San Diego Republicans to ask for audit of ACORN voter registration cards - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego Republicans to ask for audit of ACORN voter registration cards

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San Diego County Republicans today are organizing a large turnout for Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, in which a request will be made to audit voter registration cards submitted by ACORN, the nonprofit organization in trouble after controversial undercover videos were posted on the Internet.

Supervisors Bill Horn and Pam Slater-Price placed an item on the meeting agenda that, if approved, will authorize a forensic audit of thousands of voter registration cards and have the chief administrative office consult with the District Attorney about a possible criminal investigation of the group's activities.

Tony Krvaric, the chairman of the county Republican Party, sent an e-mail to supporters calling for them to attend the meeting.

Krvaric called ACORN "a corrupt organization that has been convicted" of voter registration fraud in other states.

ACORN turned in 26,000 voter registration cards in San Diego County, mostly from the South Bay, a number that's more than two-thirds of the group's entire statewide production, Krvaric said.

ACORN touts itself as an advocate for the poor, mainly in housing issues, but its voter registration drives have garnered most of the attention.

In two of the undercover videos, ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera was seen offering a duo who posed as a prostitute and her pimp advice on getting 12 young girls across the border from Mexico.

The videos, and others like it, were secretly created by conservative activists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles for BigGovernment.com, a new Web site launched by Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart.

In the first clip, the employee tells the duo it is easier to get people across the border through Tijuana than any other area along the border because he knows people there. In the second clip, he asked the supposed prostitute how much her services cost.

Similar undercover videos have been taken in ACORN offices in Baltimore, Brooklyn, N.Y., Washington, D.C. and San Bernardino. An ACORN employee in Baltimore told the duo young girls from El Salvador who would be part of their business could be claimed as dependents.

Local ACORN spokesman David Lagstein initially defended Vera last Thursday, saying his comments in the video were taken "completely out of context."

But later the same day, Lagstein held a news conference in which he said he had since seen a seven-minute version of the video and it contradicted what Vera told him. He said Vera was fired.

Lagstein also called the secret videotaping a smear campaign designed to distract from the nation's debate on health care reform. He said his group is investigating the possibility of a lawsuit against the filmmakers.

Lagstein said today his organization is still weighing strategy regarding Tuesday's supervisors meeting.

ACORN lost all federal funding last week thanks to a measure sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, and approved overwhelmingly by both chambers in the Democratic-controlled Congress.

ACORN officials have said they are revamping their employee training and plan to launch an independent review of the group's practices.

ACORN stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Last year, it came under fire after its employees submitted false registration forms during the presidential race. ACORN officials said a handful of employees did so in a bid to boost their pay.

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