Since the news broke that the Brooklyn district attorney found “no criminality” in the undercover ACORN video recorded in New York City by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, right-wing blogs have been pushing the notion that the DA, Charles Hynes, is a “member” of the Working Families Party and that given ACORN's support of that party, the investigation is a scam. Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft headlined his post on the subject “ACORN District Attorney Lets ACORN Off the Hook For Child Prostitution Tapes” :
Yesterday, employees at ACORN in Brooklyn who were caught on video giving tax advice to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute were cleared of criminal wrongdoing. The Brooklyn DA is a member of the ACORN/Working Families Party. That means he signed their pledge, and worked for their endorsement... And, he found no wrongdoing. Funny how that works out, huh?
Hoft's supporting link leads to a Founding Bloggers post that says, in part:
Should anyone be surprised? The Brooklyn DA is a member of the ACORN/Working Families Party. That means he signed their pledge, and worked for their endorsement.
The post was later updated:
UPDATE: Some people want to quibble about membership in ACORN and SEIU's Working Families Party, versus endorsement. This distinction doesn't hold water. When a candidate accepts the endorsement/nomination of a political party, they become a de facto member of that party. Do skeptics want to make the argument that Republican candidates are not Republicans? Or that Democrat candidates are not Democrats? If a candidate accepts the endorsement of the Working Families Party, and the Democrat Party, they are members of both parties.
Well, then. By that standard, Hynes is a member of four parties: the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Conservative Party, and the Working Families Party. See, in New York, candidates can earn the endorsement of more than one party and appear on a ballot line for each of them. And in the 2009 election, all four of those parties endorsed Hynes, as the official results show:
More broadly, it is ridiculous to claim that in a system in which district attorneys are elected, those DAs simply cannot be trusted to conduct investigations of members of their party. A DA is tasked with prosecuting participants in government corruption, regardless of party. Some of them fail to live up to that duty -- and the system has mechanisms for their removal (i.e., elections) -- but to assume that such action is impossible doesn't make a lot of sense.
With regard to Hynes, by the way, this line of argument is especially inapt -- Hynes is best known for repeatedly successfully prosecuting former Brooklyn Democratic chair Clarence Norman Jr. on corruption charges. Those convictions cost Norman his Assembly seat, his control over the Brooklyn Democratic Party, his law license, and several years in jail. Hynes stood up to the chair of the major party to which he belonged, but refused to prosecute a backer of a minor party that supports him? Seems unlikely.