03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Maddow, Bernie Sanders Highlight Contradictions In Congress Targeting ACORN (VIDEO)

When Congress rushed to stop sending federal money to ACORN in the wake of the prostitution scandal involving a few of their employees, Republicans wrote the bill so broadly that it applied to any organization that had been charged with breaking federal or state laws, as well as various lobbying and campaign finance laws. As HuffPost's Ryan Grim wrote, "In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops."

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-Mn.), however, has introduced a bill called the ACORN act, which "respects the Constitution by requiring that a corporation be convicted of a felony before federal funds are cut off." Since ACORN has yet to be convicted of a felony, they would still be eligible to receive federal funds. Massive corporations like the drug company Pfizer and defense contractors like Lockheed Martin would be cut off from government money (of which they receive far more than ACORN) because they have been convicted of defrauding the taxpayers (and still received new government contracts and payouts).

Senator Bernie Sanders has taken up this cause in the Senate, and he joins Rachel Maddow to discuss his attempts to get a grip on the Pentagon's continued relationships with defense contractors that have abused the public's trust.


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