Posts Tagged ‘ACORN’

There’s nothing shocking or surprising about the latest Andrew Breitbart scam in which he released selectively-edited video of an African American USDA worker, Shirley Sherrod, and accused her of racism against a white farmer couple, the Spooners. That’s not to suggest we shouldn’t be vigorously talking about it. We absolutely should be. But the most outrageous aspects of the story are fairly typical of everyone involved: Breitbart, the so-called “liberal” news media, Democrats, Fox News Channel and all points in between.

For background purposes, it’s important to note that Andrew Breitbart is an attention-whore who is desperate to emulate his mentor, Matt Drudge, and this isn’t the first time he’s released misleading videotape “evidence” of African Americans behaving badly (or so he claims) in order to drive traffic to his various websites while augmenting his status as a player in the modern conservative movement. He previously engaged in the same chicanery when he released heavily edited and ultimately phony Jackass-style videos in which, he alleges, ACORN workers had given inappropriate advice to a (fake) pimp and a (fake) prostitute who were, among other things, seeking to engage in human trafficking. The videos turned out to be misleading at best, and the fake pimp character went on to plead guilty to charges of entering federal property under false pretense.

Breitbart scammed nearly everyone on the ACORN videos including people who should have known better, like, for example, Jon Stewart.

Breitbart has done it again. This time, he’s flimflammed the White House, the NAACP and the traditional news media.

None of this is a particularly big shocker, of course. This is what Breitbart does. He’s another Karl Rove type in that his entire modus operandi is to tangle the debate — to be an instigator. To kerfuffle everyone he engages until the discourse has become so confused, skewed and tangential that he’s able to walk away more or less unscathed while the targets of his regularly scheduled crusades are often damaged beyond repair. ACORN is a national pariah. And this week, a decent woman is out of a job.


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David Iglesias Joins Maddow For “Truth About The Lies About ACORN” Segment (VIDEO)

Huffington Post- First Posted: 09-28-09 10:00 PM   |   Updated: 09-28-09 10:38 PM

David Iglesias, who was one of the U.S. attorneys (New Mexico) that the Bush Justice Department ousted for political reasons, joined Rachel Maddow tonight to continue her ongoing segment “The Truth About The Lies About ACORN.”

Iglesias says he was forced out from his position in part because he refused pressure from Republicans to investigate bogus claims of voter registration fraud against ACORN.

Iglesias recounts to Maddow the work that ACORN was doing to register New Mexico voters and the intense political pressure he was receiving from Republicans to halt ACORN’s efforts:

As a matter of fact, I set up one of only two voter fraud task forces in the country. I worked with state and local officials. I worked with the FBI. I worked with the Justice Department in Washington. And we took over 100 complaints. We set up a hotline. I mean, I believed there to be prosecutable cases, but I wasn’t going to make up evidence. And at the end of two years I couldn’t find one case I could prosecute.


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ACORN Sues Makers Of Pimp And Prostitute Video

BEN NUCKOLS | 09/23/09 05:15 PM | AP

BALTIMORE — Community activist group ACORN is suing the makers of a hidden-camera video that showed employees of its Baltimore office giving tax advice to a man posing as a pimp and a woman posing as a prostitute.

The liberal group contends that the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because Maryland requires two-party consent to create sound recordings.

The two employees seen in the video were fired after it was posted online. The lawsuit says the employees, Tonja Thompson and Shera Williams, suffered “extreme emotional distress.”

The multimillion-dollar lawsuit seeks damages from James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, who played the pimp and prostitute in the videos, and from conservative columnist Andrew Breitbart, who posted the videos on his Web site.

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ACORN Hidden Camera Scandal Being Probed By Feds, Brooklyn DA

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | September 23, 2009, 4:54PM

ACORN has been contacted by the FBI and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office in connection to the recent scandal in which staffers were caught on video advising two people posing as a pimp and a prostitute on how to break the law.

The news was revealed by Arthur Schwartz, ACORN’s general counsel, on a conference call with reporters moments ago. (Full disclosure: Almost a decade ago, I was hired by Schwartz to work on a political campaign.) Schwartz said that the requests for information were not subpoenas, but confirmed that they were part of investigations into possible criminal activity revealed by the videos. He added that ACORN is cooperating with those requests.

In the wake of the videos being released, several Republican lawmakers have called for a Justice Department probe of the group. And President Obama also said he thought ACORN should be investigated, though he didn’t specify by who.


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ACORN: The Most Cost-Effective Investment the Government (and Foundations) Have Ever Made

By David Morris, AlterNet. Posted September 23, 2009.

The real purpose of the right’s attacks on ACORN is to destroy a remarkably successful 50-year-old grassroots model for defending the poor and workers.

To understand the current attacks on ACORN, and the organization itself, we need to go back more than 60 years, to the 1930s and the New Deal, when for the first time, the federal government accepted responsibility for directly helping the non-working poor.

These programs were expanded in the 1940s, but in the 1950s, a backlash erupted against the poor, driven by several factors.

The postwar prosperity dramatically reduced the number of poor families, and an increasing number of black women were added to the welfare rolls, injecting race into the debate.

Meanwhile, a Republican White House mostly left welfare matters to the states.

The myth of welfare recipients as lazy, immoral chiselers began to circulate. States adopted punitive laws to reduce welfare rolls. Special units of welfare departments conducted “midnight raids” to see if the recipients were involved in a relationship with a man, something that would result in a cut-off of benefits. The average grant declined.

In desperation, low-income mothers in dozens of big cities organized for survival. They came together to collectively negotiate not only with welfare offices for benefits, but with utilities to eliminate deposits required from low-income households and with the post office to install locks on mailboxes in apartment houses to prevent the theft of welfare checks.

Several veterans of the civil rights movement worked to bring local welfare-rights organizations together into a national organization.


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