ACORN Redux

Treasury awards $445M to Illinois agency headed by ACORN director

Congress prohibited the federal government from funding the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), but that hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from funneling nearly half a billion dollars to the controversial group’s founder.

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch reports the Treasury Department awarded $445 million to the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, the director of which is Joe McGavin, former director at ACORN:

JW found that a subcomponent of the state-run Illinois Housing Development Authority, known as the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, has just received a generous $445,603,557 Treasury infusion. The Obama Administration established Hardest Hit in 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in states hit hardest by the economic and housing market downturn, according to its website.

In early 2011 McGavin was appointed as director of Hardest Hit. Before that he was director of counseling for ACORN Housing in Chicago and operations manager for a Chicago ACORN offshoot called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA). His strong ties to ACORN make him a suspect candidate to handle such a huge amount of taxpayer dollars.

The Obama-tied community organization supposedly shut down after a series of exposés about its illegal activities, including fraudulent voter registration drives and involvement in the housing market meltdown. Read all about it in Judicial Watch’s special report, "The Rebranding of ACORN." The legal scandals led Congress to pass a 2009 law banning federal funding for ACORN, which for years enjoyed a huge flow of taxpayer dollars to promote its various leftwing causes.

The funding is part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). A Treasury Department spokeswoman said 18 states total qualified for grants, which were dispersed to state housing finance agencies.

The Obama re-election campaign did not immediately return requests for comment.