Too late for ACORN?

The ACORN scandal is mushrooming.

It started after, a site run by commentator Andrew Breitbart, sent a couple of kids into an ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) office to try to get funding for a prostitution ring. Hidden video revealed an intake worker ready to help.

For conservatives, it was proof of a story they claim mainstream media has been ignoring: that of a fraudulent organization tied to the president.

ACORN’s response has been — charitably put — uneven. At first, according to a press release, the group said an intake worker was just kidding:

When the actors approached Ms. Kaelke with their provocative costuming and outlandish scenario, she could not take them seriously. So she met their outrageousness with her own personal style of outrageousness. She matched their false scenario with her own false scenarios.

But another press release today from ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis suggests now that they weren’t:

“As a result of the indefensible action of a handful of our employees, I am, in consultation with ACORN’s Executive Committee , immediately ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN’s service programs until completion of an independent review. I have also communicated with ACORN’s independent Advisory Council, and they will assist ACORN in naming an independent auditor and investigator to conduct a thorough review of all of the organizations relevant systems and processes. That reviewer, to be named within 48 hours, will make recommendations directly to me and to the full ACORN Board. We enter this process with a commitment that all recommendations will be implemented.”

Said Ms. Lewis: “We have all been deeply disturbed by what we’ve seen in some of these videos. I must say, on behalf of ACORN’s Board and our Advisory Council, that we will go to whatever lengths necessary to reestablish the public trust. For nearly forty years, ACORN has given voice to communities, and gotten results. Right now, our nearly 500,000 member are working their hearts out for quality, affordable healthcare for every American and to help stop the foreclosure crisis. We must get this process right, so the good work can go forward.”

It may be too late. Earlier this week, the Senate voted to prevent the organization from getting — and distributing — any housing money. When Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken line up against you, it’s over.

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And today, according to MPR’s Tom Scheck, Gov. Pawlenty has ordered a halt to any state money going to the group, if any.

(Update 4:47 p.m. MPR’s Tom Scheck reports Pawlenty appears to have put a halt to something that didn’t exist in the first place.)

Conservatives, meanwhile, are claiming the mainstream media are ignoring the story, which puts it squarely in the lap of comedians to figure out:

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