You know, ACORN and two of its employees have exhibited unprecedented gall by threatening to sue the "pimp" and the "prostitute" who stirred up a political hornet's nest with their undercover videos. To be precise, the attorneys for ACORN are relying on Maryland’s wiretap statute to bring a lawsuit against James O’Keefe III, Hannah Giles, and Breitbart.Com LLC, for the video recordings which revealed ACORN’s more than willing assistance and counsel on establishing a brothel which would feature underage girls trafficked in from El Salvador. The lawsuit should fail, however, because it attempts to misapply the "wiretap" statute to the legal recording of a non-protected conversation.
As an example, do you remember Linda Tripp who recorded Monica Lewinsky's sordid tales of her encounters with then-President Bill Clinton? They tried to prosecute her under this same law. But she was a more valuable witness for another case, that being the impeachment of a President. She was given immunity for her testimony, but I daresay that they would have found it extremely difficult to prosecute her under that law anyway.
You see, the Maryland state law is not a "wiretapping" law per se. It's an "interception" statute that regulates the "interception" of communications, and that is spelled out precisely in the law. In Linda's case, it was her own phone that she was using. And she didn't intercept a communication, she was participating in the conversation. In that same vein, it is easy to see that there was no "interception" of communications by O'Keefe and Giles. In fact, it was, as with Linda, their own conversations with ACORN employees.
If this law is used successfully to prosecute O'Keefe and Giles for exposing the corruption within the ACORN organization, then people with cell phones that capture videos and records voices had better turn off their phones while in Maryland to avoid the temptation to break this law at some party or event!
But ACORN has other legal issues as well, this time on the defensive side. When ACORN went to Las Vegas and started playing what they called "Blackjack" or "21," the activist group was making a far greater gamble than it could ever have guessed, or so think the Nevada prosecutors who are, by the way, Democrats.
There's nothing wrong with playing the tables in Vegas, but the authorities claim that ACORN was using the common names of popular casino game as a cover-up term for paying workers bonuses to sign up voters as part of a quota system which is illegal in Nevada. As a result of an extensive investigation, a preliminary hearing in the Clark County courthouse has put ACORN on trial for the first time as a criminal defendant.
Until now, prosecutions for voter registration fraud have focused on the ACORN workers themselves rather than the organization leadership, and yes, the authorities have secured guilty pleas from several workers who have admitted to falsifying voter registration forms. But when investigators from Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller's office raided the ACORN Las Vegas office, Ross says they found a paper trail that not only was ACORN organization itself aware of this practice, it was actually promoting this behavior.
In an interview with Fox News, Miller said, "We came across policy manuals that outline their policy of creating a quota system, which is against the law. This, in fact, was something that was widespread and something the organization itself knew about, and it's important to hold the organization criminally accountable as opposed to the individual field directors."
ACORN, of course, has consistently denied that it had a quota for the number of voter registration forms, and that it required its workers to turn in a certain minimum number every day. The organization does say that there were "performance standards" — that standard was "an expectation" that workers would find 20 new voters each day. But prosecutors say ACORN paid a $5 bonus to workers who would sign up 21 or more voters per day. That's where the "code" name "21" or "Blackjack," came in. It was an alleged quota system that Miller says is the first step toward corrupting the entire democratic system.
"These charges strike at the heart of having integrity of the electoral process. That's something that is important in Nevada and the entire country," he told FOX News. "By filing these charges we are sending a clear message we are not going to tolerate these kinds of activities. We have seen voter registration abuse before and we are holding these people accountable."
With the undercover videos from several offices done by O'Keefe and Giles, and the search and seizure of such incriminating evidence in the Las Vegas ACORN office, pressure from all sides has been mounting on ACORN in recent weeks. But it seems that the "lame street media" would rather focus on the alleged illegal actions of two young people rather than go after the organization that counsels people to commit obviously illegal activities and cheat on paying taxes.
There has been some other fallout from the expose' done by O'Keefe and Giles, and the revelation of the manuals and documents discovered in Las Vegas. The IRS and Census Bureau have since severed direct ties with the group, and even the inspector general of the Department of Justice is reviewing its own involvement with ACORN. Other state and local authorities are also beginning to distance themselves from ACORN, while others are watching them closely, including Maryland's own attorney general.
As of this writing, I haven't heard or read anything further on ACORN's lawsuit against O'Keefe and Giles. But Las Vegas officials are proceeding with their case against ACORN. And if ACORN is convicted, the Nevada ACORN operation could lose its tax-exempt status and that would have national implications for the organization as a whole — meaning that ACORN would end up with a losing hand!