Allegations of fraud have dogged Acorn, for years sometimes resulting in convictions. On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to strip ACORN, of more than $1.6 million in federal housing money meant to assist low-income people obtain loans and prepare tax forms. This dramatic step followed last Friday’s decision by the U.S. Census Bureau to sever its ties with the organization, one of several community groups it was partnering with to conduct the nation’s head count.
Both of these actions came after secretly recorded videos involving employees in Acorn’s Brooklyn, N.Y., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md. and San Bernardino, Calif. offices were televised on Fox News. This series of videos across the Nation have show Acorn employees exhibiting outright disdain for the law.
A fourth video released yesterday on the Glenn Beck show, reveals a San Bernardino, California ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) worker telling undercover filmmaker James O’Keefe and his associate Hannah Giles about how she ran a prostitution business, how she shot and killed her husband, and how on a daily bases she talks to multiple lawmakers including Sen. Barbara Boxer and California State Senator Negrete-McLeod.
ACORN employee Tresa Kaelke, told O’Keefe and Giles that she ran a prostitution business and that she knows how not to get caught. She would make $15,000 a month and the women who worked for her 10k. She told Giles, that if she beat the girls working for her, she would “get more out of them.” and that prostitution should be legal.
Kelke goes on to tell how she shot and killed her husband. She claims it was in self defense but says that she laid groundwork before, talking to agencies on how her husband was beating her. She said she has no problem with killing people.
ACORN has been closely associated over the years with liberal causes and Democratic politicians. The group says it has registered 1.7 million low- and moderate-income voters since 2004, a period in which Democrats scored major victories in consecutive national elections.
More than 37,000 members make up California ACORN. The group organizes communities across the state, centered around thirteen offices.
With exposes now public from three different offices, the pressure should develop on states’ attorneys general to open investigations of these ACORN operations. Yesterday, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo launched an investigation into pork-barrel grants given to ACORN by state lawmakers. Now that state lawmakers have been named in the latest video will California Attorney General Jerry Brown follow suit and launch his own investigation?
California’s Attorney Gernal has a long list of duties and responsibilities, one of which is to participate in criminal investigations and establishes and protect Californians from fraudulent, unfair, and illegal activities. General Brown will face a choice of ignoring the sleaze or doing his job and opening an investigation. CA’s AG is proud of his crime-fighting record, but ACORN’s operations will put him in a big box if their east coast employees have counterparts on the west coast. If he does nothing, expect that inaction to be part of the campaign for the Golden State’s governorship, already underway.
According to the Press Enterprise, California State Senator Negrete McLeod said on Tuesday that she recalls Kaelke attending a July 10 meeting in her Montclair office to talk about state legislation dealing with medical bills and mortgage fraud. Apparently Kaelke was one of a group of about six people who supported legislative measures AB 1503 and AB 260.
UPDATE: On Wednesday evening Governor Schwarzenegger urged Attorney General Brown to investigate ACORN activities.