So the ACORN scandals continue.
A fourth video by an independent filmmaker posing as a pimp along with a purported prostitute has surfaced depicting an ACORN staffer in California assisting the couple in their quest to obtain housing for their illegal sex business.
Much like in their previous undercover stings at the group’s offices in Baltimore, Washington and Brooklyn, N.Y., filmmaker James O’Keefe, 25, and his 20-year-old partner Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute named “Eden,” were given assistance on Aug. 17 from a staffer at ACORN’s office in San Bernardino on how to avoid detection by law enforcement. The couple even tell ACORN staffer Tresa Kaelke — who admits on the videotape to previously having sex for money — that they plan on bringing in 12 girls from El Salvador to work in a home they hope to acquire via the community organization.
“We’re bringing these girls from overseas, but we are going to take a cut of the profit and intend to use the profit from the tricks the girls perform to fund my political campaign and the advertising,” O’Keefe tells Kaelke, adding that it’ll fund at least 50 percent of his planned run as a Democratic congressional candidate.
Kaelke, who told the couple that she once worked as a paid escort herself, at one point admits she was unqualified to counsel but stops well short of reporting O’Keefe and Giles to authorities.
“You know you are breaking the law if you have these girls in your care and they’re minors,” Kaelke said on the videotape, which was provided by O’Keefe and can be viewed on BigGovernment.com. ” … If I didn’t know better, and I don’t, but I would think this is a total setup.”
ACORN issued a statement Tueday evening saying that Kaelke, indeed, suspected she was being set up and only responded as she did to play along with the obviously fake pimp and prostitute.
“She matched their false scenario with her own false scenarios,” ACORN said in its written statement.
In the video, Kaelke tells the couple, “As far as getting a place, I don’t know why you don’t go out and rent a place,” adding that the couple could classify it as a “group home” to avert detection.
Earlier on the video, O’Keefe tells Kaelke that they’ve been discriminated against by banks and other institutions in their search to land a home.
“ACORN will tell you the same thing, they will,” Kaelke said. “You might get an old-timer like myself who really knows what’s up and who could care less.”
Kaelke said her supervisor “would shoot this down faster than a bat out of hell” but advised the couple to conceal the prostitution business by calling it a massage parlor.
“What do you think about my idea about disguising it as a spa?” Giles asks.
“That’s exactly what I would do,” Kaelke said. “And they’re all over the place — Thai massage, Swedish massage, I mean, there’s just a bunch of them.”
Kaelke also suggested the pair “invest in a line of vitamins” to disguise the location’s true purpose.
But ACORN, in its response to the new video, quoted Kaelke as saying the O’Keefe and Giles “were not believable.”
“Somewhat entertaining, but they weren’t even good actors. I didn’t know what to make of them,” she said. “They were clearly playing with me. I decided to shock them as much as they were shocking me … saying the most outrageous things with a straight face.”
Among the “outrageous things” she told them was that she previously worked as a “paid escort” in the Bahamas.
“We did trips to the Bahamas for big businessman on yachts,” she says in the video. “It was absolutely individual preference, you didn’t have to [have sex] … I was the one who did the bookings. I had sex one time because I wanted to.”
Earlier in the hour-plus videotape, Kaelke also mentions lobbying local legislators, particularly on health care. And according to the ACORN of Inland Empire’s Facebook page, Kaelke met with California State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod on July 10.
Earlier videos taken at ACORN offices in Washington and Baltimore led to the firing of two employees at each office, and a third tape shot in the group’s offices in Brooklyn, which was released on Monday, led to the launch of a criminal investigation.
Jerry Schmetterer, director of public information for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, told FOXNews.com that officials will be “taking a look” into Brooklyn’s ACORN office.
“We are going to be taking a look at the situation,” Schmetterer said Monday.
Later Monday, the Senate voted 83-7 to block the Housing and Urban Development Department from giving grants to ACORN, meaning the organization would not be able to win HUD grants for programs such as counseling low-income people on how to get mortgages and for fair housing education and outreach.
Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said that ACORN has received $53 million in taxpayer funds since 1994 and that the group was eligible for a wider set of funding in the pending legislation, which funds housing and transportation programs.
The U.S. Census Bureau severed ties with the group on Friday in the wake of the controversy.
ACORN — Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now — has been accused of widespread voter fraud during the 2008 presidential election by assisting unqualified voters to register.
The organization’s chief organizer, Bertha Lewis, released a statement on Saturday saying that while she could not defend the actions of the terminated workers, O’Keefe may have committed a felony during the sting operation. She also threatened legal action against FOX News, which has aired the videos.
“It is clear that the videos are doctored, edited, and in no way the result of the fabricated story being portrayed by conservative activist ‘filmmaker’ O’Keefe and his partner in crime,” Lewis said. “And, in fact, a crime it was — our lawyers believe a felony — and we will be taking legal action against Fox and their co-conspirators,” she said.
O’Keefe, meanwhile, told FOX News he wants an apology from media outlets “covering for ACORN” and the organization itself.
“They don’t have any leg to stand on, so they’re saying I dubbed in my voice, which is completely absurd,” he said. “When the truth comes out in the end, they’re going to be apologizing to us.”
O’Keefe said he was merely trying to hold the ACORN offices accountable.