The Illinois Acorns

Durbin & Burris

By Steve Rhodes
|  Friday, Sep 18, 2009  |  Updated 8:38 AM CDT
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The U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to cut off federal funding to ACORN, the low-income housing group under a storm of controversy after undercover video shows employees advising, for example, hookers to declare their occupation as "performing arts" to secure home loans.

Of the seven pro-ACORN votes, two were from IllinoisDick Durbin and Roland Burris.

Why?

Burris isn't saying.

But in this video he's walking away from a reporter's questions as fast as he can.

We don't know about Durbin, but last February he took to the floor of the Senate to defend ACORN, citing its mortgage counseling among other good deeds.

Even Harry Reid and the two senators from Minnesota voted against ACORN.

"The senator felt it was important to let ACORN know that the behavior of their employees was unacceptable,” a spokeswoman for Al Franken told MinnPost. “Overall, they’re a good organization with the best of intentions, especially in Minnesota, but obviously some serious house-keeping needs to be done to get themselves in order.”

Joining Durbin and Burris in voting to continue federal funding to ACORN: Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Kristen Gillibrand of New York, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

Besides the hooker video, ACORN is under investigation in several states for the possible forgery and falsification of voter cards. Maybe that doesn't strike senators from Illinois as out of the ordinary, but last week Miami-Dade prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 11 ACORN workers.

The Obama administration, which benefited from ACORN's voter registration efforts, condemned the group's actions on Wednesday; ACORN announced it would conduct an independent review.

Apparently the Senate vote got their attention - Durbin and Burris notwithstanding.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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