Americrooks: The volunteerism scandal Hollywood won’t be broadcasting

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 21, 2009 10:08 AM

Photoshop credit: Leo Alberti

The volunteerism scandals Hollywood won’t be broadcasting
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

Hollywood hearts Obama. Obama hearts government-directed national service. That is why you won’t be able to change the TV channel all week without getting lectured about the need to get off the couch and Do Something. (After your favorite shows are over, of course.) Creeped out? You should be.

The entertainment industry, inspired by Obama’s $6 billion expansion of government volunteerism spending, is coordinating plot lines and ads to push public service. “The message will be nearly ubiquitous,” reports the Los Angeles Times, “starting in the morning with programs such as ‘Today’ and ‘The View,’ and then echoed on soap operas, prime-time series and late-night shows.” First Lady Michelle Obama, a relentless Americorps promoter who publicly extolled the Tinseltown initiative last month, will cap off the week with an appearance on the Jay Leno show on Friday.

But don’t expect Leno to ask Mrs. Obama about her reported meddling in personnel decisions at the scandal-plagued Americorps. Or about the program’s long history as a government boondoggle stuffed with make-work jobs, permanent bureaucracies, left-wing slush funds, and partisan lobbyists. More on that in a moment.

Spearheaded by a non-profit called the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), organizers deny any partisan or political motivation. But editor John Nolte published an internal memo from EIF titled “Answering the Call” that describes the entire, multi-year campaign as a direct response to President Obama’s call “for a new era of responsibility.” The massive, leftward tilt in Hollywood donations to Democrat campaign coffers speaks for itself. As do the celebrity vows of volunteer-mongers like Demi Moore, who pledged in a recent national service PSA not to be a servant to her fellow citizens or her country, but “a servant to Barack Obama.”

EIF is working in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the parent organization of Americorps.

It’s the same CNCS that last year suspended Sacramento mayor/Obama crony Kevin Johnson from receiving federal funds after then-inspector general Gerald Walpin blew the whistle on massive fraud and abuse of AmeriCorps dollars for personal and political gain.

It’s the same CNCS that then sat by and meekly watched Team Obama and the U.S. Attorney in Sacramento railroad Walpin after the November 2008 election for doing his job.

It’s the same CNCS that has hired Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, Jackie Norris, as national service adviser to ensure – in her words — that corporation officials are their “No. 1 cheerleaders.”

It’s the same CNCS that smeared Walpin as “confused” and “disoriented” – and then sacked the honest, independent watchdog for raising questions on behalf of taxpayers.

And it’s the same CNCS that last month administered a mere slap on the wrist to the largest AmeriCorps program in the nation for massive fiscal mismanagement. As Youth Today, a niche publication that covers the national service sector reported recently, CNCS “docked the City University of New York (CUNY) $345,700 for this year, reducing its grant from $900,000 to $554,300.”

Former inspector general Gerald Walpin had uncovered a raft of grant violations, including criminal background check lapses and “pervasive problems of eligibility, timekeeping, and documentation” in an audit earlier this year. He challenged duplicative educational awards of more than $16 million. CUNY refused to return excess funds that it had drawn down, failed to revise procedures to prevent such grant abuse, and refused to provide proof documenting that its AmeriCorps participants actually existed.

Walpin advised AmeriCorps’ parent organization, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to cut off any new funding and reexamine past government funding totaling upwards of $75 million. But internal notes from CNCS discussions show that they had more “concern about potential for damage being done” and were irked by the “bad timing” of Walpin’s audits. In the end, the agency settled for cutting its current grant by less than half and keeping CUNY on the dole.

So much for a “new era of responsibility.”

Walpin is suing to get his job back as the Obama political machine takes over the national service juggernaut. It’s a David-vs.-Goliath, made-for-TV plot line. But when the government-undermining message threatens the White House narrative, it’s not fit for prime time.

ACORN’s pattern and practice of lying

ACORN’s pattern and practice of lying

J.C. Arenas
The conservative journalist team of James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles has played ACORN like a concert tour: Baltimore, D.C., New York City, and San Diego. City by city, a scandal unfolded and the nation watched in bewilderment as the duo, posing as a pimp and prostitute, proposed to commit crimes of tax evasion and underage illegal alien sex trafficking while mid-level managers from the organization did everything they could to assist them in their effort.

Despite having a serious lack of credibility, ACORN started spreading a story, shortly after the scandal began, that couldn’t be substantiated to discredit the duo. Unsurprisingly, several major left-leaning newspapers and Media Matters believed them.


Fiction, courtesy of the Washington Post:


An ACORN spokesman said they were turned away in Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, where workers called police and filed a report. (emphasis added)


Fiction, courtesy of the Philadelphia Daily News:


But when the phony pimp and prostitute tag team visited ACORN’s local office, on Broad Street near Parrish, on July 24, they were apparently shown the door.
Philadelphia ACORN president Carol Hemingway said in a statement on Monday that “after causing a major disturbance, they were asked to leave the office, and a police report was filed.”
Hemingway e-mailed copies of the incident report to the news media. No charges were filed against O’Keefe or Giles, and their visit to the City of Brotherly Love has not been part of a series of reports aired on the Fox News Channel.


Fiction, courtesy of Media Matters:


The Post ignored that O’Keefe and Breitbart previously claimed they were never turned away. Contrary to the Post‘s suggestion that O’Keefe only disputed the amount of time the filmmakers spent at the Philadelphia office, both O’Keefe and publisher Breitbart have claimed they were never turned away at all. (emphasis not added)


Fact, courtesy of O’Keefe and Giles:


Now that ACORN lied to you, Media Matters, what are you going to do?


Better question: Why we were ever supposed to believe this liberal criminal enterprise, especially without any evidence to support their claim? An organization that was created for the purpose introducing mayhem into the system, now all of a sudden was on the side of order?


This latest exposure of the organization’s unethical and dishonest behavior confirms that nothing coming from ACORN can be trusted. Bertha Lewis, Katherine Conway-Russell, Tresa Kaelke have done nothing but perpetrate one life after another to the American public.


Will their cohorts in the mainstream media come to their defense again? Can we trust them either?


No, because they are too busy trying to be good, liberal teammates as opposed to being the umpire, it’s time to tell them, they’re all out!


J.C. Arenas is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your comments at

Page Printed from: at October 21, 2009 – 10:01:31 PM EDT

7 Months After Stimulus 49 of 50 States Have Lost Jobs

Republican Ways and Means

7 Months After Stimulus 49 of 50 States Have Lost Jobs

America Now Over 6 Million Jobs Shy of Administration’s Projections
Washington, Oct 21


The table below compares the White House’s February 2009 projection of the number of jobs that would be created by the 2009 stimulus law (through the end of 2010) with the actual change in state payroll employment through September 2009 (the latest figures available).  According to the data, 49 States and the District of Columbia have lost jobs since stimulus was enacted.  Only North Dakota has seen net job creation following the February 2009 stimulus.  While President Obama claimed the result of his stimulus bill would be the creation of 3.5 million jobs, the Nation has already lost a total of 2.7 million – a difference of 6.2 million jobs.  To see how stimulus has failed your state, see the table below.


RNC Beats DNC in September Money Race

RNC Beats DNC in September Money Race

Brody Mullins reports on money and politics.

We wrote in Saturday’s paper that the GOP appears to be building fund-raising momentum heading into the 2010 elections.

Here’s another data point: the Democratic National Committee said it raised about $8 million in September. That’s less than the Republican National Committee, which raised $8.8 million in the same time period, and the second month running the RNC has pulled ahead.

Overall, the Democrats are still ahead, with $139.4 million raised to date compared to $125 million for the GOP.

That edge is attributable in part to the Democratic fund-raising arms for House and Senate candidates, both of which out-raised their Republican counterparts by nearly two-to-one margins last month.

The GOP resurrection, meanwhile, is being aided by a rise in small donors. In some of the most competitive 2010 Senate races, Republican candidates raised more than the Democrats did in the most-recent quarter.

Obama to announce help for small banks, businesses- To Quote Tennesee Ernie Ford -they owe thier souls to the company store

Obama to announce help for small banks, businesses

By JIM KUHNHENN (AP) – 19 hours ago


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama wants smaller community banks to have greater access to the government’s $700 billion financial rescue fund to assist small businesses that are still suffering from a prolonged credit crunch.

Obama on Wednesday plans to announce a package of initiatives designed to increase lending, including a request that Congress increase caps for existing Small Business Administration loans, the administration said.

The new effort comes as the administration is under pressure from liberals to shift the massive bailout fund’s focus away from helping big financial institutions and toward homeowners and small businesses. But it also comes as Republicans press Obama to end the rescue program and use bank repayments to reduce the national debt.

Congressional and industry officials said there were few details about the new proposal, including how much of the bailout money would be used. But the American Bankers Association, in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last month, recommended a $5 billion program for community banks that have not yet received assistance from the rescue fund. The program, as suggested by the association, would apply only to those banks with assets of less than $5 billion.

“Community banks feel like the government assistance efforts to date have left them on the sidelines,” said Mark Tenhundfeld, a senior vice president at the bankers’ association.

The rescue fund, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, has about $320 billion still available to spend — a combination of unallocated money and more than $70 billion in repayments from banks that received bailouts since late last year. The TARP is set to expire at the end of December, but the administration could extend it until October 2010.

“Given that we are now well into October, it seems probable that there would need to be some extensions,” Tenhundfeld said.

Sheila Bair, the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., generally defined community banks as those with less than $1 billion in assets. In testimony to Congress last week, she said those smaller banks have become especially vulnerable in the face of mounting losses and defaults in construction and commercial real estate loans.

Bair testified that she had been discussing TARP help for community banks with Treasury officials, a step welcomed by Democrats but criticized by Republicans.

“I just hate to hear us moving to that mode,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said. “I think we should end TARP at the end of the year.”

Look who’s married to Obama’s media ‘controller’


Look who’s married to Obama’s media ‘controller’

Official attacking network, anti-‘birther’ lawyer a couple

Posted: October 20, 2009
9:01 pm Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


Anita Dunn

Attacking Fox News and defending President Barack Obama is a family affair for Anita Dunn, the White House communications director who has blasted Fox as an arm of the Republican Party and talked about “controlling” the news media.

She’s married to Robert Bauer, the chief of the political law group at Perkins Coie, the Seattle law firm hired by the White House to defend President Obama in court cases challenging his “natural born” citizenship status in the United States and thus, his eligibility under the U.S. Constitution to be president.

Dunn is targeting Fox News with criticisms emanating from the administration that it isn’t even a news network, while Bauer has done his best to prevent the American public from seeing a wide range of President Obama’s records that could prove, or disprove, his eligibility to occupy the Oval Office under the Constitution’s requirement that the president be a “natural born” citizen.

ACORN Watch: Fight the thugs

Michelle Malkin 

Lead Story

ACORN Watch: Fight the thugs

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 20, 2009 05:34 PM

Photoshop credit: Leo Alberti

ACORN is a criminal enterprise. It took decades to build up its massive coffers and intricate web of affiliates across the country.

It will take months and years to untangle the entire operation.

And it will take time, money, and and relentless sunshine to dismantle the government-subsidized, partisan racket. It can’t be “reformed.” It is constitutionally corrupt.

The sworn testimony, research, and blogging by former ACORN/Project Vote development associate Anita MonCrief have provided an invaluable amount of fodder for reporters (before their editors “cut bait,” that is) and congressional investigators trying to get to the bottom of ACORN’s tax law-undermining, campaign finance disclosure-evading ways. Most recently, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported this week on how ACORN’s voter drives in Ohio were planned specifically to help Democrat congressional candidates.

The reward for MonCrief’s truth-telling? An intimidation lawsuit to shut her up.

Yesterday, MonCrief’s lawyers filed an answer to the ACORN/Project Vote lawsuit and counterclaims against the racket for its frivolous and bullying attempt to silence her. There is also a new website to help with her legal defense fund here.

These are the legal documents in PDF form:

*Answer to the lawsuit


*Motion to Dismiss

*Motion to Dismiss brief

MonCrief’s team has exposed the ACORN/Project Vote alliance’s joint and inseparable speech-stifling tactics and laid bare the legal chicanery. Pay attention. This is what ACORN’s worst enemies have to look forward to — and they will all need support to beat the silencers back. From the counterclaim:


10. MonCrief was a Project Vote employee and served as a Development Associate from October 2005 until January 11, 2008.

11. Project Vote is one of many affiliate entities controlled by ACORN. Together, many of these entities are referred to as the COUNCIL of organizations.

12. There is overlap and exchange of employees and officers between ACORN and Project Vote. Many employees of Project Vote simultaneously serve as staff members of ACORN and/or other affiliated organizations of ACORN.

13. Before she began working at Project Vote, MonCrief believed she was applying for a staff position with ACORN. She sent her resume to an ACORN employee, at an ACORN email address, and interviewed with an ACORN official. She was subsequently offered a job in the political operations department of ACORN. However, upon arriving at the ACORN office for her first day of work, MonCrief was informed that a decision had been made to have her employed instead by an organization called Project Vote.

14. On information and belief, the decision to hire MonCrief at Project Vote was made by ACORN.

15. Moreover, while serving as a Development Associate at Project Vote, MonCrief was simultaneously considered to be a member of the “political operations” staff of ACORN. At the outset of her employment with Project Vote MonCrief was issued an ACORN email address ( It was not until July of 2007 that MonCrief was given a Project Vote email address ( as well.

16. ACORN and Project Vote share office space in both Louisiana and Washington, D.C.

17. Citizens Consulting, Inc. (“CCI”) which like Project Vote is an affiliated entity of ACORN and member of the COUNCIL, handles all accounting, payroll, and other administrative matters for both ACORN and Project Vote.

18. On information and belief, ACORN has controlled Project Vote’s financial transactions.

19. On information and belief, ACORN has controlled the accounting for and receipt of contributions at Project Vote.

20. On information and belief, ACORN has controlled the authorization of and allocation of Project Vote expenditures.

21. On information and belief, ACORN and Project Vote have regularly engaged in transactions, financial and other, which are not conducted at arms-length.

22. On information and belief, both Project Vote and ACORN have failed to maintain proper corporate formalities, including failing to take and\or record minutes, and board meetings have been infrequently held.

23. Project Vote is, or has been at times relevant to this lawsuit, operated as a mere division of ACORN.

24. Beginning in the summer of 2008 and continuing through the present, MonCrief has engaged in an effort to shed light on unethical, inappropriate, and potentially illegal activities conducted by both Project Vote and ACORN while MonCrief was an employee of Project Vote.

25. MonCrief initially attempted to contact members of the press, including Stephanie Strom of the New York Times, to share her information. MonCrief participated in ongoing discussions with Strom, contributing information that Strom used in various ACORN exposes during 2008. However, just weeks before the 2008 presidential elections, Strom told MonCrief that her editors had asked her not to follow up on or print damaging information
regarding ACORN due to its potentially deleterious effects (Strom used the term “game- changer”) on the electoral success of then-candidate Barack Obama.

26. MonCrief, also a supporter of Barack Obama, nonetheless persisted in her efforts to bring her information to the public. She created a personal blog for herself in November of 2008 ( and began regularly posting entries to that blog.

27. MonCrief’s blog posts primarily contain political speech about current events, issues, candidates, public figures, and organizations. They also include personal, biographical reflections. Many of MonCrief’s blog posts have been critical of what she viewed as unethical, inappropriate, and potentially illegal activities on the part of Project Vote and ACORN, as well as other ACORN affiliated entities such as Citizen Services, Inc.
(“CSI”), and CCI.

28. MonCrief also published many of her blog posts on other websites such as Blog Town Hall (, The Next Right (, Big Government (, Publius’ Forum (, and Hot Air (

29. MonCrief has published articles for the DC Examiner ( that are critical of ACORN and Project Vote and accuse them of unethical, inappropriate, and potentially illegal activities.

30. In addition to her blogging and other writing, MonCrief frequently engages in dialogue and debate relating to Project Vote and ACORN via other forms of media, including Twitter and Facebook.

31. MonCrief has appeared on the Fox News Channel for interviews and has been critical of ACORN and Project Vote in such appearances.

32. MonCrief has appeared on various nationally syndicated radio programs and has been critical of ACORN and Project Vote in such appearances.

33. On October 29, 2008, MonCrief testified in a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania against both ACORN and Project Vote alleging various forms of wrongdoing on their part. MonCrief’s testimony covered a variety of topics, including ACORN’s control over its affiliated entities, inappropriate political activities undertaken by Project Vote and ACORN, and various issues related to voter registration fraud.

34. On March 19, 2009, portions of MonCrief’s testimony from the Pennsylvania lawsuit were read into the record as testimony before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives. That Committee was considering an investigation into potentially illegal activities on the part of ACORN. MonCrief’s testimony again indicated unethical and potentially illegal activities on the part
of ACORN and Project Vote, including potential violations of the United States Internal Revenue Code and the Federal Election Campaign Act.

35. In July of 2009, the Committee of Oversight and Governmental Reform of the United States House of Representatives issued a report on ACORN titled “Is ACORN Intentionally Structured As a Criminal Enterprise?,” which accused ACORN of multiple violations of federal law. The report relied in part on information provided by MonCrief, who had previously met with members of the Committee to discuss wrongdoing on the part
of ACORN and Project Vote.

36. On June 17, 2009, Project Vote filed its current complaint against MonCrief in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Project Vote purports to seek recovery for approximately $2,700 relating to MonCrief’s alleged misuse of a company credit card in 2007 and failure to pay back all of a cash advance MonCrief allegedly received from Project Vote during her employment.

37. Project Vote’s sole basis for bringing these claims in federal court (not counting their minimal contribution to Project Vote’s claim for $5 million in economic damages, which implicates diversity jurisdiction) is supplemental jurisdiction—their supposed “common nucleus of operative fact” with Project Vote’s claims regarding MonCrief’s email and blog postings, which are discussed below.

38. Project Vote also brings claims against MonCrief, based purportedly on her spring 2009 blog posts and emails critical of ACORN and CSI, among others.

39. Project Vote asserts causes of action based upon trademark violations, trespass to chattels, misappropriation of trade secrets, interference with business expectancies, conversion, misrepresentation, breach of contract, and civil conspiracy.

40. Project Vote prays for damages over $5 million as to its trade secrets, tortious interference, trespass to chattels, and civil conspiracy claims. Moreover, Project Vote seeks treble damages related to its trademark claims.

41. Project Vote’s theory of damages on its tortious interference claims is that MonCrief attempted to “embarrass Project Vote” and “drive a wedge” between itself and ACORN, CSI, Kevin Whelan, Zach Polett, and donors to Project Vote.

42. Project Vote has not identified any contribution it has lost, any financial loss that it has sustained with respect to its contributors, or any reputational or financial damage it has sustained with its own admittedly affiliated organizations (ACORN and CSI) as a proximate cause of MonCrief’s email or posting.

43. Contemporaneously with its Complaint, Project Vote filed a motion seeking leave from this Court to undertake emergency discovery of MonCrief in order to determine what third parties might be providing MonCrief with damaging information about Project Vote.

Count I — Alter Ego Liability

44. Defendant incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 trough 43 as though fully set forth herein.

45. ACORN and Project Vote share a unity of interest, ownership, and control to the extent that they do not have separate personalities or identities.

46. Project Vote is a mere instrumentality of ACORN as ACORN has exercised complete domination and control over Project Vote.

47. Failing to pierce the corporate veil of Project Vote to reach ACORN would permit ACORN to hide behind the corporate fiction of Project Vote to shield itself from liability for its wrongful actions.

48. ACORN has attempted to use its allegedly separate existence from Project Vote to manufacture a claim that by posting critical emails or blog entries, MonCrief has (or somehow could) damage the allegedly arms-length relationships between ACORN, CSI, and Project Vote. Under this damage theory, such reputational or financial harms would proximately cause loss to Project Vote. But in reality, this is impossible because Project Vote is an organization that, like its sibling CSI, is a mere instrumentality of ACORN.

Thus, ACORN has attempted to use the fiction of separate corporate existences to create causes of action that could otherwise not be pled.

49. ACORN and Project Vote are alter egos of one another and any liability on the part of Project Vote for abuse of process in this litigation must also be attributed to ACORN.

Count II – Abuse of Process

50. Defendant incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 49 as though fully set forth herein.

51. ACORN, Project Vote, and CSI are alter entities of one another and have attempted to use the fiction of independent corporate identities to create the possibility of damages and to manufacture a good faith basis for this lawsuit.

52. The primary purposes and intentions of this lawsuit against MonCrief are not to seek recovery and redress for the causes pled, but (a) to silence MonCrief’s criticism and pressure her to cease her whistle-blowing activities that shed light on wrongdoing on the part of Project Vote, ACORN, and other affiliated organizations of ACORN, and (b) to obtain information from MonCrief as to the current and former sources of her information in order to discover their identity and engage in similar retaliation.

53. ACORN and Project Vote have no legal right to silence MonCrief’s criticism or to prohibit her from exercising her First Amendment right to convey her message and ideas.

54. ACORN and Project Vote have no legal right to prohibit MonCrief from participating in various investigations of Project Vote and ACORN, and have no legal right to prohibit her from engaging in public discourse related to wrongdoing on the part of ACORN and Project Vote.

55. ACORN and Project Vote have no legal right to compel MonCrief to disclose the sources of her information.

56. On information and belief, prior to filing this lawsuit, ACORN and\or Project Vote terminated staff members whom they suspected of providing information to MonCrief, but believe that other sources of information remain in the

57. ACORN and Project Vote are using this lawsuit in an effort to identify these sources of information.

58. ACORN and Project Vote’s lawsuit is manifestly improper because it attempts to pervert the judicial process to achieve ends (namely, silencing of MonCrief’s criticism and forcing her to disclose her sources) which they cannot otherwise legally or regularly compel, but which are also collateral to the relief (payment of over $5 million, presumably accounting for unidentified, unalleged lost contributions and MonCrief’s alleged outstanding
loan and credit card balance) which they purport to seek.

59. MonCrief has suffered damages as a result of Project Vote’s and ACORN’s abuse of process, including but not limited to the costs associated with defending herself against Project Vote’s lawsuit and the chilling of her First Amendment rights.

ACORN’s next big chill attempt is aimed at Hannah Giles, James O’Keefe, and Andrew Breitbart (defense fund links here), who were all sued last month by ACORN as a result of their investigative journalism stings into the community organizing racket. Breitbart and MonCrief hosted a blogger call this afternoon to discuss MonCrief’s legal defense; Breitbart, Giles, and O’Keefe will host a National Press Club event tomorrow to discuss the next chapter in the ACORN sting saga:

Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government will hold a press conference featuring James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, the two daring young journalists who, posing as a “pimp” and “prostitute,” exposed massive corruption within ACORN’s offices throughout the country. The Press Conference will be held at the National Press Club of Washington, DC on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.

After suing, Mr. O’Keefe and Ms. Giles in Maryland over the release of the Baltimore tapes, ACORN has issued public statements denying any wrongdoing in its Philadelphia office and lying about what happened there.
Mr. O’Keefe and Ms. Giles are now prepared to respond.

According to Mr. Breitbart, “ACORN representatives claim James and Hannah were kicked out of Philadelphia. They also said publicly that unlike Baltimore, Washington D.C., Brooklyn, San Bernardino and San Diego, James and Hannah
never even mentioned prostitution before they were told to leave. James and Hannah will be joining me to set the record straight. After Wednesday, everyone will know what really happened in Philly.”

Reps Steve King (R-IA) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), leaders in the congressional fight to defund ACORN will be also be in attendance to offer
brief remarks.

They all stood up to ACORN. Time to stand up for them.

Dems running scared on Countrywide scandal

Dems running scared on Countrywide scandal

Rick Moran
And when I say, “scared,” I mean petrified.

Some big name Democratic lawmakers as well as contributors would be embarrassed and possibly liable for ethics violations if the truth about the list of “VIP’s” who benefited from overly generous mortgage terms offered by Countrywide Financial ever came out.

So the number one job of House Oversight and Government Reform chairman Edolphus Towns is to try and bury the issue – just as it’s the number one job of the ranking minority member Darrell Issa to try and bring it out into the open.

The result? When the GOP tried to force a vote on the investigation during a mark up period, the Democrats refused to show up. And now they’ve locked the GOP out of the Committee room entirely.

Susan Crabtree writing at The Hill:

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to keep them from meeting when Democrats aren’t present.

Towns’ action came after repeated public ridicule from the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), over Towns’s failure to launch an investigation into Countrywide Mortgage’s reported sweetheart deals to VIPs.

or months Towns has refused Republican requests to subpoena records in the case. Last Thursday Committee Republicans, led by Issa, were poised to force an open vote on the subpoenas at a Committee mark-up meeting. The mark-up was abruptly canceled. Only Republicans showed up while Democrats chairs remained empty.

Republicans charged that Towns canceled the meeting to avoid the subpoena vote. Democrats first claimed the mark-up was canceled due to a conflict with the Financial Services Committee. Later they said it was abandoned after a disagreement among Democratic members on whether to subpoena records on the mortgage industry’s political contributions to Republicans.

A GOP committee staffer captured video of Democrats leaving their separate meeting in private chambers after the mark-up was supposed to have begun. He spliced the video to other footage of the Democrats’ empty chairs at the hearing room, set it to the tune of “Hit the Road, Jack” and posted it on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s minority webpage, where it remained as of press time.

Incensed that the GOP scored a PR coup, Townes retaliated by locking the room. Pretty childish. And very revealing about just how much the Democrats think this scandal could hurt them.

Press on, Rep. Issa…

Page Printed from: at October 21, 2009 – 09:40:24 AM EDT