September 16th, 2009
04:47 PM ET
5 years ago

ACORN announces hiring freeze, new training

In the videos, the individuals seek advice on setting up a brothel with underage women from El Salvador.
In the videos, the individuals seek advice on setting up a brothel with underage women from El Salvador.

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

The videos - secretly taped by two individuals posing as a pimp and 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," said ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis. "I must say on behalf of ACORN's Board and our Advisory Council that we will go to whatever lengths necessary to reestablish the public trust."

The steps announced include an immediate halt in hiring for all ACORN offices, an immediate training program for all frontline staff, and selection of an independent auditor by the end of this week.

Full story


Filed under: ACORN
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Jimmy

    Shut down ACORN, do not give them ANY more Tax payer dollars. This organization is corrupt and any fool who supports them can donate to them, NOT the tax payers. Love the advice given by the Acorn employee to classify her job as a "performing artist". Yup, your tax dollars at work and they are scheduled to get 8.5 billion more! And people wonder why there are Tea parties!!

    September 16, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. JGB

    What does this story have to do with FOX news? Unfortunately FOX is the only place you will get ALL the news and that is why they are #1 in the ratings. CNN could and should get back into the ratings game by reporting all the news, unbiased, it only took CNN a week. To bash FOX for reporting it is insane, blame the others for NOT reporting it.

    September 16, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Financial industry peppered with corruption, money laundering and unethical behavior: Gopers scream "stay out of private industry!!!"

    Grass roots organization that most recently made a name for itself generating a lot of voter registrations that presumably helped get a black Dem POTUS elected (despite helping GOPers as well in the past): GOPers scream "interfere in private industry and tear them apart!!!"

    hmmmm...isn't private industry supposed to magically fix and regulate itself GOPers? Shouldn't we be saying, just like you say about the insurance giants, "leave it alone, it will fix itself"???

    September 16, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "This was a Fox entertainment exclusive"

    Slight correction: it was FOX sponsored. Someone ask O'Keefe who funded his little project.

    September 16, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Bill in California

    MAKES ONE PROUD TO BE PATRIOTIC AND "CONTRIBUTE' ONE'S TAXES EVERY YEAR! I guarantee that as long as we keep filling up the trough the PIGS will continue to show up.

    September 16, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Kim-SC

    The people who are angry with the two reporters need to get a job and you can donate all your tax money to this corrupt organization!

    The stupity conveyed by people on this website is beyond belief. Acorn is corrupt and you want to GET the people who exposed them? WOW!

    September 16, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. Lila

    CNN first reported this on September 10th. Take THAT!!!!

    September 16, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. tee

    If they shut down ACORN.......they should shut down Wall street and the Republican party........they are the biggest crooks.

    September 16, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Lila

    For all of you complaining about how much quicker Fox News is...shut it.

    CNN first reported on this September 10th, a week ago!

    Fox News was just quicker to blow it up into some whackjob conspiracy theory.

    September 16, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. steve

    ACORN is going down in flames. I cannot beleive what they are doing. First they were in complete denial, now they are going to investigate, sounds like to little to late. This might be the ugliest taxpayer scandal in U.S. history, and our president supports this organization.

    September 16, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Robert New Concord, ohio

    This is minor compared to the Billions being paid the naked security guards in Afghanistan! We all have stupid employees and I'm hard pressed to find one I can trust! The fact that they all acted very similar kind of makes me think they were playing a role for a part in the film! Let us wait for the facts before blaming the employer!

    September 16, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Simonsays/Orlando

    This criminal behavior does not suprise me. They are still being investigated in 11 states for voter fraud. They actuially registered a now deceased Paul Newman in Florida. How stupid can you get. It is an organization that started out with high ideals, but deteriorated into organized fraud through lack of morals, leadership, and oversight. They should be giving back the $50 milion that the tax payers have given them. I'm glad that some of the other media outlets besides FOX have picked up on this story.

    September 16, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. Heather from Beautiful Seattle

    People need to learn to differentiate. Being a community organizer shows great leadership and civil service. Just because a lot of corruption has come from ACORN does not mean that being a community organizer is a bad thing. Supporting organization that try to assist others in not a bad thing. Their is no doubt that ACORN has proven itself to have too much corruption in too many of its offices that there is no way for them to legitimately come back from this. By the way CNN did have this story on the front page last week, just an FYI for all you Fox lovers.

    September 16, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. AntiRush

    And now the difference. As a Democrat, I say that ACORN should be fully investigated. Any criminal behavior should be prosecuted. If the investigation reveals an organization that has gone too far down the road of corruption to be saved, then ACORN should be disbanded. That is my view as a Democrat. If this was a Republican organization, the Republicans would be calling this a witch hunt, pointing out all of the bad things that Democratic organizations do (as if 2 wrongs make a right), making every excuse in the world for the bad if not criminal behavior, and blaming Bill Clinton.

    September 16, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. Mike in MN

    The mainstream media and Democrat lead congress are no longer doing their jobs to root out corruption.
    And the mainstream media stopped long ago with any thing that would qualify as critical questoning of what Obama and the Democrats are saying or doing. Total unquestioned free pass.
    So average everyday citizens who are feed up are taking up the mantle.
    ACORN is just the start.
    And as for congress, there will be no more major bills rushed into law so fast that voters don't have a chance to understand what is in them. They have pulled that one under the leadership of Obama for the last time. If they aren't going to read the bills, we will have to do it for them.
    If liberals thought they were going to get a free pass because the mainstream media was not going to pay attention, they are in for a big surprise.

    September 16, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Steph

    ACORN has its problems, but the Obama conspiracy is totally fabricated (shocking, I know, right wingers fabricating information to try to get President Obama!) ACORN has worked with federal contract funds for a long time (like the large amount of money they received in 2006 under Pres. Bush), AND McCain attended rallies with ACORN reps (check out the pictures yourselves – McCain and ACORN administrators right there arm and arm on stage). So, shut it! Like ACORN or not, they are not some secret organization run by President Obama! Now, get out of your parent's basement and get a life.

    September 16, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. donttreadonme

    The dems will support them no matter what! It's all about creating votes for Obama. Voter fraud...prostitution….. embezzlement who cares as long as the dems have the power!

    Acorn should have stuck with its mission of helping people and not become a tax payer funded political action group. Obama should be ashamed to have any ties to this group.

    No more tax payer funds period!

    September 16, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. SLM

    What about Charlie Rangel? When are they going to go after this Tax cheat. He is worse than Joe Wilson, but being a Democrat it is ok NOT to pay your taxes..............oops, I didn't know I was supposed to claim Rental income. Any you think these folks can run our healthcare?

    September 16, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. jeff jackson, alabama

    What is it about the word "evil "that nobody seems to
    understand?
    This organization is evil. When damage control goes
    into a gear this high within an organization it's time to
    say goodby to that organization.

    September 16, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. Tim

    Maybe Obama can stop by and give them some more training.

    September 16, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. Tim

    As a tax exempt organization, they are not supposed to be political. They stumped for Obama during the election, and Obama's camp gave them $888,000 to do so.

    Obama is as guilty as they are.

    September 16, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. inofritzn

    CNN DID try to bury this FYI. Think how many stories they ran on Wilson, Palin, haliburton, etc. It took them many days to actually put this story on their "high-click" area of the web-site

    September 16, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Total unquestioned free pass."

    I'd be careful accusing the media of giving the Dems a free pass and uncritically airing whatever the Dems say: they treat nonsense like "death panels" as though it needs to be discussed to figure out if it's true or not instead of showing proper outrage at blatant lies that constitute the GOP's abuse of the democratic process...disseminating such inane misinformation to skew peoples' decision-making. Accurate informed, well-educated voters are the cornerstone of a well-functioning democracy...not riled up partisan tribesmen ranting irrational untruths and insults....but hey, the GOP does it to spur its fundraising, so who can blame them, right?

    September 16, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Phil

    WOW! CNN finally decides to post a story about ACORN? What's next, MSNBC? The media bias is ridiculous. Shame on you CNN. I'm sure this will get deleted.

    September 16, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. JC

    Community orgnization and community work is great. The corruption that always seems to be around ACORN is not. ACORN should not be a partisan organization with a political agenda. The whole organization needs to be gutted, new policies and leadership put into place, and a new organization should be created.

    September 16, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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