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ACORN to Review Employees' Conduct After Hidden Camera Videos

The community organizing group ACORN says its ordering an independent investigation after its employees were caught on camera appearing to advise a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp to lie about the woman's profession to get housing help. Video by AP

"It also points out some gaps in the monitoring and procedures," he said. "It's no defense to say it's an attack when there are gaping holes."

Jonathan Garthwaite, editor in chief of, said he believes ACORN's survival is at stake. "I think they see their entire organization at risk," he said.

"They've blamed the messenger," said Mike Gonzalez, vice president of communications for the conservative Heritage Foundation. "Today I saw the first hint that they are going to take this seriously."

The video was a major strike for conservative Republicans who for years have accused ACORN of voter-registration fraud during presidential elections. The group came under increased scrutiny in the 2008 election because of the candidacy of Obama, who once worked for a group affiliated with ACORN and who worked for ACORN as a lawyer.

Kennedy Townsend downplayed the criticism. The former lieutenant governor said she will help advise ACORN "because they're under an enormous attack by Fox. . . . But ACORN is critical to the well-being of thousands of people across the United States. . . . We have to make sure we're above suspicion, and that we're going to do the right thing."

Staff writer Perry Bacon Jr. contributed to this report.

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