Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 8:47 pm

Snaring geese, ganders and various other foul fowl (not to mention a fish in a barrel)

Filed under: I want my money back.,Woohoo! — Lex @ 8:47 pm

I remarked a little while back about the fact that the liberal group ACORN was losing its government contract on grounds of fraud, which it should, while Xe, nee Blackwater, was keeping its contract despite indiscriminate killing, which it shouldn’t.

That’s one problem. But it gets more interesting. Congress, as it is wont to do, overreacted in its legislation regarding cutting off ACORN. But, unlike most cases in which Congress overreacts, in this case, it may have overreacted to the benefit of the public:

Going after ACORN may be like shooting fish in a barrel lately — but jumpy lawmakers used a bazooka to do it last week and may have blown up some of their longtime allies in the process.

The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to “any organization” that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.

Have I mentioned that I like Alan Grayson a lot? Why, yes. Yes, I have. And so far, at least, my faith continues to be rewarded.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who’s Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.

The language was written by the GOP and filed as a “motion to recommit” in the House, where it passed 345-75.

POGO is reaching out to its members to identify other companies who have engaged in the type of misconduct that would make them ineligible for federal funds.

Grayson then intends to file that list in the legislative history that goes along with the bill so that judges can reference it when determining whether a company should be denied federal funds.

The Florida freshman is asking for direct assistance. He has set up a Google spreadsheet where people can suggest contractors who have been charged with violations and include a link to a media or government report documenting the alleged transgression.

Folks, it’s an open-source partnership between government and the public to get swindlers off our payroll, open season on leeches on the body politic. Lock and load! This could be fun.

UPDATE: It’s fun already. Louisiana Democrats have created an online petition calling for Republican Sen. David “Diapers” Vitter to be “defunded” by Congress because of his past dalliance with prostitutes.

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