Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

Dear Supporter,

The perpetrator of the ACORN "sting" videos just got stung. Last week James O'Keefe, the videos' maker, was arrested in New Orleans. As evidence of his alleged law-breaking in pursuit of an extremist agenda, he was charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony at Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's office.

I don't find this a bit surprising given how he made and edited the ACORN videos. But the thing is, this latest round of alleged law-breaking could have been prevented. That's right!

Back when he was stalking ACORN acorss the country, he videotaped ACORN folks without their consent. And that's illegal in Maryland and California, two states targeted. Now that he's proven that his law-breaking isn't a one-shot deal, we are demanding that the Attorneys General in California and Maryland conduct formal investigations of O'Keefe's actions from last year. You can join in and help sting the stinger here.

O'Keefe's arrest comes directly on the heels of a spate of investigations and court decisions [1] that have exonerated ACORN in the wake of his attack videos. The Congressional Research Service [2] and former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger [3] have already concluded that it was O'Keefe, and not ACORN staff, even those fired for acting inappropriately, who broke the law in the undercover videotapes.

In the wake of the videos, ACORN has taken serious and aggressive steps to address management weaknesses, including a phased introduction of new procedures based on the recommendations of Mr. Harshbarger. This has built on an existing internal reform process that had been gaining momentum throughout 2009, but was thrown off by the witch hunt engendered by the tapes.

Regardless of the impact on ACORN, the fact remains that the Attorneys General for California and Maryland should be investigating O'Keefe's actions at our offices in those states, especially in light of what has happened in New Orleans. Tell them to act now to investigate his illegal wiretapping from 2009.

The good news in all this is that is shows that we are on the right side of history - and so are you. By stepping up to demand an investigation of O'Keefe's actions against ACORN, you are taking at stand against the attack media and its corporate patrons who are trying desperately to silence progressive voices and stop progressive change.

Make no mistake, it is ACORN's success that has made the Glenn Beck/Karl Rove/Sarah Palin crowd so determined to destroy us. According to a study by the New Organizing Institute (NOI), an esitmated 865,000 people cast ballots in 2008 that had been successfully registered by ACORN since 2004.

Today ACORN members across the country are fighting to resurrect and improve the historic health care bill in Congress. And throughout 2010 we are going to continue fighting so working families facing foreclosure can keep their homes, unemployed families can get jobs, and the Wall Street bankers who got us into this economic trainwreck are held accountable. Click here to fight back against the corporate paymasters and their attack dogs seeking to disrupt this work by getting CA and MD to investigate James O'Keefe's allegedly illegal videotapes of ACORN employees.

With your support we will make sure that working families have a strong voice in 2010.

In solidarity and strength,

Bertha Lewis
ACORN CEO and Chief Organizer

[1] Center for Constitutional Rights web page on Defund ACORN lawsuit.[tt_news]=22639&tx_ttnews[backPid]=12340&cHash=072a69d978

[2] The non-partisan Congressional Research Service released an 85-page report that found no wrong-doing by ACORN and suggests that the videographers broke state laws with their secret taping.[tt_news]=22648&tx_ttnews[backPid]=12340&cHash=7fb563f816
[3] Report of former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger.[tt_news]=22649&tx_ttnews[backPid]=12340&cHash=acfa3c666a

© 2009 ACORN and ACORN logo are Registered Trademarks of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Inc.

ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, with over 500,000 member families organized into neighborhood chapters in 71 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our members. Our priorities include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. ACORN is an acronym, and each letter should be capitalized. ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

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© 2009 ACORN and ACORN logo are Registered Trademarks of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Inc.