O’Keefe joins US political mess

James O’Keefe of Project Veritas has joined the US campaign fray, with trademark undercover videos. He has form for doing political hit jobs, including a conviction and private settlements.

His first phase accuses Democrats of paying people to provoke violence at Trump rallies.

His second phase seems to be to allege widespread voter fraud, a tactic used in the past to intimidate voters from left wing demographics.

Donald Trump has already been ramping up the voter fraud/rigged election rhetoric.

And it is likely to be no coincidence that O’Keefe has joined the campaign mess just in time for the third presidential debate.

Whale Oil has unsurprisingly applauded dirty politics alongside O’Keefe’s tactics. More surprisingly David Farrar has promoted O’Keefe’s sub-campaign, as has the Herald which raised a few eyebrows given O’Keefe’s history.

I’m sure that people linked in some way to the Clinton campaign get involved in unsavoury and undemocratic practices. But O’Keefe rings alarm bells.

Time covers much of it in Everything We Know About the Latest James O’Keefe Video Sting.

Lots of tape. Not much context

The latest gotcha’ videos from conservative provocateur James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas Action have some shocking claims that, if they are true, would indicate Democrats are playing dirty to get Hillary Clinton elected.

But if O’Keefe’s previous efforts to infiltrate and expose his foes such as ACORN and NPR are to offer a hint, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical. O’Keefe has previously spliced videos together to imply its subjects were saying things they were not.

The release of the videos made conservatives giddy that O’Keefe had claimed yet more scalps for his long-standing effort to show liberal hypocrisy through hidden-camera footage. And more embarrassing videos are expected to come before Election Day, O’Keefe promised. Donald Trump urged his audiences in Colorado on Tuesday to go online and watch them.

The interim chairwoman of the DNC, Donna Brazile, said her organization was conducting an internal investigation. “We do not believe, or have any evidence to suggest, that the activities articulated in the video actually occurred,” Brazile said. “The discredited source of these videos, James O’Keefe, is a convicted criminal with a history of doctoring video to advance his ideological agenda.”

Indeed, O’Keefe has previously pleaded guilty to crimes related to other projects and settled civil suits against his targets. Democrats immediately challenged some of his claims on this project with items as basic as calendars and employment contracts.

For instance, Mobilize didn’t sign a contract with the DNC until June 8, 2016—well after the March protest in Chicago. Officials are working to match Foval’s exact employment dates with the venues when he might have been filmed.

WHAT COMES NEXT

More videos are expected. And O’Keefe and his allies are cranking up pressure on reporters to share their work. O’Keefe said, without offering evidence, that the first video didn’t get mainstream traction because Clinton’s team was looming with threats against those who would dare broadcast. “Those televisions stations spiked the story at the last minute. Our sources tell us the reason they did so was fear of retaliation and retribution from a future Hillary Clinton Administration,” O’Keefe said in a second video focused on voter fraud.

It is likely Trump leans on them when he confronts Clinton during their third and final debate on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Perhaps those who thought the US campaign couldn’t go much lower were wrong.

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. Anyone who believes that Clinton’s Democratic party and her staff have NOT been involved in a deliberate media campaign against the Republican Party and their candidates, are so naive that I am left speechless. In New Zealand, they would never get away with their deliberate destruction of the rule of law. I do not believe the people of the USA will accept their conduct. glad I am not an American.

    Reply
    • Who said the believe anything like that BJ?

      Do you think only the Democrats are at fault?

      Reply
    • PG, NO, I don’t believe that for one minute especially given the size of the Republicans’ election funds (and the Democrats). As for the example, look at what Podesta is saying in his CNN interview for a start. I guess we will learn a bit more about things after 9pmET tonight when the debate starts. The wikileaks campaign is clearly anti-Clinton in nature as well. My comment was really to try and balance those who adopt a “Democrats are on the side of Truth” approach.

      Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  19th October 2016

    “Perhaps those who thought the US campaign couldn’t go much lower were wrong.”

    Was anybody actually ever silly enough to say that? About the only thing that’s been clear to me throughout this campaign is that however low it gets there always seems to be scope for both sides to burrow further down.

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  19th October 2016

    You say O’Keefe is a criminal but his conviction was obviously a political prosecution:

    O’Keefe, along with accomplices Joseph Basel, Stan Dai, and Robert Flanagan, the son of William Flanagan, acting U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Louisiana at the time, were arrested in New Orleans in January 2010 during an attempt to illegally make recordings at the office of United States Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat. The four were apprehended, with two of them dressed as telephone repairmen.[5][22]

    The four men were initially charged with malicious intent to damage the phone system, a felony.[23] O’Keefe claimed he entered Landrieu’s office to investigate complaints that she was ignoring phone calls from constituents during the debate over the Affordable Care Act bill.[24] The charges in the case were reduced from a felony to a single misdemeanor count of entering a federal building under false pretenses.[25][26] O’Keefe and the others pleaded guilty on May 26. O’Keefe was sentenced to three years’ probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine. The other three men received lesser sentences

    In contrast, his target Democrat has a real criminal conviction:

    On March 11, 2004, Creamer, the executive director of the Illinois Public Action Fund, was indicted in federal court on 16 counts of bank fraud involving three alleged check-kiting schemes in the mid-1990s, leading several banks to experience shortfalls of at least $2.3 million.[9] In August 2005, Creamer pleaded guilty to one count of failure to collect withholding tax and one count of bank fraud, for writing checks with insufficient funds. All of the money was repaid. Schakowsky was not accused of any wrongdoing.[10] Schakowsky served on the organization’s board during the time the crimes occurred,[11] and Schakowsky signed the IRS filings along with her husband.[12] The U.S. district judge noted no one suffered “out of pocket losses,” and Creamer acted not out of greed but in an effort to keep his community action group going without cutting programs, though Creamer paid his own $100,000 salary with fraudulently obtained funds.[13]

    On April 5, 2006, Creamer was sentenced to five months in prison and 11 months of house arrest.[14] Creamer served his five-month incarceration at the Federal Correction Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana and was released on November 3, 2006

    Reply
    • Trying to illegally tap into the phone system of a Senator’s office could be described as a political prosecution I guess.

      Covert recording inside a Senator’s office sounds quite serious to me.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th October 2016

        Judging by the charge filed I presume they were trying to get evidence the Senator was ignoring calls from constituents rather than tap or tamper with the phone. I’m guessing that two were making calls and the two inside were there to watch what the response was.

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th October 2016

      I wasn’t sure what check-kiting was. For anyone else who doesn’t know:
      “Check kiting is a form of check fraud, involving taking advantage of the float to make use of non-existent funds in a checking or other bank account. In this way, instead of being used as a negotiable instrument, checks are misused as a form of unauthorized credit.”

      An example given elsewhere:
      Sally opens checking accounts at Bank A and Bank B. Initially, she deposits $500 in Bank A and $0 in Bank B. She then writes a $10,000 check on her account at Bank A and deposits it in Bank B. Unaware that Sally has insufficient funds in her account at Bank A, Bank B immediately gives her credit on her account. During the three business days it takes Bank B to clear the check on her account at Bank A, Sally writes a $10,000 check on her account at Bank B and deposits it in Bank A to cover her first $10,000 check. Bank A immediately gives her credit on her account, and Bank B clears Sally’s first $10,000 check.

      Sally continues writing bad checks between her accounts. By doing so, she illegally obtains a $10,000 interest-free loan.

      Reply

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