Along with three others, O'Keefe was arrested in 2010 at the New Orleans office of Louisiana Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu in a failed attempt to record staff conversations. He later pled guilty to entering real property belonging to the United States under false pretenses. He received three years of probation, a fine of $1,500, and 100 hours of community service.
In March 2011, O'Keefe and his minions racked up more cred with the political right when they set up an undercover video with two men posing as wealthy donors from a Muslim charity talking to then top NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller. The video captured Schiller calling Republicans "anti-intellectual" and tea party members "racists."
The blowback was tremendous, forcing Schiller to turn in his resignation, as well as the public radio network's top boss, Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron).
But it was Glenn Beck's The Blaze that revealed that several key scenes in that video were misleadingly edited, with quotes taken out of context in the more-publicized short form of the video.
In May 2012, O'Keefe's Project Veritas released a new video that he said showed voter fraud in North Carolina. The video featured two alleged non-citizens who were able to cast a ballot in the Tar Heel state, including William Romero.
But the liberal website ThinkProgress subsequently reported that Romero had become a naturalized citizen in 2011.
What’s more, Romero’s family told ThinkProgress that they had began receiving harassing telephone calls two weeks before the incident in the video asking if Romero was a citizen. They confirmed to the caller — it’s unclear whether they were speaking with O’Keefe himself or another individual — that Romero is indeed a citizen. Nevertheless, O’Keefe proceeded to ambush the family at their home and publish this video claiming he’s not a citizen.
One member of his family, who was confronted in O’Keefe’s video as he came home to care for his sick son, was incensed by the charge, calling it “completely absurd.”
O’Keefe appears to have blatantly misled viewers when he declared that Romero “is not a United States citizen” who was therefore committing voter fraud. According to the most recent information, Romero is a citizen who is participating in our most basic democratic right, yet he was attacked and smeared by O’Keefe’s outright falsehoods.
Of course, who could forget his attempt to "punk" CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau by setting up a “pleasure palace” on a boat, where he hoped to seduce her. (That "pleasure palace" included a condom jar and dildos, but alas no Boudreau, who was alerted to the young sleuth's tactics before she could take that journey.)
But hey, who wants to hear about that when the guy can bring down ACORN and a couple of big shots at NPR? If you're interested in attending the lunch, contact theJames Madison Institute in Tallahassee.
Just days after it was learned that James O'Keefe and his associate Hanna Giles will face a lawsuit from a former ACORN employee involved in O'Keefe's 2009 undercover sting video, the James Madison Institute announced that next week it will sponsor a Tampa appearance by the conservative activist/"muckraker."
O'Keefe will speak on Tues., Aug. 28 during the lunch hour at 717 South, the fine-dining establishment located on Tampa's South Howard Avenue.
Whatever else he accomplishes in his life, the 28-year-old disciple of the late Andrew Breitbart will always have a lifetime pass to RNC events after his actions posing as a pimp in 2009 helped lead to the downfall of ACORN.
The sting video he set up seemed to show its members endorsing trafficking in children, among other illegal activities. The eruption that followed ultimately led Congress to defund the organization, leading to its bankruptcy. Of course, the California State Attorney General's Office and the US Government Accountability Office later released investigative reports that told a different story. The California Attorney General's Office found that O'Keefe had misrepresented the actions of ACORN workers and that the workers had not committed illegal actions. The GAO found that ACORN had managed its federal funds appropriately.
But that was the high-water mark for the conservative sleuth. His subsequent sting operations have not gone as well.
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