Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Was ACORN Worker "Playing Along" or "Fearing for Her Safety?"

I've held off on posting about the fourth ACORN sting video from San Bernadino because, honestly, after I watched the available raw footage and read ACORN's response, well, it seemed plausible to me that James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles had been had.

That's not to say that I put any stock into anything ACORN says. It's just to say that after conducting my own research online and being able to discern that, of Tresa Kaelke's traceable husbands, all seemed to be alive (she does appear to have two dead sons, one of which died at the age of 18), which made at least part of her story a lie - whether a lie for shock value or because she was "playing along," I don't know.

However, today I read that ACORN office supervisor Christina Spach said Kaelke pretended to cooperate with O'Keefe and Giles because she feared for her safety.

So, which was it? Was Kaelke having some fun with the two undercover journalists, like ACORN's national website claims, or was she scared out of her wits and trying to appear like someone frightening people wouldn't want to mess with, like Kaelke's local office claims?

This much I am certain of: ACORN seems to be trying to explain away Tresa Kaelke's words and actions at every level. Furthermore, if she was just "playing along," she spent a great deal of time doing it. Hours.

Now, I've never worked for ACORN, and I'm self-employed today, but I have worked for employers before and let me tell you: I can't imagine one of them defending me after I spent hours entertaining myself and playing along with a farce.

In order for either explanation for Kaelke's actions to merit any credibility, we have to believe that:
  1. Kaelke was too frightened for her well-being that she didn't feel she could call the police but could put someone else at "risk" by calling a man across the street to alert him to the scary people and asking him to play along;
  2. Kaelke was so amused at the fact that O'Keefe and Giles were so "not believable" and "somewhat entertaining" that she just had to call up her friend, Mr. Miller, across the street and get him in on the gig; OR
  3. ACORN has so few people to help in San Bernadino, the type of poverty-stricken community that ACORN says they spent endless effort rehabilitating, that an employee like Kaelke has time to engage in frivolous antics for the better part of a day with a couple of young people that she knows are trying to put one over on her.
So, which is it, ACORN? Was your hapless employee playing along, or was she fearing for her safety? Your local and national offices can't quite seem to agree.

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