ACORN filed suit today in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City against Hannah Giles, James O’Keefe, and Andrew Breitbart for Breitbart.com LLC. Their claim is that the recordings were in violation of Maryland’s Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code §§ 10-402(a) and 10-410, which requires two-party consent to all electronic surveillance. ACORN has demanded a jury trial and the following in damages:
- Compensatory damages of $500,000 for each of the two ACORN employees in the MD tape and $1 Million for ACORN
- Liquidated damages of $1,000 per plaintiff against all defendants
- Punitive damages in the amount of $1 Million per defendant
- Plus court & attorney’s fees and any other relief “as the interests of justice may require”
Download a PDF of the full complaint filed with the court.
Download a PDF of the the cease and desist letter to FOX News from ACORN general counsel, Arthur Schwartz (9/10/2009).
In a shocking and unbelievable twist to this story, the two undercover journalist/video makers who exposed this story have now become the story themselves. Baltimore city state’s attorney, Patricia Jessamy (Obama supporter and campaign donor), is actually considering filing formal charges against the two, claiming they may have violated Maryland statutes that prohibit taping subjects without two-party consent. She is apparently reviewing the video and audio and collecting more information in order to make that determination.
If it is determined that the audio portion now being heard on YouTube was illegally obtained, it is also illegal under Maryland Law to willfully use or willfully disclose the content of said audio. The penalty for the unlawful interception, disclosure or use of it is a felony punishable up to 5 years.
View the complete update from NewsBusters here.
View the cease and desist letter from ACORN general counsel, Arthur Schwartz, to FOX News here.
“While manipulation or entrapment occurs when people are encouraged to do things they otherwise wouldn’t, the pre-set trap is their own [ACORN’s]. These tactics allow the viewer to see ACORN’s soul; their playing field and their morality, out in the open. Their system is based on conflict and change for its own sake. This system is based on totalitarian principles and class war techniques. These people understand pressure, power and self-interest. When the Baltimore employees saw we were shady dealers, their instincts clicked in, as we were prime recruits.”
In the undercover videos (see both Part I & Part II at the Breitbart Big Government site), ACORN housing and tax counselors in Baltimore, MD counsel a prostitute who needs to purchase a home for a brothel. As the prostitute describes that she’ll be running a brothel, and will be smuggling in underage prostitutes from overseas, watch and listen as an ACORN tax specialist counsels her to classifiy prostitution as “performing arts” on her IRS forms, then counsels her to write off her clothing, grooming, and gifts. In the end, she estimates the prostitute can write off $7,000 to $8,000 of her $9,000 monthly salary.
She also provides guidance on “how to make it legal” when discussing the prostitute’s IRS predicament in smuggling her underage prostitutes in from El Salvador. “You claim them as dependents”, she advises.
“If they don’t know, then they won’t know to come look for you….if they’re under 16, or they don’t have a social security number, then they don’t even exist.”
Oh yeah – it’s not actually a prostitute. It’s an aspiring journalist and her Congressional candidate boyfriend is an activist filmmaker. Good thing ACORN didn’t know it. They do now.
And the conversation gets more interesting from there. Once again, we all find ourselves asking, “Why are we giving these groups taxpayer funds?” and “Why won’t Congress have them investigated?” Well, once again, consider those questions asked.
Congress, Americans are demanding some action. Your silence and inaction will equal your own demise at the polls. Your attention and respect however, would win you all the support you need from the American people. When will you make the right choice?
See it all, with the full unedited videos, at “Chaos for Glory: My Time With ACORN” by James O’Keefe.
Full transcript here.
Full audio here.