Tavares, FL - June 4, 2012
by Vance Jochim
I recently came across some information about Federal HUD grants and how they can be used by bogus community groups to do things like illegally register voters like ACORN did, or skim money. Additionally, I found that although ACORN was closed and defunded by the Federal Government, they actually had a planned method to just create new names, use the same people, and continue with their questionable financial and voting "consultations" like before. As I discuss below, there actually is an ACORN replacement firm in Orlando called "Organize Now".
So, I sent the following email to Lake County Commmissioner Leslie Campione and several staff, which is followed by her response. One reason I sent it is that Lake County administers and distributes funds for some Federal grants, which could include housing, financial counseling and voter registration programs.
According to her response, Campione has been watching, and actually prevented one questionable firm from getting grant funds distributed by Lake County. Everyone needs to watch for ACORN spinoff activities, which is a reason for many of the new voting regulations like Voter ID in Florida and many other states. I expect all sorts of tricky methods to be used to inflate Democratic votes. If you want clear examples, read the entire Judicial Watch report mentioned below, which has many specific examples of voter fraud conducted by ACORN. Don't believe the liberal pundits who claim that there have not been many fraudulent votes detected.
Email sent to Leslie Campione and several Lake County Managers:
Since you are the Lake County Board’s liaison to the County’s Affordable Housing Committee, I am sending you this background info on how grants are used, in this case from HUD, to fund the new groups that replaced ACORN, known as ACORN Spinoffs. As you may remember, ACORN was the national group found to be receiving funds for housing and financial counseling for the poor, but they were also conducting fraudulent voter registration. Some offices used Federal funds to do that when they were supposed to be used for housing rehab, etc. The point of this email is that Lake County government should ensure that they don’t get involved with any ACORN spinoff masquerading as an affordable housing services or “community” counselor. At the end of this article they talk about one ACORN replacement group known as the Affordable Housing Centers of America, which has some Florida offices. Google shows one office in Orlando, but the website doesn’t work, thus I assume they changed names again and are still operating with Federal funds.
“The Obama Administration has violated the congressional ACORN funding ban, however. Last summer Judicial Watch uncovered records that show ACORN got tens of thousands of dollars in grants to “combat housing and lending discrimination.” The money came via Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which awarded a $79,819 grant to yet another ACORN reincarnation called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA).
In addition to violating the ACORN funding ban, the grant was astounding because federal investigators had previously exposed fraud by the same Florida-based ACORN/AHCOA affiliate. HUD’s inspector general found that the group “inappropriately” spent more than $3.2 million in grants that were supposed to be used to eliminate lead poisoning in its housing program.”
Source is JudicialWatch.org - http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2012/05/acorn-offshoot-sues-state-for-not-registering-voters-on-welfare/
HERE is the link to the full 2011 report from Judicial Watch on the “Rebranding of ACORN” where they describe the new groups reformed with the old ACORN leaders, including those in Florida. I would hope that Lake County is not involved with , or funding any of these groups… This report says that ACORN ( and Obama’s old employer, Project Vote) submitted FLORIDA registration cards for 151,000 voters for the 2008 & 2010 elections. They talk on page 22 about how the national total of ACORN registrations was 1.3-million, but actual legitimate first time voter count was 450,000. About 400,000 submissions were detected and rejected by Elections departments, leaving the remaining 460,000 + registrations which were said to be address changes, or they were not caught and were fraudulent. Remember, this was done by a group receiving HUD and other government funds, which in some cases was funneled through state or local governments.
HERE is an MSNBC report on the rebranding of ACORN Spinoffs:
“The breakaways are trying to shed the scandal that emerged six months ago when videos showed some ACORN workers giving tax tips to conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute. But while their names are different, most groups have kept the same offices and staff.”
The group mentioned above, Affordable Housing Centers of America, seems to have gone underground. Google lists several offices, but the website is dead, and LinkedIn only lists the NY office.
Additionally, the JudicialWatch reports talks about a HUD funded foundation, Neighborworks, which is affiliated with the above ACORN spinoff, AND how Congress talked about defunding them entirely (but did not).
We found that Lake County has an RFP on their website that mentions Neighborworks. It is RFP #12-0203. The RFQ says:
“All pre-screenings shall be performed by a homebuyer counselor certified through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or Neighborworks America, Inc. It shall be the responsibility of the counselor to ensure that all credentials remain current.”
“Each homebuyer class shall be taught by a homebuyer counselor certified through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or Neighborworks America, Inc. It shall be the responsibility of the counselor to ensure that all credentials remain current”
I would hope that Lake County staff is aware of, and does not do business with, or fund any former ACORN spinoff masquerading as an affordable housing counselor or anyone affiliated with them like Neighborworks without further research.
Response from Lake County Commissioner Leslie Campione
I have been very diligent regarding this situation since the ACORN story broke. About a year ago I came across an outside agency (NOT a Lake County Government Department) that was attempting to secure HUD funds to pre-screen buyers in what appeared to be a bogus operation and I exposed its flaws and made sure it did not happen. They weren’t engaging in political activity, but the proposed “program” was riddled with problems. Unfortunately, I don’t doubt that these groups will continue to reinvent themselves in an effort to defraud the government and taxpayers, and to manipulate willing citizens.
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