In what has to be a really dumb move the Baltimore office of ACORN has sued videographers James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles and publisher Andrew Breitbart, saying that Maryland law forbids the audio taping without the permission of all parties.
The crux of the lawsuit centers around a Maryland law which makes it illegal to tape someone without their consent - ACORN is alleging O'Keefe and Giles did so. ACORN
is asking for $500,000 in damages to be awarded to each of the employees filmed by O'Keefe and Giles, and ACORN itself wants $1 million in damages.
Interestingly, the two employees who say their firing caused them emotional distress didn't sue ACORN which fired them, and both were filmed in an open area accessible to the public and worked for an organization which lacked a valid Baltimore business license.
Discovery should be interesting.
In related news perhaps, Barney Frank whose former roommate once ran a brothel out of Frank's Capitol Hill basement , apparently has turned tail and is no longer supporting ACORN:
"[T]hrough a misunderstanding with a member of my staff, it was incorrectly reported that I said I would have voted against the motion to defund ACORN," he said in the statement. "In fact, I would have voted for the motion at that time. I am very disappointed in the actions that were taken by members of ACORN, and I do not believe that ACORN's response has been adequate for an organization that has received public funding."
That said, Frank seemed to cast his lot with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who has argued the measure may be unconstitutional by violating Article 1's prohibition on so-called "bills of attainder."
And he blasted away at Republican critics, who have claimed the embattled group would be eligible for billions in funding under various Obama administration programs.
"The wild claims that ACORN is the potential beneficiary of billions of dollars in programs voted by Congress is similarly a sad example of excessive partisanship," he wrote.
But Frank reserves his harshest criticism for ACORN, a group he's long defended:
"I have previously communicated to ACORN my dissatisfaction with their lax supervision of employees and volunteers. The fact that people who were improperly registered to vote did not actually cast ballots in no way excuses the organization's failure to exercise better control in this way. Further, the motivation of those who went to ACORN offices and initiated the discussions involving prostitution are wholly irrelevant to the fact that ACORN's employees' actions were outrageous and further indication of an organization that is at best poorly run in many regards. The defense against sting operations is not to ban them, but to behave properly so that they do not reveal as they did in this case clear evidence of gross impropriety."