ACORN's Bizarre Demise: Following Pimp-'N'-Ho Sting, Community Group Closes Its Doors
Acorn, the controversial community service group caught up in an right-wing video sting that targeted its offices in Los Angeles and elsewhere last year, announced this week that it's closing up shop, with all its offices scheduled to shut their doors by April 1. And no, it doesn't seem to be an April fool's joke on liberals.
The group, which organized voter registration drives that drew the ire of conservatives because they largely canvassed America's inner-cities and benefited the Democratic Party, maintains that the stings mostly uncovered no wrongdoing, but that the well-publicized stunts were nonetheless effective.
"For Acorn as a national organization, our vindication on the facts doesn't necessarily pay the bills," stated Acorn chief Bertha Lewis, according to The New York Times.
Following the video stings, the group (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) lost much of its funding, including a deal to help the U.S. Census Bureau with this year's count, Internal Revenue Service money to help the those in need do their taxes, and all its congressional grants.
In Los Angeles, as elsewhere, the duo of James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and a prostitute and knocked on Acorn's doors asking for help with expanding their business. A Los Angeles Acorn worker identified as Lavelle Stewart told the duo, "I think you have to hook up with somebody who is on that international sex business level."
A Congressional report late last year cleared Acorn of violating federal funding rules or breaking any laws. In fact, the report indicated it was O'Keefe and Giles who might have crossed legal lines. Then, in January O'Keefe was arrested with a group of suspects for allegedly trying to access the phone lines of a Democratic Senator in Louisiana.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.