Nestled in the housing bill President Bush signed yesterday is an acronym Republicans don’t like one bit: ACORN. The Wall Street Journal reports that the group is among the many housing-related nonprofits the bill hands cash to, but Republicans grumble that it does more than housing. It’s also co-managing a $15.9 million voter registration campaign aimed at low-income Hispanics and African Americans–in other words, likely Democratic voters.
ACORN is made up of many legally distinct groups, and its political activism arm has long been a staunch Democratic ally. “These are taxpayer funds, in an indirect method, being used to subsidize political activism,” said one Republican rep. But Democrats say Republicans just don’t want the poor to vote; other voter registration groups, both right- and left-leaning, get public funds. (Read more Congress stories.)