HARRISBURG Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill) announced that he is supporting legislative efforts to ban political groups, like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), from receiving taxpayer funds.

"ACORN has portrayed itself as nonprofit, nonpartisan social justice organization," Knowles said. "In reality, ACORN is a partisan political organization that has repeatedly found itself at the center of voter fraud allegations and now we see evidence of ACORN staffers advising people on how to break the law. The people of Pennsylvania do not expect their tax dollars to fund the partisan political activities of groups like ACORN."

Knowles noted that he recently supported an effort to consider an amendment that would have denied all public funding for groups engaging in political activities such as:

• Actively managing political campaigns.

• Soliciting or handling political contributions.

• Soliciting votes.

• Endorsing or opposing candidates.

• Circulating partisan nominating petitions.

• Organizing partisan voter registration drives.

"I supported an amendment that would have prevented ACORN from receiving taxpayer dollars for its political activities," Knowles said. "Unfortunately, House Democrats would not allow the measure to be considered on the House floor."

Knowles added that he has co-sponsored two other measures aimed at ensuring ACORN and other partisan political groups do not receive taxpayer dollars. House Bill 1901 would bar such groups from receiving funds from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and House Resolution 426 would institute a formal request from the House of Representatives for the state attorney general to investigate allegations of illegal activity by ACORN.

The allegations against ACORN are troubling," said Knowles. "I strongly support legislation which calls for a formal investigation of these allegations and another bill which would ensure that partisan groups like ACORN do not receive taxpayer funds."