The House’s 345-75 vote to defund ACORN is indeed, as my Examiner colleague Byron York put it, extraordinary. Democrats voted 172-75 to defund ACORN; Republicans voted 173-0 to do so. This would not have occurred but for http://biggovernment.com/ the Big Government videos of ACORN employees encouraging tax evasion and prostitution. “Mainstream media” studiously ignored this big, big story, because it put Obama's political allies in ACORN in a bad light–such an egregious bit of biased coverage that it aroused derision and contempt from Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. But “mainstream media” couldn't cover up this scandal, as much as it wanted to. And once it was out in the open, the House Democratic leadership obviously decided it was riskier to block a vote and to deny many of their members a chance to cast an anti-ACORN vote than it was distasteful to collude in the defunding of an important part of the coalition that did so much to elect Barack Obama and the Democratic majorities in 2008.
Which leads to the question: who were the 75 House Democrats who voted not to defund ACORN? They included Majority Whip James Clyburn but not Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as is customary for speakers did not vote, but her Bay Area consiglieri George Miller and Anna Eshoo voted to defund the group. The 75 anti-defunding Democrats included several committee chairmen—Bob Filner, Nick Joe Rahall, Charles Rangel, Louise Slaughter, Bennie Thompson, Edolphus Towns and Henry Waxman—but not others. Chairmen Howard Berman, John Conyers, Bart Gordon, George Miller, James Oberstar, David Obey, Collin Peterson, Ike Skelton and John Spratt all voted to defund ACORN; Chairman Barney Frank was one of 11 members not voting (2 others voted present). Interestingly, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers indicated earlier this year that his committee might investigate ACORN; then he changed his mind at the behest, he said, of “the powers that be.” Perhaps he will change his mind again, now that “the powers that be” have allowed ACORN to be repudiated.
The 75 districts represented by members who voted against defunding ACORN delivered an average majority of 72%-26% for Barack Obama. Only two of those districts, represented by West Virginia Democrats Alan Mollohan and Nick Joe Rahall, voted for John McCain. By my count, 29 of those districts are represented by members of the Congressional Black Caucus and 7 districts by members of the Hispanic Caucus. The 11 districts of those not voting averaged 54%-45% for Obama and the 2 districts of those voting present averaged 77%-23% for Obama. By my calculation, that means the average vote in the districts of the 345 members who voted to defund ACORN was about 50%-48% for McCain. As indicated by members' votes, mainstream America was clearly repulsed by the facts that “mainstream media” tried to conceal.