Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Upcoming: "The Fund Boeing Act"

It's funny how you don't hear Rush Limbaugh denouncing these guys:

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.
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.

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.

Whoops: Anti-ACORN Bill Ropes In Defense Contractors, Others Charged With Fraud

This would probably be a good time to disclose that I've worked for one of the companies mentioned, and have worked on contracts that involve several of the companies on the POGO list. The only thing I find surprising about it is that a congressman asked to have it drawn up.

I think it would be hard to find a major government contractor that wasn't guilty of some such infraction. When the prohibition applies to employees, that net is so wide that it could include any company with more employees than they can watch at once. Not surprisingly then, the list includes another former employer of mine, Boeing.

The act's official name is "The Defund ACORN Act". I wonder how long it will be before the "Fund Boeing Act" is passed.

Of course, that's not the only fun we can have with this. As Steve Benen notes:

The next question, of course, is why ACORN's problems with voter-registration materials are extremely important, while Lockheed Martin's and Northrop Gumman's bad habits are not only considered uninteresting -- to conservatives, to lawmakers, to news outlets -- but largely verboten as a topic of conversation.

Caught In The ACORN Net

Sadly, since one news network is owned by General Electric, who are also on that list, I doubt we'll be hearing about this much there. Fox "News" would seem to have no motivation to point this out. I'm thinking that we might not be hearing much about this on television.

Their reaction to this should demonstrate just how nakedly opportunistic, not to mention hypocritical, the Republican campaign against ACORN is, and how broken our broadcast news business has become.

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