Thursday, September 24, 2009

What ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera really said: full transcript

See all ACORN posts in this blog.
See all ACORN posts in San Diego Education Report blog.

In the dozen pages at the beginning of the transcript of the Giles-O'Keefe-Vera conversation at the National City ACORN office, the fake pimp-prostitute pair did all the talking about prostitution, and ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera responded with "yeah" and "okay", as if he were taking it all in. But Juan Carlos' English isn't so great, and when he finally seemed to understand what was going on, he said he would consult with lawyers and contact the visitors by email. He even mentioned that he worked with prosecutors.

Throughout most of the conversation, Juan Carlos spoke at cross-purposes to the visitors, giving information about ACORN seminars.

On page 12 O'Keefe prompts Juan Carlos with suggestions about tax fraud. Juan Carlos continues to say "yeah", but his understanding of the questions is in doubt because he clarifies the issue by saying, "Because you need a house."

O'Keefe tries again to get Juan Carlos to agree that O'Keefe's tax fraud ideas are good, and Hannah also tries to get Juan Carlos to repeat what James has said. Juan Carlos responds, "I think it's good, too, because we have two lawyers working for our program--and if you're interested come to our seminar" (pages 12-13) Clearly, Juan Carlos is not on the same page as James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles.

On page 13 Juan Carlos goes on, "If you have your own business you need to prove your income."

On page 13 O'Keefe to Hannah, "...and the tax form is something so I'm explaining to him [Juan Carlos] is something you can classify not as prostitution but as performing arts. That way we can clear that first hurdle. We can declare all income."

Juan Carlos, as is his habit, responds with "yeah." But did he understand? Did he agree? Or was the "yeah" actually a reflex response to acknowledge that O'Keefe had said something and Juan Carlos was trying to keep up with the conversation? Fortunately, Juan Carlos explains his position clearly in the next exchange.

O'Keefe: Do you think that's something we can do?

Juan Carlos: The problem first time buyers is good because you never have a house before.

Clearly, we now know what Juan Carlos is trying to tell O'Keefe. He's trying to tell him how to buy a house.

Page 14

O'Keefe: Can this be a legitimate business? This prostitution?

Juan Carlos: You need to check...You need to check. You need to check. Because the program for first time buyers is for the people that never have a house.

O'Keefe says there will be 12 underage girls. [I doubt that a limited speaker is going to understand the word "underage." It's not usually found in your beginning English instruction. The word was probably Greek to Juan Carlos. Also, I don't remember seeing the word "prostitution" in beginning English instruction.]

Juan Carlos says: they gonna be probably 4 or 5 persons. [Juan Carlos is clearly not in sync with the idea of twelve girls.]

Hannah asks, "Could they be like my sisters or something like that?" [Of course your sisters can live with you, Hannah!]

O'Keefe: Could we get a child tax credit for them? Claim them as dependents?

Juan Carlos: Yeah. [My guess is that Juan Carlos thought they were talking about actual siblings.]

For the next few pages Hannah and O'Keefe do all the talking again, and Juan Carlos responds with his usual rote response of "okay."

Page 19

Juan Carlos understands that El Salvadoran girls are coming: "What day are they coming?" He is told they'll come on Saturday.

But Juan Carlos has a feeling that these people have wandered into the wrong office.

Juan Carlos: So you never heard for this organization? ACORN?...Okay, let's do this. Let me see, let me see anything about it. See and let me contact to you. Because this program is, this Saturday happen?

But O'Keefe doesn't want to be contacted later, he wants to talk about it now. Juan Carlos tries to get an email address, but doesn't succeed until page 23.

On page 21 the talk turns to where each of them comes from. O'Keefe is from back east, which, Juan Carlos notes, is too cold. Juan Carlos is from Mexico City, and he is a lawyer in Mexico.

On page 24 Juan Carlos says, "...I want to call you tomorrow." [I think that's what I'd say, too, in an effort to get rid of these bizarre people.]

Pages 25-26

Juan Carlos wants to explain that lawyers will be involved: "...dis is you say private...I ah because we work before with the lawyers."...

O'Keefe: You're working with the prosecutors?

Juan Carlos: Yeah.

O'Keefe: Well then that's not good.

Juan Carlos:...I think we want to send an email to you.

Hannah: Honestly I don't feel very comfortable right now. I just gave you a bunch of information and I don't know if we trust you like...

Juan Carlos: No, we help people. [Juan Carlos is trying to get information about Hannah and O'Keefe, not scare them away.]

Page 27

Juan Carlos tries to get a location for where the girls will be on Saturday. He recommends that the girls go to Tijuana where Juan Carlos has a lot of contacts. [My guess is that he wants to help the girls, to prevent them from falling under the control of unscrupulous people like Hannah and O'Keefe.]

Page 28

[Now we find out how much Juan Carlos understood of the earlier conversation.]

O'Keefe: There's twelve girls but they're like there's like thirteen to fifteen years old.

Juan Carlos: Oh, yeah?...I want to contact you now only for email.

Hannah and O'Keefe keep talking, but Juan Carlos no longer responds with his reflexive "yeah". Instead he repeats, "I going to contact you by email."

O'Keefe apples pressure: Just give me your cell phone number.

Juan Carlos complies, but says, "Well it's better I can send you an email."

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