The group used to be an umbrella organization of community activists from across the country who mobilized get out the vote efforts in low-income minority communities. Congress defunded ACORN in 2009 after conservative media prankster James O’Keefe produced a selectively edited video featuring him dressed as a “pimp,” purportedly asking an ACORN worker how to run a sex slavery ring and smuggle young girls into the U.S. Allegations of voter fraud followed, although it was never established that the group knowingly submitted fraudulent voter registration cards.
That video, however, was edited to obscure what really happened, and O’Keefe broke California’s privacy laws when he filmed it. In a deal to avoid prosecution brokered by California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who’s now governor, O’Keefe turned over unedited footage that shows he was not wearing the “pimp” costume during the confrontation. An attorney general’s report (PDF) also found that the ACORN worker asked O’Keefe for as much detailed information as possible, which was later turned over to the police.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.