James O’Keefe Goes Fraud Fishing, Makes Small Catch

James O’Keefe Fishing

Fishermen are notorious for telling whoppers when describing the size of the fish that they caught. Guerrilla filmmaker James O’Keefe appears to be continuing that fishermen’s tradition.

In a column published by National Review Online, John Fund writes the following about O’Keefe:

When he raised the issue of filling out some of the unused ballots that are mailed to every household in the state this month, he was told by Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress, a liberal group funded by Democratic Super PACS.: “That is not even like lying or something, if someone throws out a ballot, like if you want to fill it out you should do it.” She then brazenly offered O’Keefe, disguised as a middle-aged college instructor, a job with her group.

Fund is correct about what Hicks said and did, but he is a bit misleading in his description of Work for Progress. That organization is a job recruiting firm that recruits employees for progressive groups. However, nowhere on its website does the firm claim to have hired workers to work directly for politicians, and O’Keefe doesn’t demonstrate that any client of Work for Progress condones voting fraud.

Fund also mentions an employee of Greenpeace whom O’Keefe encountered. Yes, that individual approved of the idea of one party filling out ballots sent to other parties. However, that person did not say that Greenpeace approved of such a thing.

Fund provides a link to the YouTube video that O’Keefe made about his “sting” operation in Colorado. The video features an encounter that one of O’Keefe’s associates had with a woman who works for Rep. Joe Salazar’s campaign. During the encounter, the woman tells O’Keefe’s associate where people from another state can go to register to vote in Colorado. The woman says that such people might not be able to succeed in voting in Colorado.

In his video, O’Keefe mentions that he tried to get others to condone voting fraud, but, according to O’Keefe, those others didn’t do so because they recognized who he was.

That isn’t exactly what happened, according to an article written by Andy Kroll. Here is how he describes what happened:

Last Tuesday, a man who appeared to be in his 20s showed up at a Democratic field office in Boulder wanting to volunteer to help elect Udall and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), according to a Democratic staffer who met with him and asked not to be identified. The man introduced himself as “Nick Davis,” and he said he was a University of Colorado-Boulder student and LGBT activist involved with a student group called Rocky Mountain Vote Pride. Davis mentioned polls showing the race between Udall and Gardner was tight, and he asked the staffer if he should fill out and mail in ballots for other college students who had moved away but still received mail on campus. The Democratic staffer says he told Davis that doing this would be voter fraud and that he should not do it.

On Friday, Udall campaigned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus. After the event, a woman calling herself “Bonnie” approached a different staffer and, according to this staffer’s boss, asked whether she could fill out and submit blank ballots found in a garbage can. The staffer, according to her boss, said that she told her no.

. . . and . . .

O’Keefe and two male colleagues also targeted a progressive nonprofit named New Era Colorado, according to New Era executive director Steve Fenberg. On Saturday, Fenberg says, O’Keefe and his friends contacted New Era’s Fort Collins office to set up an in-person meeting and identified themselves as activists affiliated with Rocky Mountain Vote Pride. The three men arrived carrying Udall campaign literature, Fenberg notes, but a New Era organizer met them outside the office’s front door and refused to let them enter with the Udall materials. Outside groups such as New Era cannot coordinate with political campaigns, and Fenberg says he believes O’Keefe and his collaborators “were trying to establish evidence we were working together.”

When New Era’s staffers began taking pictures of O’Keefe , Fenberg says, O’Keefe and a colleague went to their car and returned with a large video camera and a microphone. “If you want to take photos of us, we’ll take photos of you,” O’Keefe said, according to Fenberg, and the New Era staffers closed the door while O’Keefe and his friend tried to push it open and stick their microphone inside. Fenberg says New Era filed a police report about the incident.

O’Keefe didn’t catch anyone associated with Senator Udall condoning voting fraud.
So, what title did he give his YouTube video?

Answer: “Mark Udall Advocates Condone Voter Fraud: “That’s not even like lying or stealing””

Now, that is a whopper that would make a fisherman envious, because O’Keefe extrapolates what three individuals not associated with Senator Udall did into an insinuation about people who support Senator Udall. That isn’t journalism. That is zealotry.

Using the logic behind the aforementioned video title, perhaps O’Keefe should make another video titled “Advocates of Conservative Politicians Condone Law-Breaking“, because some conservative activists actually do break the law in their pursuit of their goals, as indicated in a NOLA.com news report from January of 2010. In May of that year, one conservative activist was sentenced to three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine after he “pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from his involvement in a break-in at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) office.” (Info. Source)

O’Keefe deserves credit for bringing to the public’s attention how easy it would be for voting fraud to take place in Colorado. Perhaps his sting operation will convince Colorado lawmakers to change the way that voting takes place in Colorado. If that was O’Keefe’s intent, then good for him. He deserves a pat on the back.

However, if his intent was simply to smear a sitting U.S. Senator because that person is a Democrat, then O’Keefe failed to do so, despite what he titled a video. Apparently, O’Keefe wants everyone to believe that he caught a trout when he actually caught three minnows.

* * * * * * *

By the way, although James O’Keefe demonstrates that it would be easy to commit voting fraud in Colorado, he doesn’t demonstrate that only Democrats would commit voting fraud. There have been cases of Republicans committing such fraud in other states, such as a case in Wisconsin, a case in Arkansas and a possible case in Illinois.

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  • jim_m

    If the Republicans are committing vote fraud then where are the O’Keeffe’s on the left? Where are the sons of GOP politicians getting caught in vote fraud schemes? Where are the dem poll workers that are getting banned from the polling place for enforcing the law?

    We dont see them because they dont exist. Elections are a game for the left to win and cheating is part of that.

    Look at the recent study that showed that if the election is closer than 1% the dems win over 3/4 of the recounts, but if it gets over 2% that becomes 50/50. Nope, no one is tipping the scales here. A handful of fraudulent votes doesn’t make any difference. http://thefederalist.com/2014/10/22/do-democrats-always-win-close-statewide-elections/

    The left is committed to winning by any means possible. Mr Robertson is committed to posing as an apologist.

    • BeefSqueech

      He put three links at the end of the article, if facts can’t convince you then you obviously aren’t looking for the truth to begin with. Also, at no point did anyone in the video, other than O’Keefe, say they wanted to commit fraud.

      • jim_m

        My comment was less about O’Keefe and more about vote fraud in general. Admittedly, O’Keefe’s standards and tactics are questionable. .

        • Brucehenry

          They’re not “questionable.” They’re unquestionably sleazy, and only a rube would believe a word the guy says.

          • jim_m

            More trustworthy than Chico

          • LiberalNightmare

            More trustworthy than Obama.

          • Or brucehemorroid…

  • Pretzel__Logic

    Thanks captain obvious.

  • JWH

    I’m not fond of O’Keefe’s methods; he seems to practice a sort of journalistic entrapment.

    • jim_m

      I agree. Just as the leftist MSM does but he targets leftists instead of the conservatives and businesses that the left reserves these tactics for.

      What is amazing is that the left only bitches when these tactics are used against them.

      Wait, did I just say amazing? I meant utterly predictable.

  • GarandFan

    At times O’Keefe reminds me of “60 Minutes” investigating gas tank fires in pickups. If it won’t catch fire, get a match!

  • Vagabond661

    But the left says voter fraud doesn’t happen!

    • (Snicker…)

      • Brucehenry

        Snicker indeed, Lawson, since you used this example of “journalism” to bolster your argument YESTERDAY.

        It seemed to prove what you wanted to believe, so you used it. The fact that you have to close one eye, squint, and sprinkle fairy dust on this clip to find it convincing be damned.

        • I used that as an illustration of how easy it would be to commit fraud. And…

          “By the way, although James O’Keefe demonstrates that it would be easy to commit voting fraud in Colorado, he doesn’t demonstrate that only Democrats would commit voting fraud.”

          But voting fraud never happens, right, Bruce?

          http://patterico.com/2014/10/24/wapo-publishes-scientific-evidence-of-voter-fraud-on-a-massive-scale-as-previously-predicted-by-this-here-very-blog/

          Oh, wait – that’s a political blog, And you know, all those numbers, who can make sense of them?

          http://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/10/23/will-you-also-tolerate-this/

          Oh, wait – that’s a writer’s blog. That’s just her impressions. They don’t count.

          http://www.ajc.com/news/news/despite-voter-id-law-minority-turnout-up-in-georgi/nR2bx/

          Wait – that’s a newspaper, rather left-leaning. There’s other studies where it went down in some states, others where it was unchanged.

          I’ve got a friend who – when he went to vote in 2012 – was told he’d already voted by mail. He hadn’t – but that’s what the record showed.

          Wait, that’s anecdotal – not evidence of anything at all.

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2014/10/14/usa-today-suffolk-poll-obama-voter-regrets/17238923/

          That’s interesting – but hardly proof of voter fraud. I mean, so what if the numbers don’t really add up? Could mean anything…

          Funny thing, Bruce, is that like you I don’t want to see any voter fraud. Unlike you, I’m not willing to ignore the possibility of it.

          You want to stop voting fraud by mail? So do I. I think voting by mail ought to be extremely limited – certainly not a general thing like in Colorado.

          The question then becomes – do you want to stop even the potential of voter fraud at the ballot box? So far, you seem to be arguing against even trying. Am I wrong on that?

          • Brucehenry

            I don’t know the particulars of the CO law, but if it is easy to commit fraud tighten it up. But the point of O’Keefe’s piece wasn’t to demonstrate how easy fraud could be, it was to falsely smear Udall, as the linked article makes plain.

            USAToday link: Read the whole thing. It doesn’t say what you are implying it says, genius.

            From the ajc link: “‘It hasn’t had the voter-suppressing effect that some people feared,’ Foley said. Conversely, he said, rhetoric about voter fraud has largely proven to be a ‘scare tactic’ with little basis in fact.”

            The according to hoyt article addresses the CO law which I am not defending. What I am arguing is that Voter ID laws do not prevent impostors showing up to vote at the polls, because impostors showing up at the polls doesn’t happen. That’s a different issue than the CO law, which is about voting by mail.

            Petterico link: Read the pps at the bottom of the article. Note both the admission that they cannot know the accuracy but also the characterization of opposing arguments as the “false claims of the left” which kinda undermines their credibilty as impartial scientists imo.

            Do you even read the links you post?

  • BeefSqueech

    Funny that he used to release the raw footage as well to try to prove the validity of his videos. But when those started getting torn apart he goes back to highly edited clips and refuses to release the raw footage.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Funny thing about democrats and voter fraud.

    Whenever the subject comes up, the democrats say there are no fish in the pond.
    When you show them a fish. they say the fish is too small.