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Entries in James O'Keefe (3)

Monday
Apr092012

Justice Department Dismisses O’Keefe Voting Video as a Stunt

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department has brushed aside a video by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe in which a polling station volunteer is tricked into giving the attorney general’s primary ballot to the wrong person.

In the video, a man is seen giving the attorney general’s name, Eric Holder, to a poll volunteer in Washington, D.C., along with Holder’s address. The volunteer finds Holder’s ballot and offers it to the man, who says he’d feel more comfortable if he provided his identification, which he says he left in his car.

The point of the video is to show that without voter ID laws, anyone can vote under anyone else’s name when in reality, huge numbers of people who wanted to game the voting system would have to take part in a coordinated scheme to make even a small impact.

While some have praised O’Keefe, even calling him “brilliant,” the Justice Department was less enthusiastic.

“It’s no coincidence that these so-called examples of rampant voter fraud consistently turn out to be manufactured ones,” said a department official, who asked not to be identified.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul192011

Conservative Provocateur James O’Keefe Targets Ohio Medicaid Office

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Investigators in Ohio are looking into allegations that some county Medicaid workers advised men posing as Russian drug dealers how to get government health care benefits.

Conservative activist James O’Keefe posted a video on his Project Veritas website Monday that shows two men presenting themselves at the offices of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services as Russian drug dealers.

A Franklin County case worker appears to advise the men to describe their occupation as "babysitting" and tells them their homes will not be searched as part of their Medicaid application.  The woman also tells the men she "just wouldn't mention" the sports car they imported for $800,000 when they fill out their application, adding "You didn’t hear it from me."

When the two men state they need an abortion for an underage sister who performs sexual favors for their drug clients, the state worker refers them to Planned Parenthood.  The video also features footage from meetings with a second case worker and audio from a phone conversation with a third.

Politico.com reports Ben Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, called the video "extremely troubling" and said the matter was under investigation.

Johnson further stated that the conversations were not part of a formal benefits process, which requires proof of U.S. citizenship, and that some of the issues the video raises "would have eventually come to light in the application process."

Johnson also stated the staffers involved were all county employees, not state workers, but added, "Should the video turn out to be accurate, we would hope the counties would at the very least discipline these workers."

O’Keefe has previously targeted organizations including Planned Parenthood, ACORN, and NPR by using hidden cameras to record conversations. In the past, he exposed Planned Parenthood workers who advised O'Keefe and his associates how they could legally be provided abortion and birth control services to underaged prostitutes. The ACORN sting featured some employees advising O'Keefe -- dressed like a pimp, accompanied by a scantily-dressed associate "playing" a hooker -- on how he could dodge taxes for a fictitious prostitution ring. In NPR's case, former executive Ron Schiller was caught on tape blasting Republicans and the Tea Party as unintelligent racists.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar082011

Former NPR Exec. Blasts Tea Party, GOP in Hidden Camera Video

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- National Public Radio is finding itself in the spotlight once again after a hidden camera video emerged Tuesday of former executive Ron Schiller blasting Republicans and the Tea Party in a meeting with two members of a fictitious Muslim group.

Schiller, then-president of the NPR Foundation and senior vice president for development, calls the Tea Party "xenophobic," "seriously racist people," who are "fanatically involved in people's personal lives."

He goes on to say that the Republican party has been hijacked by the Tea Party and laments the demise of intellectualism, particularly in the GOP.

Schiller was accompanied by Betsy Liley, NPR senior director of institutional giving, on the lunch with members of the "Muslim Education Action Center," a fake group set up specifically to target NPR. The two members who met with Schiller and Liley established a purported connection with the Muslim Brotherhood early on in the lunch.

The setup was the brainchild of conservative James O'Keefe, who has become famous for his hidden-camera videos, most recently targeted at Planned Parenthood.

The video became public Tuesday but Schiller, who joined NPR in September 2009, left the organization last week to work for the nonprofit Aspen Institute.

"The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept," NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said in a statement. "We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for."

Schiller is not related to NPR president and chief executive Vivian Schiller.

The controversy comes as lawmakers are embroiled in a heated debate about whether to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which partially supports NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service.

Schiller is seen in the video saying that NPR would be better off without federal funding, and even if it were to be stripped, the organization and most of its member stations would survive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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