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House GOP Cheers Census Decision to Sever ACORN Ties

House Republicans applauded the decision of Census Bureau Director Robert Groves to end the government’s relationship with a controversial nonprofit group Friday.The letter from Groves to Maude Hurd, the president of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, came hours after damaging hidden camera footage, posted on the conservative Web site, showed two employees of a Baltimore ACORN office allegedly giving advice to two conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her pimp on how to falsify tax forms in order to run a prostitution business.A lead organizer for ACORN’s Maryland Chapter told the Baltimore Sun that the two employees were fired.Scott Levenson, a spokesman at ACORN’s national offices, told CNN the video was a “false and defamatory and an attempt at ‘gotcha journalism.’—Republicans had previously asked President Barack Obama to prohibit ACORN from helping gather 2010 Census data, citing allegations that the nonprofit had engaged in voter fraud during the 2008 election cycle.“ACORN had no business working on the Census,— said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “ACORN’s partisan election efforts and its involvement in criminal conduct rightly disqualified it from working on the non-partisan mission of the Census to accurately and honestly count the U.S. population.—A spokesman for ACORN could not be immediately reached for comment.Groves explained in the letter that the Census Bureau reserved the right to terminate relationships with groups that “may create a negative connotation for the Census Bureau, distract from [the Bureau’s] mission, may make people fearful of the census.—“We are today terminating our partnership agreement with ACORN,— he wrote.The letter explained that the camera footage was not the sole reason for the bureau’s decision to cut ties with ACORN, but that the most recent incident was the latest in a series of troubling events that “added to the worsening perceptions of ACORN and it’s affiliation with our partnership efforts.—“When I met with Director Groves immediately following his confirmation, he promised me that the status of ACORN as a national partner would be reviewed,— said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who serves as the ranking member of the subcommittee charged with oversight of the census. “I applaud Director Groves for having the courage to do the right thing.—

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