ACORN being called a criminal enterprise.
Despite years of warning signs that ACORN was violating the law, many state attorneys general have not investigated the organization or brought enforcement actions. State attorneys general, besides being the chief enforcement officers for violations of state laws, claim unique law enforcement authority over nonprofits.
The reasons for inaction by state attorneys general may explain why ACORN is such a problem. ACORN has developed close ties, to put it mildly, with many state attorneys general as well as others deep in the Democrat establishment. The relationship between ACORN and Democrats may be described as symbiotic.
Democrats have not only provided taxpayer money to ACORN, but have benefited from ACORN's endorsements, its other election-related activities such as get-out-the-vote, and even its litigation on behalf of leftwing policies. ACORN actually considers itself a "partner" with liberal big government on many matters ranging from the United States Census to programs run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
State and local politics, of course, act as feeders for national politicians. Steve Malanga's excellent book, The New New Left explains how ACORN, various unions and other leftwing causes have come to dominate politics in some cities and states, and have relied largely on taxpayer money and ties to Democrat politicians to do so.
The position of state attorney general has become a particularly big feeder, and we see many national politicians who are former state AGs. This begs the question: where ACORN has been violating laws, was it doing so with the imprimatur if not outright assistance of Democrat attorneys general, who seek to curry favor with the Democratic establishment?
That brings us to the importance of ACORN's first scorecard of attorneys general, issued in 2008, "Attorneys General Take Action: Real Leadership in Fighting Foreclosures." The 18-page report and scorecard describes attorneys' general active involvement with ACORN's policy goals on housing.
ACORN graded attorneys general on their efforts to help ACORN's agenda. The issues ranged from supporting federal legislation introduced by such luminaries in the nation's mortgage debacle as Connecticut's Senator Chris Dodd, to using taxpayer money in support of ACORN's litigation and other efforts. The report has pictures and special mention of six attorneys general who received A+ from ACORN.