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What is the ACORN controversy about?

Here are the basics about ACORN and about the videos that have put the organization in hot water.

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In all the videos, ACORN employees offered their help, knowing full well what the couple's intentions were.

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Mike Flynn, editor of Biggovernment.com, said Wednesday that the site will be posting even more videos of ACORN.

Since the videos aired, ACORN has become the scorn of conservative talk-show hosts. Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News have said the tapes prove not only that the group is “corrupt,” but also that corruption extends to the Obama administration.

“Who does the president surround himself with? ACORN and [the Service Employees International Union]. Well, gee, there's corruption there. We can't take anything,” Mr. Beck said.

One Republican insider told Politico: “This is an organization that has attracted attention before.... Basically, ACORN gets federal money, and it advocates for the liberal, Democrat agenda. That’s wrong, and we need to stop it.”

What is ACORN doing in light of the controversy?

On Wednesday, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said the tapes were “indefensible actions of a handful of employees” and warranted an independent review of the group's procedures.

She said this in a statement:

"We have all been deeply disturbed by what we've seen in some of these videos. I must say, on behalf of ACORN's Board and our Advisory Council, that we will go to whatever lengths necessary to reestablish the public trust. For nearly forty years, ACORN has given voice to communities, and gotten results. Right now, our nearly 500,000 member are working their hearts out for quality, affordable healthcare for every American and to help stop the foreclosure crisis. We must get this process right, so the good work can go forward."

Can ACORN survive this latest controversy?

John Fund, an op-ed writer for The Wall Street Journal, says that this time, ACORN “may be finally running off the rails.”

He noted that last week, “11 of its workers were accused by Florida prosecutors of falsifying information on 888 voter registration forms." He continued, "Last month, Acorn's former Las Vegas, Nev., field director, Christopher Edwards, agreed to testify against the group in a case in which Las Vegas election officials say 48% of the voter registration forms the group turned in were 'clearly fraudulent.' Acorn itself is charged with 13 counts of illegally using a quota system to compensate workers in an effort to boost the number of registrations. (Acorn has denied wrongdoing in all of these cases.)”

ACORN says it is besieged – again – because of a few bad apples within their offices.

Brian Kettenring, an ACORN spokesman, told the Associated Press that Republicans were "playing politics" and trying to "stop ACORN's good work fighting to stop the foreclosure crisis and to win quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans."

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