New Orleans Hannah Giles, the “ho” in the ACORN video stings last fall is reportedly sending out direct mail fundraising appeals asking for $35 to $5000 to defend her against the so-called ACORN lawsuits against she and the discredited James O’Keefe, the pimp in that series. I wonder if this is a scam?
She and O’Keefe certainly have some legal issues. Several of the states where they ran their sting (Maryland, Pennsylvania and California) make it illegal (up to a felony) to secretly video and record people. The two of them were sued by various ACORN staff people who felt maligned by their trickery. ACORN seems to have also been involved in some of the suits. The blogosphere is rich with speculation, left and right, about the merits of the case. Supposedly, Glen Beck has gone on the air and tried to raise money for them or get lawyers to defend them pro bono, though without much success I read.
I was intrigued by a blog I read from a lawyer who was actually checking the progress of these suits. He had checked the records in Baltimore on the first filing back in September 2008, and found that there had been no activity on the case since the original filing. He promised he would stay on the trail and see if this was brass or baloney essentially.
Makes me wonder if we don’t have a combination of head fakes and scams going on here?
ACORN and these staffers might have lawyered up for public relations and defensive reasons without any real intention – or resources – to pursue the litigation to a judicial reckoning, but more as a push back to the stingers and a fig leaf in front of the original problem by diverting attention to whether it was legal to play “gotcha” at the organization’s expense.
Hannah Giles has certainly talked to lawyers at this point. (Evidence now abounds that O’Keefe is spending lots of time with lawyers and law students, but may simply pay no attention to their advice when it comes to the law.) She may be 20, but she is certainly savvy and a long mile away from naïve. She has to have been advised that even with the filing of the suits, when there is no activity, they are simply dying on the vine.
Now Giles and ACORN may have the same interests. She may not want the suits to be withdrawn or dismissed so that she can try to raise money for herself as the “ACORN killer.” ACORN has no reason to withdraw the suits because it wants to discourage Giles, O’Keefe, and their wannabes and protect what’s left of its reputation as it winds down. Neither does ACORN want to take the risk of having the suits pursued aggressively and dismissed, which would reawaken the ravenous media machine.
Seems like Hannah Giles may have her own faux scam going as she tries to breathe lives in these DOA lawsuits for the sake of the bucks she might be able to raise in the meantime. Her worse nightmare may be coming. What does she do for money, fame, and cache, if she doesn’t have ACORN to kick around any longer?