by Matthew Boyle 15 Oct 2013, 12:46 PM PDT
Judicial Watch has uncovered documents showing that Bruce Dorpalen, a key former Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) operative, is still advising President Barack Obama’s administration years after the organization was shuttered by scandal.
Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on May 16, 2013. The conservative watchdog organization’s president Tom Fitton noted in a statement exclusively provided to Breitbart News head of their public release, that the documents show that ACORN’s former top officials still have influence over Obama’s policies.
“These smoking-gun documents show the continued collusion among Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Renewal, the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Administration and ACORN spinoffs – and strongly indicate that Barack Obama is still determined to turn the federal government’s housing policy over to the far left,” Fitton said. “How is it, after the scandals of ACORN and its contribution to the housing crash, that this organization’s former leadership is still able to guide federal housing policy? It goes to show that Barack Obama truly is the president from ACORN."
Dorpalen was once the director of ACORN Housing, and is the current executive director of ACORN-spinoff National Housing Resource Center (NHRC). The documents show that Dorpalen has been meeting with and advising top Obama administration officials on housing issues.
A Dec. 10, 2012 email that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) senior adviser Brenda Muniz sent to Dorpalen confirmed that he would “be the one to introduce Director [Richard] Cordray” at an NHRC Leaders in Housing Counseling forum to be held on Dec. 12, 2012, at the D.C. Renaissance Hotel.
“When Dorpalen invited Muniz and CPFB Associate Director Zixta Martinez to a dinner with representatives from several housing counseling agencies the night before the forum, Muniz apparently had questions about attending the event, writing to Martinez, ‘I’m going to submit this to ethics unless you think I shouldn’t,’” Judicial Watch noted that “no information was provided as to Martinez’ response.”
An April 2013 event attendees list generated for Muniz shows that Dorpalen met with CFPB regional strategist Keo Chea and with Federal Reserve representatives. “The meeting was also attended by Dustin Toomey, the Executive Director of Affordable Housing Centers of PA (an ACORN spin-off co-located with the NHRC),” Judicial Watch noted in the release.
Another email indicates that on April 11, 2013, Dorpalen had a “a meeting in the afternoon with Tom Curry from the OCC,” which is the Comptroller of the Currency. Curry, Judicial Watch noted, as head of the OCC, supervises more than 2,000 national banks and federal savings associations around the country.
“A March 25, 2013, email reveals that Dorpalen sent a letter signed by 240 housing counseling agencies to CFPB’s Martinez and Muniz lobbying for an ‘extension of the HAMP [Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Making Home Affordable programs past the December 31, 2013 deadline’ for their expiration,” Judicial Watch added, before noting that just eight weeks later, President Obama’s administration announced it was extending those programs to 2015.
“A January 10, 2013, email indicates that Dorpalen was invited to be a panelist at a January CFPB field hearing in Atlanta, Georgia. Before the panel, Muniz apparently organized a ‘prep call’ between Dorpalen and other attendees (including Julia Gordon, the Director of Housing Finance and Policy at the Center for American Progress) to discuss the event,” Judicial Watch noted. “The agenda, attached to the e-mail about the call, was not provided in the response to Judicial Watch. However, the e-mail suggests that information regarding an unspecified, proposed CFPB rule would be discussed on the call and that Muniz did not want to address the issue via e-mail.”
NHRC is a project of the George Soros-funded Tides Foundation. “It apparently began operation in early 2012--the same time that ACORN's previous housing-related spin-off, Affordable Housing Centers of America, closed its doors,” Judicial Watch noted in its release. “The NHRC operates as a lobbyist for the housing counseling industry and includes among its accomplishments the securing of $25 million in additional grant funding for housing counselors from the Treasury Department and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). NHRC Executive Director Dorpalen has visited the White House on at least five occasions, including a November 2012 meeting with National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling. The ACORN network has a long and close relationship to President Obama. ACORN’s efforts, many contend, to push unaffordable mortgages help contribute the recent housing market crash.”