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September 17th, 2009
07:28 AM ET

ACORN 'deeply disturbed' by videos, CEO says

By Terry Frieden
CNN Justice Produce

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The community organizing group ACORN on Wednesday announced a hiring freeze, new training programs and an independent review of its programs after the recent release of a series of videotapes embarrassing to the agency.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="In the videos, the individuals seek advice on setting up a brothel with underage women from El Salvador."]

The videos, secretly taped by two individuals posing as a pimp and a prostitute, showed ACORN employees in four of the agency's offices suggesting or condoning a series of illicit actions as the couple sought advice on setting up a brothel with underage women from El Salvador.

"We have all been deeply disturbed by what we've seen in some of these videos," ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said. "I must say on behalf of ACORN's board and our Advisory Council that we will go to whatever lengths necessary to re-establish the public trust."

The steps announced include an immediate halt in hiring for all ACORN offices, an immediate training program for all front-line staff and selection of an independent auditor by the end of this week. Watch Lewis address the scandal Video

Read the full story »

Filed under: Controversy
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. eva from florida

      I don' t know  why the american people keep on trying not to let   President Obama do his job.I think those americans who are behind all that are the ones who don' t like their country.They are selfish, they're stubborn.Please let President Obama do his job,let him pass the health care in America. Then we all can be happy and enjoy his 4 year job as President of the United States of America.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  2. DAW

    One more question-

    Why does it matter who may be sponsoring the young folks who made the videos?

    Sounds like an attack by CNN to pose that question on the air.

    September 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  3. DAW

    Just saw Rick Sanchez on CNN interviewing a high Acorn official.

    Some questions:

    1. Would Rick show the full un-edited videos if he had access to them?

    2. The Acorn official says the two young folks who made the videos were turned away from "dozens" of acorn sites. Can she provide some backup for this statement?

    3. Why has CNN been so slow to follow up on the supposedly "edited" tapes? Can't they do any research on their own?

    September 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  4. DM

    There are many organizations even churches where the leaders were involved in unsavory acts and the organizations were not touched. Why is that such drastic actions are taken on the actions of some low level workers in the organization? Why is Haliburton not disbanded for war profiteering? Why are they allowed no bid contract in a democratic country?
    This little stunt by a group of repressed people posing as prostitutes and pimps is pathetic. An attempt to destroy an organization that helps more people is not newsworthy. It doesn't add anything to society.

    September 17, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  5. ronvan

    Sure ACORN is upset. Upset that they were caught!! It still amazes me that all of these "do gooders" can spend millions/billions? on preventing change, or to get THEIR way. My question is how much money do they donate to help the needy?

    September 17, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  6. JoesLovelyMother

    they should have seen this coming

    any group associated with Obama should count on this going on

    there is just as much crap like this going on on the other side

    that's how they knew they would get a few

    anything receiving public funds is a mixed bag

    September 17, 2009 at 7:59 am |
  7. joe m

    self policing may not be enough, especially since this org. recieves billions in federal dollars. to regain credibility it may do more for the org and its leadership to invite an outside audit of its processes and practices. by simply stating that they would initate internal investigation and re-wrorking, critics are left with the avenue that all the org. did was to instruct their current and new employees not to make the same mistakes. ACORN should invite the gov. to investigate them and ask that several members of the investigating team be some of their most rabid critics.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  8. Tony

    I agree with Frm. Pres. Jimmy Carter. There is a racist element toward Pres. Obama. The Tea Party Express march on Washington clearly revealed racist posters. I don’t believe every person who marched is a racist but just like there were radical Muslims who hijack Islam on 9/11. There is a radical group of people who are a part of the “LaRouche Movement.” This fringe group of extreme radicals have blended in with the Tea Party Express and the right wing of the Republican Party, they are allies with the “LaRouche Movement.” According to Max Blumenthal, the “LaRouche Movement is responsible for distributing the leaflets throughout the town halls meeting during the month of August. The leaflets was a picture of Pres. Obama with a Hitler moustache painted on his face.” These same images was on posters at the Tea Party march on Washington. This fringe group of extreme radicals are the people who are causing division in America between blacks and whites today. The Republican leadership is silent; no one in the Republican Party has spoken out against the racist activity of this radical group of people. Max Blumenthal is the author of the book “Republic Gomorah” Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. Mr. Blumenthal has the right perspective of the radical movement that is growing is America today. There is a radical racist movement that is growing in America. The Tea Party and Republican Party is being hijack by the extremists group “The LaRouche Movement.” Michael Steele is just a camouflage and he doesn't even know it.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  9. Kathy Mawer

    My parents are from the greatest generation and still both alive and the disppointment they share over the way this country is today after their sacrifices, and as far as I am concerned any man or woman who is willing to step in and run this counrty and be responsible for all he has had to to deal with, I don't care if he is polka dot or plaid or purple.
    President Obama was inspired to do this. I don't care what he looks like. And yes I am white-with no health insurance or job and I need help.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  10. Bernadette Loesch

    We need these two young conservative 'snoopers' taping those in Congress who are accepting millions of dollars from Insurance Companies and Special Interest Groups who want to keep the status quo in our broken Health Care System.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:38 am |