The Truth About Acorn and O’Keefe?
What the Transcripts Show About the Doctored ACORN Video Tapes
(We believe this analysis is from Acorn itself. Of course they have every right to defend themselves, to be heard and release such an analysis and, considering the nature of O’Keefe himself and those attacking Acorn we find this at least as valid as attacks by those with an absolute interest in destroying Acorn no matter what may, or may not have been done. Two notes: while Acorn has reacted to correct perceived problems, until O’Keefe was caught obviously trespassing and attempting to deceive elected officials, all we heard from that side was support and little criticism. And also note: if one url doesn’t work it’s possible another “big government” url will. It looks like a few were mistyped.- editor)
The following is an analysis of the heavily edited videotapes and partial transcripts posted on big government.com by OKeefe and Giles based on their undercover visits to ACORN and ACORN Housing offices. Below the analysis, an Appendix provides key excerpts from the posted transcripts.
1. Transcripts reveal that OKeefe and Giles said they needed ACORNs help to protect Giles from a violent pimpbut they carefully edited this out of their videos1.
OKeefe and Giles used clever editing and voiceovers to hide a key fact that the transcripts show to be true in each case: In each office, the duo claimed
that 20-year old Hannah was being threatened by a violent abusive pimp. They pleaded for ACORN to help protect the prostitute (and in some cases underage girls as well) from the pimp by helping her get a place to live.
OKeefe and Giles edited this out of the video given the news media and the public, but neglected to remove it from the transcripts.
Remember, for example, the tape of the NY ACORN worker advising the prostitute to hide money in a tin can, presumably to evade taxes? The transcript shows it was so the pimp cant get it from you if he wants to come
and rip up the place. And the prostitute told the loan counselor that her pimp had all these 13, 14,15 year old girls from El Salvador and thats whatI need to protect them like I know what its like and I have to protect them and like give them somewhere to live. 2
2. While their press releases claim they were posing as a prostitute and a pimp, the transcripts show that OKeefe consistently introduced himself as Giles boyfriend trying to protect her.3 While we have seen videos of OKeefes ridiculous pimp get-up, with Chinchilla cape, hat, and walking cane, these are all outdoor visuals. In the actual videos in the offices, every view of OKeefe shows him dressed in normal casual business attire.
3. In each of the cases, the ACORN staff advised the prostitute to pay taxes, not to evade them. They correctly advised, as any tax lawyer or properly trained tax preparer would have, that the IRS requires taxes to be paid even on income from illegal activities, but does not require disclosure of the illegal activity itself.
4 For over half a century, this is the way the courts and the IRS have reconciled the right not to incriminate oneself with the obligation to pay tax on illegal activities. Indeed, among the IRS codes from which filers must select,
there is none for prostitution, and the closest codes are for entertainment or personal services.
4. The San Diego office reported the duo to the police. In the San Diego office, where OKeefe/Giles raised the topic of smuggling underage prostitutes across the border, the ACORN worker called the police,5as did Acorn workers in Philadelphia
5. The San Bernardino video was a scam on the duo. In the San Bernardino office, the ACORN worker, finding their stories ridiculous, met them with her own outrageous tales. The ACORN worker spins tales of a sordid past, including murdering her husband. While Giles and OKeefe had the tapes for a month before releasing them, they never conducted any kind of check of the claims. Within 24 hours of the videos release, the police had confirmed that no such murder had taken place, and that the workers two ex-husbands were
alive and well. San Bernardino resident Jim Miller, who lives near ACORN’s office and is also featured in the video giving business advice, said he thought the “whole thing was a preposterous production.”6
1 DC transcript p. 11; NY p. 17; Baltimore p.8-9, 14-15; San Diego p. 5-7, 8; San Bernardino p. 7-8 from biggovernment.com
2 NY transcript p.28 from biggovernment.com
3 DC transcript p. 4-5; NY p. 3; Baltimore p. 2-3; San Diego p. 1-3, 7; San Bernardino p. 1 from biggovernment.com
4 DC transcript p. 6-8; NY p. 5, 7; San Diego p. 12; from biggovernment.com
5 On page 25 of the San Diego transcript on biggovernment.com, the ACORN employee also makes clear that he would work with the
District Attorney or Prosecutors based on the story they present, until OKeefe insists that he cant have law enforcement involved.
6 Inland woman caught up in national controversy over ACORN, Tuesday, September 15, 2009, By DUANE W. GANG and JOHN ASBURY, The Press-
6. Child prostitution claims are applied to several of the videos, with no evidence in the transcripts.7
While the New York and Washington DC8 videos are each given the title by OKeefe of ACORN Child
Prostitution Investigation, in fact, in neither of these cases do the duo claim they are planning to engage in
child prostitution, and no advice is given. In New York, Giles states that her abusive pimp is bringing girls over
and she wants to protect them and give them a home to escape from the pimp. Of course as mentioned above,
in San Diego, the police were notified, and in San Bernardino, the whole video was seen by the employee for
the farce that it was.
NOTE: Because OKeefe has refused to release the actual complete videotapes, we dont know for sure that
even the transcripts he has released (via his website) are complete. But the differences noted above between the
transcripts and the videos unnoted by media who simply accepted the heavily edited tapes at face value
profoundly affect the instinctive reaction that we all have in watching these tapes, just as they affected the
response and tone of the ACORN employees whose instinct was to help protect a 20-year old woman from
Appendix to What the Transcripts Show About the Doctored ACORN Video Tapes:
Excerpts from the sections referenced at biggovernment.com.
1. Transcripts reveal that OKeefe and Giles said they needed ACORNs help to protect Giles from a
violent pimpbut they carefully edited this out of their videos
DC p. 11
Hannah: Im kind of afraid to make any cause ever since I met him I left a group of people and one
guy in particular who was abusive and very controlling and um every since Ive left hes followed me
and theres problems and I feel if theres more paper hell somehow get a hold of that and I might end
up dead and then I wont be around.
NY p. 17
James: well the reason why we are rushing is because she was working for this pimp and he was very
Hannah (Eden): HE has been really aggressive toward me ever since I met him because I wanted to
leave because it is scary being subjected to a huge man who has control over your life. I
NY p. 28
Hannah (Eden): But they should throw Sonny [the pimp] in jail, not me, he’s the one who got me
Milagros (counselor): yea but its [garbled]
Hannah (Eden): I mean he got a whole slew of which is why I also want a house
Volda (loan counselor): yes because he prey on little girls yea
Hannah (Eden): Hes got all these 13, 14,15 year old girls from El Salvador and thats whatI need to
protect them like I know what its like and I have to protect them and like give them somewhere to live.
James: the other thing that we have to deal with is this guy she was working for he is very abusive. And
this guy has been giving us a lot of problems
Kenya: ever since I left
James: and now she is trying to start her own thing. And we are trying to get her a house and she can
work with other girls and she can make, right now this guy is being very harassing so that is why we
7 DC and NY transcripts all pages. Biggovernment.com
8 DC Transcript P. 9, NY p. 28 from biggovernment.com
have got to do this as fast as possible
San Diego p. 5-8
Eden/Hannah: Oh. Okay, um so he’s bringing these girls in, and I don’t want the girls to be with him
because I’m in the process of leaving that pimp cuz I want to be independent . . . .
Eden/Hannah: Um, I don’t I don’t want him to have to get get these girls and if he does get them I don’t
want them to be with him for a long time.
Juan Carlos: Okay.
Eden/Hannah: Because they’re underage girls, and they’re young, and I think that if I was able to get
them and work with them that they’d be safer than with the pimp.
San Bernardino p. 7-8
Hannah (Eden): Well, I don’t know if I, I, be I’m having problems making money because I’ve decided
to rebel against my pimp.
Hannah (Eden): So, so he’s I’ve kind of
Tresa (Acorn): Yeah.
Hannah (Eden): rebelled
Tresa (Acorn): Mmm hmm
Hannah (Eden): um paid the price physically
Tresa (Acorn): Yes. Yes.
Hannah (Eden): for that
Tresa (Acorn): I can imagine
Hannah (Eden): um, you know as far as money goes, also
James: She’s also there’s she’s also gotten
Hannah (Eden): I mean
James: the pimp has really like beat her up.
Tresa (Acorn): Oh I know. I mean I, I. Yeah.
Hannah (Eden): Yeah. He just is scarring.
Tresa (Acorn): Yeah.
Hannah (Eden): Anyway, so there’s been a rebellion process and
Tresa (Acorn): Right.
Hannah (Eden): And I’ve really tried to figure out how I can make it on my own and not be subjected
Tresa (Acorn): Right.
Hannah (Eden): an evil big man.
2. While their press releases claim they were posing as a prostitute and a pimp, the transcripts show
that OKeefe consistently introduced himself as Giles boyfriend trying to protect her.9
DC p. 4-5
James: Well, my ah, my partner is a ah, shes in a unique line of business and I dont know if you allow
Acorn 1: Unique line of business? What are you saying?
Acorn 1: If you dont tell us we cant help you.
James: My girlfriend is a prostitute.
NY p. 3
Volda (loan counselor): how can I help you today
James: have a seat
James: well we have a unique situation and my uh this is my girlfriend, Eden, and I apologize about her
attire but uhm uhm but Eden is in a unique line of work and umm
Baltimore p. 2-3
James: well i am doing pretty well for myself but i am coming to talk to you about my girlfriend, my
girl Kenya here, we have kind of a unique life situation.
San Diego p. 1-3, 7
Eden/Hannah: The thing is also like ever since I met him is when I wanted to leave my pimp and get
away from that guy because he’s been really nice to me and he’s my boyfriend and I wanna be somehow
independent from him.
San Bernardino p. 1
James: uh we my girlfriend here we’ve been dating for about a year or two and um I met her um
James: She’s from Miami originally and we just came out to California. I came out here because I’m
going to law school.
In each of the cases, the ACORN staff advised the prostitute to pay taxes, not to evade them.
DC p. 6-8
Acorn 4: [s]he needs to start taking track of her income and she needs to file taxes. You need to file
taxes every year to establish an income. Even though shes self-employee because the one thing theyre
gonna look for the guys that run this are very tight and they want to see two years of tax returns. They
want to know that shes got an established income, and then shes gonna have to keep records of how
much shes, you know like a a log of how much shes making so that they can track that.
NY p. 5
Volda (loan counselor): I don’t know you have to ask your accountant and you too have to file taxes
you will have to have at least two years taxes
Volda (loan counselor): okay
James: what I am worried about though is will they discriminate against her because she is a prostitute
Volda (loan counselor): Well no if she put a regular work that she is doing like paying taxes like
showing that my earnings are X amount of dollars what you do is you still continue to write it separately
but you put how much you save so when you filing taxes you put the full amount but you put what you
save right but I am saving X from it
NY p. 7
Hannah (Eden): so how do I get that started
Volda (loan counselor): you have to have a record you have to pay taxes
San Diego p. 12
Juan Carlos: (?) and give up on house- the banks. They don’t know. They because they
have a lot of house, they they have good deals right now. But so you need to seem to get a
house, but you need to prove you know income. You understand?
Juan Carlos: and we can work we can deal for you can get a house because sometimes when you do your
Juan Carlos: you, you have your own business you need to prove the income. The income
James: Well, we can prove it by classifying it as uh performing arts.
Juan Carlos: Yeah.
James: Isn’t that a way to do it?
Eden/Hannah: Isn’t proving your incoming just giving cash to somebody like obviously
James: No. You have ta you have to classify it
Juan Carlos: Yeah.
James: and the tax form
Links to each Transcript: