Halting State Funding to Acorn
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of public officials in the State of Louisiana to protect the public and ensure that taxpayer funds are being responsibly, ethically, and properly spent;
WHEREAS, ACORN maintains a national headquarters office in New Orleans and has conducted financial activities in the state;
WHEREAS, upon my request for an investigation into the organization’s activities in the State, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office subpoenaed documents of ACORN ’s national headquarters in New Orleans;
WHEREAS, seventy (70) employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (“ACORN”) have been convicted of crimes committed in the course of their work for the organization, to date;
WHEREAS, on September 11, 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau ended its relationship with ACORN;
WHEREAS, up to twenty (20) states are investigating charges related to voting regularities and fraud into the current and past operations of ACORN;
WHEREAS, the United States Senate and House of Representatives recently voted in a bipartisan manner to cut off federal funds to ACORN;
WHEREAS, FBI Director Robert Mueller has stated his department will look into allegations of misconduct relating to ACORN;
WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Service is aware of the current allegations facing ACORN and is conducting a “thorough review” of their relationship with the organization; and
WHEREAS, ACORN’s actions make clear that financial involvement with ACORN is contrary to the public policy of the State of Louisiana and the best interests of its citizens, and therefore should be quickly terminated if it is found to exist;
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are hereby prohibited from entering into any future contracts with ACORN or its subsidiaries or affiliates.
SECTION 2: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are directed to cease all existing funding for ACORN or its subsidiaries or affiliates unless such funding is legally obligated. If a department, commission, board, office, entity, agency, or officer of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, determines that such funding is legally obligated, it is directed to inform the Executive Counsel to the Governor of its determination.
SECTION 3: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are hereby directed to provide to the Executive Counsel to the Governor no later than October 2, 2009, a copy of any existing contracts or other agreements between the agency and ACORN or its subsidiaries for an immediate review.
SECTION 4: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to assist and cooperate in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 5: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 17th day of September, 2009.
Secretary of State