ACORN is in very deep, very public trouble, and the U.S. attorney general should appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate. What we know so far is due entirely to two amateur reporters, James E. O'Keefe III, 25, and Hannah Giles, 20, who managed to videotape a web of corrupt practices in ACORN offices. Dressed as a pimp and prostitute, O'Keefe and Giles walked into ACORN offices from New York to California and simply asked for business advice. ACORN officials were happy to provide it and were secretly recorded explaining exactly how to evade the law and scam the government. The tapes were riveting. Fox News rolled out a new one each night for a week, creating a firestorm of outrage and a burgeoning political scandal.
ACORN employees, without raising an eyebrow, much less calling the police, explained how the young sex workers could label themselves "performance artists," underreport their income, evade taxes, fraudulently buy a house to ply their trade, and, worst of all, import underage girls from Central America to use as child prostitutes. One ACORN employee helpfully explained that the teenagers would even be tax-deductible since they would be "dependents," living in the pimp's house. Some states, led by California, are saying they will investigate. But this is a national scandal and there ought to be a full-scale national inquiry. To ensure impartiality -- and the appearance of impartiality -- political appointees at the U.S. Department of Justice should recuse themselves. This case demands an independent federal prosecutor ...
ACORN's close ties to the progressive movement and Democratic Party mean that there will be little public confidence if Holder decides not to pursue an ambitious investigation and ultimately prosecute.
Ironically, ACORN's chief executive officer, Bertha Lewis, strengthens the case for an independent prosecutor with her robust defense of the organization. FOX News, she says, is pursuing her group solely for political reasons. They oppose ACORN, she says, because it is associated with progressive politics, labor organizing and the Obama administration's health-care initiative. Unfortunately for ACORN, Lewis' charges also mean that if the Obama administration decides not to prosecute or to indict only low-level employees, the public will wonder if they are seeing a political defense by ACORN's friends, a coverup rather than a fair-minded, independent decision by the Justice Department.
More at the link.
See also, the Washington Post, "For ACORN, Video Is Only Latest Crisis."
Bonus: The Sundries Shack, "The ACORN Pimp-Slap of the Week."Image Credit: Patriot Room.