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Barney Frank vs. Bill O'Reilly on ACORN

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Citing controversies over voter-registration "sloppiness," embezzlement and the recent video stings by conservative filmmakers, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) sought Wednesday night to clarify his position on whether the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now should receive federal funds.

In an interview Wednesday with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, Frank corrected an earlier statement from a staffer that the congressman would have voted against cutting funds for the group. Frank missed a House vote on such a measure last week.

"I would have been against the funding," Frank said. "They have forfeited their right to get funds."

"When I heard about this tolerance of using these programs for prostitution, it became apparent to me the organization is just not run well," he added.

As for the undercover aspect of the videos, "There's a great defense against being stung: Don't do the kind of thing that would embarrass you on television," he said.

Frank said that he was aware of concerns about whether it was constitutional for Congress to specifically target an institution by name, and he added that responsibility for defunding ACORN ought to lie with the White House.

"My preference is ... for the Obama administration to cut them off," Frank said, "because they have been getting funds voluntarily -- for example $14 million from the Bush administration. Congress has never earmarked funds for ACORN."

Frank also chided O'Reilly for interrupting him and for his "congenital inability to let people talk."

By Garance Franke-Ruta  |  September 24, 2009; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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Barney Frank certainly reminds me of the late and great comedian, Buddy Hackett. You never know what words will fall out of Barney Frank's marbles filled mouth!

Barney Frank is a perfect shoo-in for Buddy Hackett but there is no intent on my part to insult Hackett who is much funnier and much smarter than Barny Frank.

If a difference between Barney Frank and Buddy Hackett, I have never known Buddy Hackett to lie to America as Barny Frank does almost on a daily basis.

Frank, Pelosi, Reid, the rest of their cohort gang should start up a new television show, "Hollywood Political Squares". Obama could serve as show host. Bound to be as funny as Buddy Hackett and his favorite haunt, Hollywood Squares.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

Posted by: PurlGurl | September 24, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I love Barney Frank! He's a true American. I wish half of congress were as smart as he is, or had half his courage.

Posted by: maiapapaya | September 24, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Except Buddy Hackett was funny.

Posted by: carlbatey | September 24, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Only one of the five television networks that interviewed President Obama for their Sunday shows bothered to ask him about Acorn, the left-wing community organizing group whose federal funding was cut off last week by an overwhelming vote in Congress.
"Frankly, it's not something I've followed closely," Mr. Obama claimed, adding he wasn't even aware the group had been the recipient of significant federal funding. "This is not the biggest issue facing the country. It's not something I'm paying a lot of attention to," he said.
Mr. Obama added that an investigation of Acorn was appropriate after an amateur hidden-camera investigation had found Acorn offices willing to abet prostitution, but he carefully declined to say whether he would approve a federal cutoff of funds to the group.
Mr. Obama took great pains to act as if he barely knew about Acorn. In fact, his association goes back almost 20 years. In 1991, he took time off from his law firm to run a voter-registration drive for Project Vote, an Acorn partner that was soon fully absorbed under the Acorn umbrella.
The drive registered 135,000 voters and was considered a major factor in the upset victory of Democrat Carol Moseley Braun over incumbent Democratic Senator Alan Dixon in the 1992 Democratic Senate primary.
Mr. Obama's success made him a hot commodity on the community organizing circuit. He became a top trainer at Acorn's Chicago conferences. In 1995, he became Acorn's attorney, participating in a landmark case to force the state of Illinois to implement the federal Motor Voter Law. That law's loose voter registration requirements would later be exploited by Acorn employees in an effort to flood voter rolls with fake names.


Posted by: thomasxstewart1 | September 24, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Barnie. ACORN was supposed to use federal funds exclusively for subprime-housing and voter fraud, not for prostitution. That's a privilege of U.S. Representatives.

Posted by: tropicalfolk | September 24, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Why would Frank or anyone else with proper credentials go on the O'Reilly Show?
He only wanted to see how much more he could do to make Barney look goofy.
Not that he was, but that piece of cheap sh-t could care less about the subject they were talking about.
WHY-WHY-WHY would any right-minded person be on that show? He uses all.
He should just get in front of a mirror and talk to himself. I love his guest.
The same dummies every time. That should tell everyone what Billy-Boy is all about. What a creep.
And to top it all off, I often wonder why no one does not mention he and his sexual acts on a telephone?

Posted by: silversurfthegridnet | September 24, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

During my years as a friend of Barney we had many discussions about prostitution laws-mainly how to break them and get away with it.

Posted by: GobiWan | September 24, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

First of all, ACORN was not funding any sort of housing for prostitution. Talking about and DOING are two different things. In short, they have done nothing illegal. Taping someone without their consent is illegal. These two sting artist wannabees are going to get slapped with a great big lawsuit. ACORN will have the last laugh on this one.

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 24, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Blarsen...what you refer to as "talking about" is often referred to as "conspiracy" in the legal community (and many courtrooms).

Posted by: GobiWan | September 24, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

If you want to fund ACORN, go for it. I'd prefer not to fund them with my moeny. Instructing a would-be pimp and prostitute on how to how to establish a teenage sex shop shows that you are not worthy of my tax dollars.
The lawsuit? JOKE! All it did was open ACORN up to investigation into their books and will allow depositions under oath to be taken.
Tjhta was perhaps the stupidest thing ACORN could have done.
Oh, and you're a fool.

Posted by: nceeno | September 24, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Blarsen...what you refer to as "talking about" is often known as "conspiracy" in the legal community (and in many courtrooms). One does not need to "do" something to commit a crime.

Posted by: GobiWan | September 24, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

1)Most Lib--turds moms, wives, daughters, and girlfriends either are, have been, or will be hookers so what’s the big deal

2)If the country the children were supposed to have come were “progressive” enough to slaughter the unborn, we wouldn’t be dealing with this mess.

3)We can blame ACORN’s poor management on the fact Obozzo did “leadership” training for them in the past.

4)ACORN thought they were only supporting a new training program for White House interns.

5)What’s a little child prostitution when the entire Democratic Party is made up of perverts, lazy welfare scum bags, union thugs, and convicts.

6)“Child prostitutes” – don’t be so judgmental. We prefer the term “future democratic constituents”.

7)ACORN felt they were only allowing kids into the country who were willing to do the work lazy American kids refuse to do.

8)ACORN owns a string of cheap, seedy motels in rundown neighborhoods and saw this as a revenue enhancement opportunity.

9)What kind of morals do you expect from a group made up of people in their positions due solely to affirmative action?

10) In many areas of Africa, girls are married by the time they are 12 so this is just another example of sexually repressed Americans wishing to impose their morality on the world.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | September 24, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse


Using your reasoning, we should be able to prosecute Michelle Bachman for encouraging people to raise up against census workers because the information they gathered could put you in a concentration camp. You have no idea what 'conspiracy' means. You still need evidence, and a videotape isn't evidence. If the couple had signed a document, it would be a different story, but they aren't that smart--they're republicans

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 24, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

What you didn't see reported in this story were the ACORN employees who called the police on these posers.

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 24, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

To The Kenyan: May you catch a fatal disease kissing Bonnie Franks Buttock.

Posted by: 1uncle | September 24, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean Barack will be reprising his role as ACORN defense lawyer?

ACORN: Association of Criminals Obama Represented in the Nineties.

“I've been fighting alongside of Acorn on issues you care about my entire career [including child “services”, financial “services”, and “voter” registration?] Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote in Illinois, Acorn was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.” --Obama, 2007

ACORN: Assisting Call-girls, Obama, Reid and Nancy

Posted by: PositiveSum | September 24, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I love Barney! He's a true American. I wish half of congress were as smart as Barney is, or had half his courage.
A big PURPLE dinosaur with more brains and courage than ALL the democrats combined!!!

Barney Frank on the other hand is a weasly little moron and I hope he disappears and I don't care where he goes!!!

Posted by: myvws | September 24, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

That's funny, I don't seem to remember Barney's concerns with the Constitution in regards to singling out individuals earlier this year. Remember when there was going to be a 100% tax on executive bonuses?

Posted by: AttillathePun | September 24, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank and ACORN were responsible for the mortgage meltdown.

Posted by: bingham60 | September 25, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

"Congress never earmarked funds for ACORN"? It's been six months and Blarney still hasn't read the Stimulus Bill which designated $8billion to ACORN for services rendered such as illegaly registering voters for Obama?

Posted by: jpw300 | September 25, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm a fan of Barney Frank, but not on this issue. ACORN's sin is not that it has had poor management in the past (that must be cleaned up), but that it exists to defend the poor and dispossessed against a system that either ignores or exploits them. Included in ACORN's work are such subversive programs as registering voters (most of whom vote Democratic) and seeking housing and amenities for the homeless. It is sad that even an otherwise liberal politician cannot brave the conservative locomotive that is out to crush ACORN.

Posted by: ejmurphy414 | September 25, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

When Newt Gingrich was overheard on a cell phone conversation planning something illegal the people who reported the conversation were convicted, I believe. Why should the same law not apply in this case? Not that I am sympathetic to what transpired.

Posted by: TumTum | September 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

blarsen1 you are a moron your group at acorn got burned finally and all you liberals do is whine about it. they got stung and i hope they are required to open their books. lots of people will go to jail if that happens and good riddence to them.

Posted by: tswank1 | September 25, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

ACORN is definitely corrupt and we need to shut ACORN down now!

Posted by: almek11 | September 25, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

This so-called Acorn scandal is so insignificant in the over-all scheme of things it's really and truly laughable. Some IDIOTS did some stupid stuff. Happens every day. Small-timers. Wing-nuts have latched onto this so tight because they hope and pray that somehow, just somehow it might bring down President Barack Hussein Obama, the First Black President Of The United States of America!

Posted by: Brogeorge | September 26, 2009 4:16 AM | Report abuse

brogeorge he's your boy i didn't vote for him not by the color of his skin but because of his liberal views as a socialist.he wasn't honest about who he is and all of a sudden he jumps out of the closet. he lost a lot of independents and conservative democrats over his careless spending and the appointments of his czar's. acorn is significant because they took the tax payers money and used it to help elect their candidate, committed voters fraud gee i guess they should get the boyscout of the year award. P.S. in case you don't know he is half white!!

Posted by: tswank1 | September 26, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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