ACORN denied this week that it had lobbied for this booty. But it is the largest and most obvious beneficiary. ACORN is the granddaddy of foreclosure prevention/housing redevelopment lobbyists listed on the U.S. Department of Treasury website. Over the last month, its members have held neighborhood protests in New York, Wilmington, Albany, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Durham, Flint, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Tucson and St. Louis. Keeping people who shouldn't have received loans in houses they can't afford across the country is their bread and butter.
If not ACORN, then who? Next in line for the stimulus windfall is the Massachusetts-based Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA). Founder Bruce Marks proudly calls himself a "bank terrorist." As I reported last spring, Marks threatened to march into the neighborhoods of bank executives and bully their children. He's done it for years, all under the guise of "social justice" and "neighborhood stabilization."
Marks' agenda is blatantly political and personally lucrative. NACA -- with dozens of offices across the country -- has a no down payment, no closing costs, low interest rate policy for low-income minority borrowers and takes a hefty fee for each transaction. NACA loan applicants are then required to attend workshops that indoctrinate them in the group's protest thuggery.
The NACA recruits serve on, you guessed it, "Neighborhood Stabilization Committees." Those whose loans are approved must then pledge to assist the stabilization committees in five "actions" (like the spring 2008 mob protest at Bear Stearns' New York headquarters) per year. It's an endless cycle of demonstrations on the front end (to get the loans) and the back end (to prevent foreclosures on bad loan risks) and back again in an endless loop. These shakedowns have yielded nearly $10 billion in payoffs from capitulating corporate giants Citigroup and Bank of America.
Do lawmakers really want to sign on to this self-perpetuating government racket and self-proclaimed bank terrorism? Insanity, the old saw goes, is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Any self-respecting Senate Republican who would vote for this multibillion-dollar slush fund in the name of saving the economy needs his or her head examined.
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