NewStandardNews reported The Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005, which passed the House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 331-90, contains a provision that establishes a national fund for developing affordable housing, by skimming 5 percent off the profits of the government-sponsored home-finance companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The funding would be a boon to the nonprofit housing sector – worth up to an estimated $1 billion within two years – but it comes with strings attached: nonprofit organizations would not be able to tap into the fund if they have recently engaged in activities that encourage people to vote.
I do not support the skimming, but if they are going to do it, then the restriction is a good idea.A product of negotiations between a faction of conservative legislators and the House Financial Services Committee leadership, the clause is supposedly intended to prevent grantees from misusing federal funds, but housing advocates have denounced the so-called "gag rule" as dangerously broad. "They aren’t targeting abuse of anything," said Rick Cohen, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, which advocates on behalf of charitable organizations. "What they’re targeting is the activism of organizations that don’t think the same way that they do."
No they are targeting use of Federal Funds to engage in political matters. A non-profit is not supposed to engage in political matters anyway; this restriction just says if one is going to, it can't take Federal Funds skimmed from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.Under the weight of a nationwide affordable housing crisis, nonprofit groups say the proposed rules paradoxically open doors to equitable housing by restricting access to democracy. "To build affordable housing and have to sacrifice nonprofit free speech and advocacy rights," said Cohen, "is a bargain that, really, nobody should accept."
If you feel so strongly that they should be able to do it, what if they had said the funds could be used to push Republican goals, but not Democratic goals? You would not like that, would you? Well they knew that if they were used to push political goals, they would be Democratic goals, so rather than saying they could not be used to push Democratic goals, they just said they could not be used to push any political goals.