ACORN workers allegedly advised pimp

Sept. 11, 2009 at 1:26 PM
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BALTIMORE, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Footage of ACORN workers in Baltimore allegedly offering advice to a purported pimp and prostitute on how to avoid paying taxes was posted on the Internet.

The video footage of the ACORN organizers -- which has been edited and goes to black in some areas -- was recorded and posted by James O'Keefe, a conservative activist, CNN reported. He and another conservative activist, Hannah Giles, posed as the pair seeking advice in the filmmakers' undercover sting.

The video shows O'Keefe and Hanna Giles, another conservative activist, approaching two women working at the ACORN Baltimore office, asking for advice about how to set up a prostitution ring involving underage girls from El Salvador, CNN said.

One of the ACORN workers on the tape suggested Giles refer to herself as a "performing artist" on tax forms and declare some of the girls as dependents to receive child tax credits.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now grabbed headlines last year when Republican groups jumped on allegations of voter registration fraud by the group in several states, claiming its workers were trying to swing the election in Barack Obama's favor.

"The portrayal is false and defamatory and an attempt at 'gotcha journalism,'" Scott Levenson, a spokesman at ACORN's national offices, said of the Baltimore footage. "This film crew tried to pull this sham at other offices and failed. ACORN wants to see the full video before commenting further."

Levenson said the filmmakers made similar unsuccessful attempts at ACORN offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, California and New York.

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