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California Briefing


Gov. urges probe of ACORN group

September 17, 2009|Michael Rothfeld

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday called on state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to investigate ACORN, the left-leaning national community organization that has come under fire in recent days after conservative activists released videos that they said showed the group's workers offering advice on how to set up prostitution businesses.

A hidden-camera video released Tuesday by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, who posed as a pimp and a prostitute, depicts a woman who O'Keefe says is an ACORN worker in San Bernardino saying she could show them "how not to get caught."

On the video, which is edited, the woman also discusses shooting and killing her ex-husband and says she "laid some groundwork" beforehand by going to domestic violence shelters and saying she was abused.

O'Keefe and Giles have previously released similar videos in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, N.Y., that have appeared on websites and the Fox News channel.

In a letter to the Democratic attorney general, released to reporters, Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said the reports "concerned me greatly."

Brown spokesman Scott Gerber said in a statement that his office would review the video, "and if we think there's any wrongdoing, we'll look into it or refer it to the local" district attorney.

The U.S. Senate voted Monday to block federal housing grants to the group, which has also come under fire in voter registration fraud cases, particularly during last year's presidential campaign.

The group registers voters for Democrats.

-- Michael Rothfeld

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