Republicans Seek Investigation of DHS Grant to ACORN

Posted October 7, 2009 at 4:34pm

Two Republican lawmakers are demanding an investigation into how the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now qualified for a first-responder grant from the Department of Homeland Security, in a letter to the DHS secretary on Wednesday. While ACORN never received the Assistance to Firefighters grant for $997,402 because of Congressional concerns about the progressive community organizing group, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in a joint letter Wednesday asked DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Inspector General Richard Skinner to investigate how ACORN was ever eligible for the funds.Collins, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Issa, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also asked Napolitano to provide a list of grants that ACORN has received from DHS and an explanation of the requirements that must be met by an organization to qualify for an award. “It is disturbing that ACORN was awarded a grant when fire departments all over the country are struggling to make ends meet and get the equipment and training they need to protect their local communities,— Issa and Collins wrote. “A grant of nearly $1 million in Homeland Security funding was awarded to ACORN, money that might have been awarded to fire departments.—ACORN has been accused of participating in voter registration fraud as well as other criminal activity. The letter is the latest salvo in a GOP effort to generate investigations of ACORN in as many agencies and committee as possible.A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security said it takes seven to 10 days to receive a response to a letter to the secretary and that they did not have a record of the letter on file. A spokesman for ACORN did not immediately return a call for comment.