The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has filed suit in Maryland against James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, the young conservative activists who posed as a pimp and a prostitute to video tape, in secret, ACORN employees giving illegal tax and loan advice for the creation of a child-prostitution ring using illegal immigrants. Also named in the suit is Andrew Breitbart, whose Web site posted the videos. ACORN alleges illegal wiretapping. However, ACORN claims that one office turned away O’Keefe and Giles and two offices called the police, though one of the latter waited until after advising them. O’Keefe and Giles deny that they were ever turned away. Regardless, assuming that five out of seven offices offered to help two supposed sex-traffickers set up shop and evade taxes, the episode doesn’t exactly paint a pretty picture of ACORN. Furthermore, the nuthouse might have committed a grave tactical error since their lawsuit now opens their organization to further discovery.
Meanwhile, the IRS followed Congress (legislation still pending) and the Census Bureau in severing ties with ACORN, saying it would no longer use the organization in its tax assistance program. ACORN offered free advice to some three million low- and moderate-income tax filers in 2009, though as Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto quipped, “[J]ust to be fair to Acorn, we should point out that the majority of those 3 million people do not practice sex slavery.”