN had for two decades been subjected to intense criticism from traditional and conservative Roman Catholics.