Alyssa Farah is a special Washington correspondent for WND.
An ACORN worker in San Bernardino, Calif., says she built the groundwork for a case of self-defense, then picked up a gun and shot her former husband.
The statements by a woman identified as Tresa Kaelke at an ACORN office in California come in a new video released on Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com website.
The video is the latest in a series of revealing reports by filmmaker James O’Keefe and associate Hannah Giles, who previously reported on visits to ACORN offices in several cities, including Baltimore, Brooklyn and Washington.
In San Bernardino, the two visited Kaelke’s office posing as a politician and a prostitute to explain they were looking for help to set up a prostitution business, trafficking in underage girls from El Salvador.
Kaelke admits she used to run a service and states, “I have some experience in how not to get caught.”
Then she brings up the death of her ex-husband.
“I shot him. I shot him,” she states. “I just picked up the gun and said f— you and I shot him and he died right there.” She confirms it was in self-defense.
“Before that I had done … some groundwork, went into the domestic violence shelter, pleaded my case with them, so everybody in town would know this was happening,” she continued.
According to the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., San Bernardino police interviewed Kaelke based on her assertions regarding shooting her ex-husband after the video appeared.
“At this point, we can’t prove that there’s anything to her statement,” San Bernardino police Sgt. Dave Dillon told the newspaper. “We can’t show that ever happened.”
One of the ex-husbands, Ronald Kaelke, 66, told the newspaper he was unaware of any investigation or his ex-wife’s claims of a shooting in self-defense.
Kaelke also boasts of her influence with area politicians, including Sen. Barbara Boxer, and tells the undercover operatives they can run their business the way they want.
“It’s about how you want it to be run. You can mold it into the level of decency or indecency (you want),” she said.
There’s also nothing wrong with using the ill-gotten gains to run a political campaign, as the operatives have portrayed, she said.
“Do you think that even Obama, our new president, or any of them actually put down every single resource where they got their money?” she said.
“Tresa” later tells her visitors she’ll threaten other ACORN workers to make sure they don’t reveal the plans for the prostitution ring.
“As soon as you go leave I’m going to go talk to the both of them and threaten them with their lives because I can kill people. I don’t have a problem with that,” she said.
The hidden-camera videos have been posted on BigGovernment.com, the project of Breitbart.com founder Andrew Breitbart.
ACORN, which has fired workers caught in several earlier compromising videos, has alleged they are manipulated, and has threatened a lawsuit against the filmmaker and websites, as well as Fox News, for the reports that show ACORN workers advising on how to fake tax forms, set up a child prostitution business and other issues.
The filmmaker and his associate have posed as a pimp and a prostitute, seeking advice on how to obtain federal help to get a home in which to operate their business, as well as advice on taxes.
Giles, a 20-year-old college student and political activist, originally came up with the idea for the undercover project at the beginning of a summer internship she was doing in Washington, D.C.
While jogging through part of D.C. she saw an ACORN facility, which piqued her already existing interest in undercover investigative reporting. She contacted James O’Keefe, who was part of a series of undercover Planned Parenthood reports, and pitched the idea to him.
The two funded their project completely, and traveled from Maryland, to Washington, D.C., to New York to Southern California to expose ACORN.
“They (ACORN) need to be defunded. Any organization that can so much as entertain the idea of smuggling in underage girls to be used as prostitutes to fund a political campaign is obviously corrupt,” Giles told WorldNetDaily.
Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s chief organizer, said it is illegal for the filmmakers to film without notification and “fabricate” their stories, and action will be taken. Meanwhile, the dismissal of the ACORN workers on the videos was confirmed.
“I cannot and I will not defend the actions of the workers depicted in the video,” Lewis said in a prepared statement.
At ACORN’s Washington office, two workers were fired after a video revealed them offering to help the filmmaker acquire illegal home loans to set up a brothel. Those dismissals came only a day after two workers in Baltimore were fired for advising the “pimp” and “prostitute” how to fake tax forms and apply for illegal benefits for 13 “very young” girls who were scheduled to be brought into the U.S. to work as child prostitutes.
Breitbart simply noted that the videos speak for themselves.
“This is clearly an organization in internal turmoil over James and Hannah’s exposure,” he told . The longer that the mainstream media ignores this massive story, the more that ACORN has to accumulate data in order to form a line of attack to annihilate the messenger.”
Also today, House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, renewed efforts to cut tax dollars from flowing into ACORN checkbooks.
“It is evident that ACORN is incapable of using federal funds in a manner that is consistent with the law,” Boehner said. “Immediate action is necessary to ensure that no additional tax dollars are directed to ACORN. Simply put, ACORN should not receive another penny of American taxpayers’ money.”
He continued, “It is outrageous that ACORN continues to receive taxpayer dollars after repeated revelations of corruption and potentially criminal activity. House Republicans are responding and taking action to terminate all federal funding to ACORN and its affiliates. We’ve asked the president to end all federal funding of ACORN – and if the administration does not act, we have a bill to stop federal funding of ACORN once and for all.”
Just days earlier, the Census Bureau, which had hired workers including ACORN members to provide GPS coordinates for the front door of every residence in America, has severed ties to the community activists.
“We no longer have confidence that our national partnership agreement is being effectively managed through your many local offices,” said Census Director Robert G. Groves in a letter to ACORN.
The office of the Republican leader’s staff found that ACORN already had received more than $53 million in direct funding from the U.S. government since 1994, and that figure probably was significantly higher when “indirect” funding would be included.
Further, according to a report in the American Spectator, former radical community organizer Brandon Darby reported that when he helped foil a plan to attack the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota, ACORN founder Wade Rathke wrote that it is “one thing to disagree, but it’s a whole different thing to rat on folks.”
It was Sept. 9, when Fox reported federal and state authorities in Miami had taken into custody six ACORN suspects and were looking for others on charges of voter registration fraud.
The 11 workers were hired by ACORN to register voters Homestead, Fla., and state attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle said they turned in 888 fraudulent names – including that of the late actor Paul Newman.
ACORN’s Leroy Bell called it “isolated wrongdoing.”
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now describes itself as a team of families “working together for social justice and stronger communities,” had been accused multiple times of voter fraud.
“Taxpayers should be outraged that their money has gone to an organization that, in addition to facing charges of voter fraud and tax violations, is willing to facilitate prostitution,” Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said. “As this video confirms, ACORN continues to operate as a criminal enterprise.”
Only a few weeks earlier, the Las Vegas Sun reported the Christopher Edwards, 33, a former Las Vegas official for ACORN, had pleaded guilty to two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of compensation for registration of voters. Part of his plea agreement includes testifying against other defendants in the case.
The report from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, ACORN “has repeatedly and deliberately engaged in systemic fraud. Both structurally and operationally, ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate.”
“Under the Obama administration, ACORN stands to
receive a whopping $8.5 billion in available stimulus funds.
Operationally, ACORN is a shell game played in 120 cities, 43 states and the District of
Columbia through a complex structure designed to conceal illegal activities, to use
taxpayer and tax-exempt dollars for partisan political purposes, and to distract
investigators. Structurally, ACORN is a chess game in which senior management is
shielded from accountability by multiple layers of volunteers and compensated
employees who serve as pawns to take the fall for every bad act,” the report said.
The report continued, “Lobbying is a substantial part of what ACORN does. It has endorsed Senator
Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Representative Albert Wynn (D-MD), and
Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD). ACORN keeps donor records from the
Clinton, Kerry and Obama campaigns with the intent to engage in prohibited
communications. ACORN receives federal funding yet engages in improper
lobbying. ACORN and its nonprofit affiliates do not have separate accounts.
Neither ACORN nor any of its affiliates have properly reported their political
activities to the IRS. These harms fly under the legal radar because the IRS rarely
checks for compliance. The ‘no substantial part’ test is rarely enforced and the
accounts of ACORN and its affiliates are illegally commingled.”