A new report from the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) concludes that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice has been extorting fines from major banks, which are then used to fund leftist groups that push the Democratic vote.
The report notes that while community organizing groups have been using aggressive, “terrorist” tactics for decades to force banks to provide funding for their operations, the Obama administration has brought the power of the federal government to bear on their behalf. Banks are threatened with lawsuits for racial discrimination based on the controversial “disparate impact” theory, and offered incentives to settle by paying left-wing groups directly, beyond the review or oversight of Congress.
The result, the GAI report says, is a system of political patronage:
The old time political machine has been replaced by these nonprofits and a system of patronage now operates with the imprimatur of the DOJ. The DOJ has instituted a system that provides significant funding for nonprofit “community organizers” through a pattern of extortive lawsuits. This system, wherein appointed attorneys can legally extract money from the private sector and redistribute the funds to third-party organizations outside of the appropriations process, shows an unprecedented and extraordinary disregard for Congressional authority.
Left-wing groups have long used the Community Reinvestment Act — signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 and boosted by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s — to threaten bank mergers unless the banks fund their lending and activist operations.
Many of the organizations, including the non-profit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), control huge amounts of funding for use in mortgages that might not otherwise be granted. They also register their beneficiaries to vote.
A former NACA employee, who spoke to Breitbart News on condition of anonymity, confirmed that “They do ask that everyone is registered to vote. They don’t force you to do it, but when you come in for your intake, and you do your initial application [for a mortgage], you are handed a voter registration form.” Applicants were also asked to perform various acts of “community service” for NACA, which typically involved political activity, such as attending protests or writing to Congress.
In early 2009, in the midst of a wave of foreclosures as a result of the 2007-8 subprime mortgage crisis, groups like NACA used old-style intimidation tactics to “terrorize” bankers personally, including by targeting bankers’ children at their schools.
According to the GAI report, the Obama administration’s new policy, midway through 2009, abused the powers of the Justice Department to do through the courts what groups like NACA had once done through the bare-knuckle tactics of the streets.
The former NACA employee told Breitbart News that the group’s ideology is “not capitalist.”
“They have a sort of socialistic worldview … They don’t like capitalism. They don’t like landlords.” Clients were prevented in NACA’s mortgage agreements from renting out their homes. “They want you to come into this belief system with them.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.