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James O'Keefe releases another ACORN video -- this one from Los Angeles

Acorn video In the latest chapter of the ACORN video scandal, conservative activist James O'Keefe tonight posted footage he secretly recorded this year at the community organizing group's South Los Angeles office.

In the footage, O'Keefe (posing as a student at USC) and Hannah Giles (pretending to be a prostitute on the run from an abusive pimp in Miami) appear to ask an ACORN employee for assistance finding housing so that they can set up a brothel with underage sex workers. The employee, Lavelle Stewart, isn't shown objecting to their comments and offers to connect the pair with other organizations that specialize in housing. 

O'Keefe said in a written introduction to the video, which was posted at, that Stewart "tells us she thinks we have to hook up with 'someone who’s on that international sex business level,' that '14- and 15-year-olds been traveling overseas for years,' that she can do independent research for us, and that she has had meetings with Porn magnate Larry Flynt."

The Los Angeles office of ACORN, a housing advocacy group, refuted the video and O'Keefe's claims in an e-mailed statement this evening. The statement called the tapes "clearly doctored." The statement also said that Stewart "made it clear that ACORN does not help with such things" and attempted to take Giles and O'Keefe to a neighboring nonprofit agency that deals with international abuse. 

"It is hard to respond to this tape," the statement said. "It is so heavily edited that it may be constructed to conceal the reality of the interaction." (The complete text appears on the jump.)

Lyn Motley, of the Los Angeles office, said in a second statement: “We are going to reserve judgment on the actions of the former employee on this tape until we see the full, unedited version of this interaction.” Stewart left the organization last month, over matters unrelated to O'Keefe and Gile's video, according to ACORN staffer Peter Kuhns.

O'Keefe and Giles shot to national prominence in September, when Fox News aired videotapes they made at several ACORN offices across the country in which employees appear to give them advice on tax evasion, human smuggling and child prostitution.

Outrage over the videos led Congress to cut federal funding for the community organizing group. This month ACORN filed suit against the federal government, saying the funding cuts were unconstitutional.

ACORN also sued O'Keefe and Giles in Baltimore, alleging that the audio portion of the video they made there was obtained illegally. In California, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has launched an investigation into the pair. California law forbids secret electronic recordings of "confidential communication."

The second video is posted after the jump.

Los Angeles ACORN statement, as prepared by the organization:

1.    The tapes are clearly doctored and highly edited and it is our hope this will be responsibly reported on should this become a news story.

2.    The conversation took place outside of the ACORN office. The couple was taken outside of the office into the building-hallway (a common space) because the subject matter they were attempting to discuss was not appropriate and the employee made it clear that ACORN does not help with such things.

3.    The couple was brought to a neighboring agency that deals specifically with international abuse.

4.    The couple featured in the video did NOT portray themselves as a “prostitute” and a “pimp.”

5.    The couple described themselves as “a former prostitute escaping her pimp boyfriend in Miami” and the male as her “concerned friend, a student at USC” who had political aspirations. The male was NOT dressed in “pimp” attire but instead in a white shirt and pants. This contradicts what the “videographers” have stated in the press.

6.    The employee made repeated attempts to move the couple out of the office and building by suggesting a number of referrals of agencies or types of agencies to talk to.

7.    It is hard to respond to this tape. It is so heavily edited that it may be constructed to conceal the reality of the interaction.

“ACORN is moving on; an independent investigation is underway, ACORN’s services have been under review and locally we continue to fight to end the foreclosure crisis and be a voice for the underserved.  It’s clear that these videographers can’t move on and have resorted to releasing highly edited tapes in an attempt to keep themselves in the press.”  — Lyn Mottley, ACORN leader, South LA

-- Kate Linthicum

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Photo: Hannah Giles, 20, the activist who went undercover as a prostitute at ACORN offices around the country, talks at the Young America's Foundation's West Coast Leadership Conference in Santa Barbara on Nov. 13. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times.


Comments () | Archives (14)

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ACORN helped Obama get elected!!!!

There goes Jerry Brown, again rooting for the wrong team. He should be investigating "ACORN" instead of the people who made the videos.

waw,.. a very interesting arcticle... :)

How can anyone defend ACORN at this point?

"In California, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has launched an investigation into the pair. California law forbids secret electronic recordings of "confidential communication."

Awesome, if these two have broken the law, they should be brought to account. Likewise, so should Scott Gerber. Did he not also commit the same offense? And if so, the AG claims to have completed its investigation into Gerber's and has chosen not to bring charges for the same offense. Why not?

Although, I don't live in California, so I'm not really sure (from the tapes):

"I mean, I think you have to hook up with someone who is on that international sex business level. . . . 14 and 15 year-olds been traveling overseas for years. that’s not something that’s brand new. You know what I mean? . . . I could do research for you I could find out what we can do — how to get you in that door. . . There are ways, people do it all the time."

Is conspiracy to commit rape a crime in California? Conspiracy in the furtherance of a criminal enterprise? If not, why not? If so, is Jerry investigating ACORN as well? If he is, why didn't you mention that?

"ACORN also sued O'Keefe and Giles in Baltimore, alleging that the audio portion of the video they made there was obtained illegally. In California, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has launched an investigation into the pair. California law forbids secret electronic recordings of "confidential communication."

Gee, I wonder what else "California law forbids?"

Mr. Rainey? Anyone? Anyone?

It will be interesting to see whether Eric Holder responds to Andrew Breitbart's challange to investigate or whether we have the privilege of viewing more intriguing videos in the weeks before next year's 2010 election. Go Breitbart!

So now can we also cut off funding for Blackwater, Wackenhut and Dyne corporation whose people have murdered Iraqi innocents, electrocuted US servicemen, spent tax money on lewd parties and defrauded the government of millions of dollars and been caught at it. I guess the only way you get Congress's attention is a doctored video of an incident that harmed no one. Killing people and stealing tax dollars doesn't count- especially if you use the money to buy a few Congressmen.

What did ACORN do with our tax money? It is way past time for an independent prosecutor (not connected to Obama).


You’re going to need more green shoot shovels at the ready ACORN. Now on to SEIU.

When is Eric Holder going to investigate ACORN???? Isn't it about time?
Also why is Jerry Brown investigating the two young people, when he should be investigating ACORN? He is certainly not being consistent between the young couple and Scott Gerber who was also caught taping.

ACORN statement, WAAAAAY FUNNY!!! Are they looking for a job at The Onion?

Any bets on how many more ACORN & SEIU Tapes Mr. Breitbart is holding?

Acorn has been protected for so many years you have to wonder if we as Americans have any rights at all. This is what wants to run our country and we have their leads in the White House.

Why doesn't anyone investigate Acorn here in New Orleans and HUD and how Billions of your Tax Dollars have been stolen by Acorn. In fact if you love how Union act like Criminals you will love it when they have goons kick in your door and haul you off to jail for ever questioning them on anything.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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