Chris Dodd: millions for "Raza Development Fund" (NCLR)
Senator and presidential contender Chris Dodd is the sole sponsor of S. 1923 (link), a bill that would give millions of dollars to the National Council of La Raza's "Raza Development Fund" and other groups. This is similar to a House bill from Rep. Ruben Hinojosa.
Under Dodd's scheme, they'd get $5 million in 2008 and $10 million in the next two years:
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may make a grant to the Raza Development Fund for the purpose of providing technical and financial assistance to local non-profit organizations to undertake community development and affordable housing projects and programs serving low- and moderate-income households, particularly through organizations located in neighborhoods with substantial populations of income-disadvantaged households of Hispanic origin.
The bill does contain a sop to our laws:
None of the funds made available under this Act may be used to provide direct housing assistance to any person not lawfully present in the United States.
I suspect that either the funds will be made indirectly, or they just won't check.
Here's how the NCLR describes the Fund (nclr.org/content/programs/detail/895):
[RDF] is a support corporation of the National Council of La Raza, established in 1998 as the community development lending arm of NCLR. The mission of RDF's Hope Fund is to provide flexible but high-quality loans, along with technical assistance, to entities that provide services and opportunities to low-income Latino families, a mission that is consistent with and complementary to the mission of NCLR. Since its inception, RDF has become the largest Latino Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the United States.
They're a bit less circumspect than the bill, which only says it's for "substantial[ly]" Hispanic neighborhoods; the NCLR comes right out and says it's just for Latinos.
9/2/08 UPDATE: For an unknown reason, the head of the RDF was an invited speaker at the GOP's convention.