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Claude Cartaginese

ACORN Goes on the Attack

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Posted on September 14 2009 1:25 am
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Last week was not a good one for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN). First, damning undercover footage aired by FOX News revealed corrupt ACORN staffers in their Baltimore office counseling independent filmmaker James O’Keefe (with a hidden camera and posing as a pimp) and 20-year-old Hannah Giles (posing as a prostitute) on how to set up a bogus company to mask the true nature of their prostitution business, as well as how to commit tax fraud and transport underage girls from El Salvador to work as prostitutes.

Then, the Census Bureau, citing concerns over ACORN’s tactics, severed its association with ACORN, claiming to “no longer have confidence that our national partnership agreement is being effectively managed through your [ACORN’s] many local offices.”

After this, came calls for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has given billions to ACORN over the years, to re-evaluate its relationship with the organization.

Next, on Friday six ACORN representatives were arrested and warrants were issued for 11 others in a Florida voter-registration scam whereby the representatives, who were hired by ACORN to register voters, had submitted 888 fraudulent names.

Finally, there are calls by some members of Congress to investigate the organization.

ACORN, however, is fighting back. According to a report on Fox and Friends Sunday Morning, the organization is threatening to sue Fox News and has invoked its traditional “ace-in-the-hole” — the race card.

While professing to be “appalled and angry” at what its staffers in Baltimore did, ACORN has accused Fox News of initiating a political “smear” campaign, doctoring video, and targeting minorities and low-income families.

From Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s chief organizer:

An international entertainment conglomerate, disguising itself as a “news” agency (Fox), has expended millions, if not tens of millions of dollars, in their attempt to destroy the largest community organization of Black, Latino, poor and working families in the country.  It is not coincidence that the most recent attacks have been launched just when health care reform is gaining traction.  It is clear they’ve had these tapes for months.

We are their Willy Horton for 2009.  We are the boogeyman for the right-wing and its echo chambers.  If ACORN did not exist, the right-wing would have needed to create us in order to achieve their agenda, their missions, their ideal, retrograde America.

I am appalled and angry; I cannot and I will not defend the actions of the workers depicted in the video, who have since been terminated.  But it is clear that the videos are doctored, edited, and in no way the result of the fabricated story being portrayed by conservative activist “filmmaker” O’Keefe and his partner in crime.  And, in fact, a crime it was – our lawyers believe a felony – and we will be taking legal action against Fox and their co-conspirators.

Get ready for the “battle of the felons.”

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