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Thread: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

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    Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay the community group Acorn for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group.

    The department’s conclusion, laid out in a recently disclosed five-page memorandum from David Barron, the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, adds a new wrinkle to a sharp political debate over the antipoverty group’s activities and recent efforts to distance the government from it.

    Since 1994, Acorn, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has received about $53 million in federal aid, much of it grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for providing various services related to affordable housing.

    But the group has become a prime target for conservative critics, and on Oct. 1, President Obama signed into law a spending bill that included a provision that said no taxpayer money — including money authorized by previous legislation — could be “provided to” the group or its affiliates.

    A Housing and Urban Development Department lawyer asked the Justice Department whether the new law meant that pre-existing contracts with Acorn should be broken. And in a memorandum signed Oct. 23 and posted online this week, Mr. Barron said the government should continue to make payments to Acorn as required by such contracts.

    The new law “should not be read as directing or authorizing HUD to breach a pre-existing binding contractual obligation to make payments to Acorn or its affiliates, subsidiaries or allied organizations where doing so would give rise to contractual liability,” Mr. Barron wrote.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/28/us...rdFQwFuMP5+Gww

    Funny isn't it, how Obama had no problem with making null and void contracts with companies taking TARP funds, ya know, breaching contracts with employees and the like. However, it appears ACORN is not subject to that same mentality.
    Somethings always never change, for the better or worse.

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    I think this admin. has become comical at this point, I really didn't think we could get much worse, how very wrong I was.

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    As I recall, and correct me if I am wrong, but the voided contracts under TARP were between the firm taking bailout money and a third party unrelated to the government. Now, I'm a bit rusty in my business law, but when a firm gets bailout money, the bailout money is converted into some kind of security. Now, with the TARP much of that was in equity. And as most of us understand, equity in theory entitles one to some say.

    Is TARP Really a TRAP? - BusinessWeek
    The American Spectator : The TARP Trojan Horse

    In section 5.3 of the agreement there is language that says if Congress wants to put new conditions or requirements on the banks, those new terms can be applied retroactively to banks who took the money.
    Funny thing is I can't find that. Section 5.3 does not say that.

    Read The Bill: H.R. 384 - GovTrack.us

    All it covers is the capacity to change mortgage rates. That's not exactly unilateral voiding of contracts. However, the FIRST TARP bill signed under Bush does have such language.

    (c) Unenforceability of Certain Agreements- Section 13(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1823(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(11) UNENFORCEABILITY OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS- No provision contained in any existing or future standstill, confidentiality, or other agreement that, directly or indirectly--

    ‘(A) affects, restricts, or limits the ability of any person to offer to acquire or acquire,

    ‘(B) prohibits any person from offering to acquire or acquiring, or

    ‘(C) prohibits any person from using any previously disclosed information in connection with any such offer to acquire or acquisition of,

    all or part of any insured depository institution, including any liabilities, assets, or interest therein, in connection with any transaction in which the Corporation exercises its authority under section 11 or 13, shall be enforceable against or impose any liability on such person, as such enforcement or liability shall be contrary to public policy.’.
    Read The Bill: H.R. 1424 [110th] - GovTrack.us

    But the group has become a prime target for conservative critics, and on Oct. 1, President Obama signed into law a spending bill that included a provision that said no taxpayer money — including money authorized by previous legislation — could be “provided to” the group or its affiliates.
    Read The Bill: H.R. 3221 - GovTrack.us

    That doesn't appear to be true based on section 602.

    So based on the text of the law, you appear to be wrong.
    Last edited by obvious Child; 11-28-09 at 02:09 AM.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    Do you really believe that? Seriously?
    Somethings always never change, for the better or worse.

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Do you really believe that? Seriously?
    Do I believe what the text of statutory legislation defines what that legislation can and cannot do?

    Seems like a stupid question to me.

    You are free to believe whatever you want, but believing that laws state this or that when the text of that law does not, doesn't make you rational.

    Now, in the text of the statutory legislation in question, there is no clause that allows for retroactive voiding of contracts. If you ever bothered to open links, you'd see that. In the first TARP bill, as I quoted does explicitly have clauses to void existing agreements. So your argument that Obama is being a hypocrite for voiding agreements of banks that took TARP money but not voiding ACORN previous funding is quite wrong on the basis of the text of statutory legislation.

    But you are entirely free to believe that laws allow this or that despite having no such clauses.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    The travesty was that ACORN was ever defunded in the first place. They do many communities across this nation a great service.
    It's time for a revolution in our country. Not a revolution forged with guns and bombs but a revolution forged of compassion and altruism. A revolution that extends a hand to those who don't have and who cannot. A revolution that makes Health Care available to all those in the US.

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    especially the human smugglers and child prostitution pimps

    VALUES
    There's no evidence of human smugglers or pimps working for ACORN.
    They gave advice to anyone who went there.

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    especially the human smugglers and child prostitution pimps

    VALUES
    Last edited by The Prof; 11-28-09 at 05:04 PM.

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by Neitzluber View Post
    There's no evidence of human smugglers or pimps working for ACORN.
    such a powerful point you make

    the traffickers and perverts aren't employees

    they're clients

    LOL!

    They gave advice to anyone who went there.
    well, how admirably even handed of them

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    Re: Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by formerroadie View Post
    The travesty was that ACORN was ever defunded in the first place. They do many communities across this nation a great service.
    Affordable housing. No doubt through government mandates and not by allowing the market to build more units. That's nothing more than favoritisim.

    Better schools. No doubt through more money into failing schools and not by giving parents more choice.

    Fair housing. No doubt to ensure that minorities that can't afford housing get into houses that are out of their price range.

    Fair tax fees. I don't know much about this.

    Foreclosures. They want people to live in houses that they can't afford because they were so overpriced. Not allowing housing prices to fall, that kind of contradicts affordable housing doesn't it?

    Gulf coast recover. Because we should rebuild an area that is below sea level when we have plenty of other, safer land.

    Health care. I've said enough about this. Bleh

    Immigration. I probably agree with them here more than I disagree.

    Living wage. Because your right to a wage that's arbitrarily determined to be high enough to live takes precedence over the person who can't be hired because his labor isn't worth that much. Bleh

    Paid sick days. Because you should get paid for not working. Bleh

    Predatory lending. Because a lender sticks a gun to your head and forces you to take out a loan. Bleh

    Utilities. We're not running out of water. Bleh

    Voter engagement. Because people who don't know the issues should vote anyway. Bleh

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

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