Friday, September 18, 2009

ACORN federal support is drying up.

ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis announced last Wednesday that "As a result of the indefensible action of a handful or our employees, I am, in consultation with ACORN's Executive Committee 1, immediately ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN's service programs until completion of an independent review. I have also communicated with ACORN's independent Advisory Council, and they will assist ACORN in naming an independent auditor and investigator to conduct a thorough review of all the organizations relevant systems and processes" (www.acorn.org). The announcement came after the release of four videos by an independent filmmaker that posed as a pimp and included a female actress that posed as a prostitute.

The four videos were recorded at offices in California, Baltimore, Washington, and Brooklyn. James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles set up was of setting up a house of prostitution and wanted advice on how to skirt the IRS and government eye. When the first video broke, ACORN stated that is was an isolated incident. It was not until the fourth video that ACORN and others were concerned by the actions. The videos have created more back lash against ACORN.

Earlier this week the Senate voted 83-7 to block HUD from giving further grants to ACORN. The U.S. Census Bureau has cut ties with ACORN as well. Gov. Pawlenty sent a letter the commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget to stop funding, not legally obligated, to ACORN. The move by Gov. Pawlenty has been seen locally as grandstanding since it ACORN is reporting they have not received any funds from the state of Minnesota since 2008 (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2009/09/pawlenty_halts.shtml).

Along with ACORN's own interim investigation, Bertha Lewis (ACORN Chief Organizer) is claiming that "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." Lewis even went onto blame FOX News and asserted that the media outlet is a co-conspirator. Fox News did break the story and have long been an advocate of the "seedy" actions taken by ACORN; voter fraud. View the videos for yourself to determine your own thoughts as well.

Brooklyn video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN0ypLA_pcQ

Baltimore video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtTnizEnC1U&feature=PlayList&p=354262CC2622D7A2&index=0&playnext=1 & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjiL6uGT--8

California video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2apUK9g3Zo & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLtPIeolDKY & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVwN9NRvDuM

Washington D.C. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1_SFXmlfNg & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRJrkupmtJI

Why is mass media only discussing the videos in a knee-jerk reaction and not doing investigative journalism themselves? Robert Gibbs said, "Obviously, the conduct that you see on those tapes is completely unacceptable. I think everyone would agree to that" (http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE58G4CB20090917). Yesterday the House of Representatives voted 345 to 75 on a bill that would remove the middle man from the federal student-loan programs. A rider on the bill will cut federal funding of ACORN. Robert Gibbs alluded, during his press conference, that "FEMA grants that were let in previous administrations – that we constantly evaluate to ensure that any grantee is living up to what has to happen in order to fulfill that grant application" (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2009/09/acorns_federal_funding_further.html).

This is not the first time that ACORN has come under fire. During the 2008 presidential election allegations were levied on ACORN of committing voter registration fraud. ACORN has always maintained their innocence since not one of their employees or volunteers had been arrested. That innocence ended when Miami-Dade State Attorney's office issued warrants for 11 suspects, of which five were in custody as of Wednesday the 9th of September, that are believed to have falsified hundreds of voter registration cards (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1224631.html). Perhaps the shell will be removed from ACORN and the real nut will be discovered.