ACORN engaged in a scheme to use taxpayer money to support a partisan political agenda, according to a new report from Republicans on a House oversight committee.
The report, released Thursday, accuses ACORN of fraudulent activities and widespread corruption and calls for a criminal investigation into the advocacy group. It offers the first detailed account of the allegations that have dogged the organization in recent months.
ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform, has been under constant fire from conservatives since last year for its support of Barack Obama's presidential candidacy and its planned participation in next year's 2010 census.
The report was released by Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Issa's GOP colleagues.
"This report is about getting to the truth and when there are significant accusations and questions outstanding regarding an organization that has benefited from millions of taxpayer dollars, those questions should be answered and the truth should be brought to light," Issa said in a statement.
The executive summary of the report says ACORN provided contributions of financial and personnel resources to indicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and candidate Obama, among others, in what the report calls a scheme to use taxpayer money to support a partisan political agenda, which would be a clear violation of numerous tax and election laws.
"Both structurally and operationally, ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan agenda and to manipulate the American electorate," an executive summary of the report reads.