Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What's Behind ACORN's Litigation Strategy

ACORN officials must be besides themselves and are tired of trying to attempt to defend the indefensible actions of their employees who have been revealed to be unethical and promoting illegal activities on a multitude of video tapes.

They're angry. They're pissed. And they've called out the lawyers.

They don't want blood. They want millions in damages and they're suing James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart for illegal wiretapping in Maryland because Maryland law requires that both parties consent to the taping.

This isn't going to go well.

Even Admiral Ackbar knows one when he sees one. It's going to be a trap. It's not a good idea to bring a lawsuit when you're angry and haven't had a chance to suss out the possible outcomes, and not just in the courtroom. This is a situation that has media scrutiny written all over it, particularly because Breitbart is being sued. He's not going to let this issue die; he's going to use it to drive continuing traffic to his websites and will continue pushing matters on any news outlet he can get himself booked on, particularly Fox News.

ACORN would have been better off letting the issues slide, because attacking the messenger and pushing ahead with a lawsuit guarantees more news coverage and additional scrutiny on ACORN actions. ACORN could conceivably win on the lawsuit, but they'd lose the war - as their political allies (like Barney Frank) distance themselves to avoid the omniscient stink as media outlets actually are forced to cover the story.

Bear in mind that Breitbart had let on that there were seven sets of videos and only five had been made public. ACORN could have waited this out and let the interest die out and its political allies regained their nerve (although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to hold hearings on the matter). Now, there's an incentive for Breitbart to push ahead with releasing the videos at some unspecified date to keep the pressure on ACORN.

Moreover, ACORN fired the two employees in the Baltimore video as a result of their conduct on the video. Those two former employees would have a far stronger case than ACORN, but this is route that ACORN is taking. Instead, they're going to face a potential jury pool that isn't going to take what was seen on the videos lightly when compared to the alleged violation of Maryland wiretapping laws, particularly when ACORN leaders have said that they were thankful for the videographers for outing a few bad apples.

Some thanks.

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