Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov
December 22, 2009
House Judiciary Committee
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
In response to your request that CRS research several issues relating to the Association of CommunityOrganizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and its affiliates, CRS has compiled the following information.1.
Investigations concerning ACORN
. You asked for a list giving the status and results of a) all pending or previous federal, state or local criminal or agency investigationsconcerning ACORN; b) all pending or previous congressional investigations concerningACORN; c) all pending or previous internal ACORN investigations; and d) all pendingrequests (other than those made to CRS) for investigation of ACORN by any Member of Congress or any committee. The following memorandum,
,contains information on pending and previous federal, state, local, and internalinvestigations concerning ACORN obtained from news sources. The tables in thememorandum include basic details about the investigation and direct quotations takenfrom the source document; however, CRS did not verify the information in the source.2.
Federal funding received by ACORN.
You asked for a description of all federalfunding received by ACORN over the last five fiscal years and a description of instanceswhere ACORN violated the terms of federal funding. The following memorandum,
Federal Funding to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now(ACORN)
, presents information on federal funding received by ACORN. A search of reports of federal agency inspectors general did not identify instances in which ACORNviolated the terms of federal funding in the last five years.3.
Effect of alleged false voter registrations by ACORN workers.
You asked CRS toresearch improper voter registrations that resulted in people being placed on the votingrolls and attempting to vote improperly at the polls. As discussed, a NEXIS search of theALL NEWS file did not identify any reported instances of individuals who wereimproperly registered by ACORN attempting to vote at the polls.4.
Recent “sting” activity concerning ACORN.
You asked CRS to research and report onthe federal and state laws that could apply to the recent videotaping of ACORN workersand the distribution of conversations with ACORN workers without consent. This issueis addressed in the following memorandum,
Allegations of Recording Conversations WithVarious ACORN Affiliated Individuals Without Their Consent: Implications Under Various Federal and State Laws Relating to the Interception of Oral Communications
.The memorandum explains that “as a general matter federal law permits privateindividuals to record face to face conversations, as long as the recording is not done forcriminal or tortious purposes. New York law seems even more forgiving, for it only