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Jerry Brown to investigate ACORN in California

October 1, 2009 |  2:01 pm

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has launched an investigation into the brouhaha over videotapes of a conservative group’s private sting operation against ACORN, the community organizing group credited with helping push Barack Obama to the presidency.

Brown’s office plans to look into circumstances surrounding both the making of the videos and what they reputedly show: ACORN members giving advice on how to open a brothel.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked Brown to investigate the videos in a letter two weeks ago. Chief Deputy Atty. Gen. James M. Humes replied that an investigation has been opened “of both ACORN and the circumstances under which ACORN employees were videotaped.”

It is illegal under state law to tape someone without his or her permission.

“We’re going to look at the tapes, we’re going to follow the facts without fear or favor, and we’re going to see where it takes us,” said Scott Gerber, a Brown spokesman.

Talk radio and TV have been abuzz for weeks over the hidden-camera videotapes, purportedly shot at ACORN offices in Washington, San Diego and San Bernardino. They show a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute being advised on how to set up a prostitution business.

“I am outraged and deeply concerned by these allegations,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement today. “If these reports are true, they warrant prosecution under the fullest extent of the law.”

Members of ACORN, which stands for the Assn. of Community Organization for Reform Now, are already under investigation in several states for allegations of irregularities in registering voters before the 2008 presidential election.

-- Eric Bailey in Sacramento

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