Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Florida’s Hasner Calls for Action Against ACORN

"Florida State Rep. Adam Hasner has been a longtime critic of ACORN, and the recent scandals plaguing the community-organizing group have left him feeling vindicated.

"It's justified to say, 'I told you so,'" the Republican majority leader said in remarks reported by the St. Petersburg Times. "They are at the heart of every controversy. They should have never been receiving tax dollars. This is a radical organization. It's totally secret and they are bad actors."

ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — has been implicated in voter registration fraud. But the U.S. Congress took severe action against the group only after the release of hidden-camera videos showing its workers giving tax advice to a couple posing as a prostitute and her pimp.

In one video, an ACORN counselor advised the couple, who claimed they wanted to set up a brothel, how to claim tax credits for underage girls from El Salvador.

Both the U.S. Senate and House have now voted to cut off federal funding for ACORN, and the Census Bureau has severed its ties with the organization.

Hasner believes the Florida legislature should also take action against ACORN. And former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who is seeking the 2010 Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, said Florida Gov. Charlie Crist should launch an investigation of the group, the Miami Herald reported.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman, a Florida Democrat, voted to cut off funds to ACORN but asserted that the group was being broadly condemned due to the action of a few bad employees.

"I don't think that a couple of people getting sabotaged by right-wing conservatives with cameras means that type of conduct is pervasive through the whole organization," she said.

But after ACORN sought to control the damage by firing the workers who appear in the videos, Rep. Hasner scoffed: "When the walls are closing in on you, it's good strategy to make it appear you are cleaning house. It's too little, too late. The gig is up for ACORN.""

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