“ACORN is alleging that the filmmakers committed a felony by shooting the footage of ACORN employees in the act of providing advice on how to falsify tax forms and set-up a child prostitution business—to a man and a woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute.”
To quote CEO, Bertha Lewis:
“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,’ ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis said in a statement over the weekend. “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.”
We are their Willy Horton for 2009. We are the boogeyman for the right-wing and its echo chambers.
A little race baiting? Nah.
My what a difference a week makes.
Sunday, 09.20.09 in an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News, Ms. Lewis says:
WALLACE: Ms. Lewis, when those videos of ACORN workers who were helping what they thought were a pimp and a prostitute first came out, you said the following — and let’s put it up: “We are their Willie Horton for 2009. We are the bogeyman for the right wing and its echo chamber.”
Now the vast majority of Democrats in the House and the Senate have voted to cut funding for ACORN. Can you still say this is just about race and politics?
LEWIS: Well, we are the largest community organization of low- and moderate-income folks and mostly people of color. And of course, any organization is not entirely perfect.
I think Congress, you know, will be looking at doing an anti-ACORN amendment and just singling out one organization, but we continue to make sure that all of our employees — if they’re too stupid to understand that they are not reaching professional standards, we terminate them.
And we actually make sure that, you know, what we do internally is serving our constituents: 500,000 poor black and brown, Asian and white people in this country. So I was outraged by it. Everyone should be. And I can understand how the Congress was also.
WALLACE: Are you willing to open your books up to…
LEWIS: I am willing to do the work that I need to do every single day, not be distracted, make sure that things that we do well we beef up, and things that we don’t do so well that we change and we reform.
I have to work for poor people. I have to make sure I’m saving people’s homes. I have to make sure that children don’t get lead poisoning. That’s my job.
Blah, blah, blah – but will you open the books, Bertha?
And our president yesterday said the ACORN story was not something he was paying attention to.
Here’s the full exchange:
STEPHANOPOULOS: How about the funding for ACORN?
OBAMA: You know, if — frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Both the Senate and the House have voted to cut it off.
OBAMA: You know, what I know is, is that what I saw on that video was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re not committing to — to cut off the federal funding?
OBAMA: George, this is not the biggest issue facing the country. It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to.
*Full Transcript of Fox Interview with Lewis and Issa
*Obama ABC This Week
*Complete first statement of Bertha Lewis (now removed from Acorn website – a little scrub-a-dub-dub)