The bill was intended as a "de-fund ACORN" measure, but Democrats figured out right away that the broad wording of the bill could also cut funds to a long list of military contractors, effectively defunding the "military industrial complex."
From Huffington Post:
The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 345-75, and the Project on Government Oversight is working on building a database of organizations that have defrauded the government:
In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.
Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who's Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.
At last count, it includes 87 instances of government contract fraud – federal and state – involving 43 contractors. You might want to focus on Lockheed Martin, which has 11 government contract fraud instances, or Northrop Grumman with 9 contract fraud instances including this $325 million False Claims Act settlement from earlier this year.If you'd like to help Representative Alan Grayson build a list of organizations that have committed fraud against the government, contact him at this link: Help Rep. Grayson Find Fraud (and, yes, they've got Blackwater already).
Bear in mind that, since 1994, ACORN has reportedly received a total of $53 million in federal funds, or an average of roughly $3.5 million per year. In contrast, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman respectively received over $35 billion and $18 billion in federal contracts last year. (Their totals since 2000 are $266 billion for Lockheed and $125 billion for Northrop.)