Home / General / I Am Shocked to Discover That James O’Keefe Is A Con Artist

I Am Shocked to Discover That James O’Keefe Is A Con Artist

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And his trademark combination of lies and bizarre sexual obsessions inflicted real damage on people.

The good news is that it’s not as if Breitbart & Co.’s smears would get Senate Democrats to agree to defund ACORN, or cause someone in a Democratic administration to lose their job.

…the grift never ends, my friends.

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  • ironic irony

    Nooooooooooooooooooo!

  • sharculese

    If you haven’t seen Ryan Cooper’s piece on her from the Jan/Feb Washington Monthly, the good news is that Sherrod seems to have landed on her feet and is continuing her good work.

  • Shakezula

    I am delighted to hear he had to settle for 100 large. Not that this will stop him but the black marks keep piling up.

    • Did you see who the lawyer was who defended the Pimpmaster in this case? He doesn’t come cheap. I wonder who is paying that bill. The other question I haven’t seen answered is why Senate Democrats bent over for this bullcrap.

      • Shakezula

        I am sure there will be much hat passing and jar rattling to protect this brave defender of liberty. No way in hell O’Queef reaches into his pockets. I was hoping they’d hit him up for obstruction of justice after he refused to turn over the unedited voter fraud in VA tapes because that would have delighted his parole officer. Alas, no dice.

        I also am unable to explain the ditching on ACORN.

        • spencer

          I also am unable to explain the ditching on ACORN.

          ACORN helped poor people with dark skin. Therefore, it was of no great consequence and utterly expendable.

      • Timb

        Seriously? Because they saw it with their own eyes. He videotaped it and everyone from Jon Stewart to Harry Reid believed it. If there is anything a century of movies and cheap commercials should demonstrate, it’s that humans will believe what they see, especially as confirmation bias and well-edited.

        • Ed K

          And thus we can get down to the brass tacks fact that this entire fucking con worked because the entire system, and especially the entire political-media complex, is almost wholly captive to a set of base-level racist assumptions that are so far from having been dealt with that it’s considered the height of bad form to even *mention* the term ‘race.’

        • JAtheist

          Did Jon Stewart believe it? I’m honestly asking, here. Please don’t tell me he fell for anything.

          • wengler

            Hell, Jon Stewart fell for the Israeli commando video on the gaza relief boat. You know the one where they are taking a beating but cuts out right before the kill 9 guys.

          • Timb

            He did an entire “see, we’re not liberals” segment on it. Later, he made fun of the whole deceptive editing thing regarding whether O’Keefe wore the pimp suit

  • ironic irony

    Jesus Christ on a cracker with cheese, you would have to be the biggest fool in the world to not question that LBJ story. Almost dropping nuclear bombs on the U.S.? Really?!

    Get that money, Mr. Vera.

  • TT

    Just reading O’Keefe’s name makes me reach for hand sanitizer.

    • ironic irony

      You should ask for some penicillin, just in case. We all should.

    • Timb

      Made me reach fir dildoes and lube, because hey, that boat idea was awesome!

  • Uncle Kvetch

    What a pity Mr. Breitbart isn’t still among us to share the good news.

  • rm

    Toxic bullshit — it’s what’s for dinner. News at 11.

  • Origami Isopod

    Holy shit, “Dr. Tesla” in the Atlantic comments makes the trolls here sound coherent and well informed.

    • LeftWingFox

      Yeah, that was pretty impressive. All I could think was “Spin faster, little gyroscope.”

  • JMP

    When is one of this creep’s blatantly illegal stunts going to finally land him in jail where he belongs, instead of just getting probation or a civil penalty?

    • Shakezula

      Jail doesn’t phase these bloodsuckers. There are always enough simps who will believe they were set up or done down by the man and they’ll buy the book and watch the TV appearance and tune in to the radio show.

      The gutter, on the other hand, they can’t handle. Poverty is the greatest sin on the Republican calendar (right after “Getting caught”) and makes them invisible to their old pals.

      • Shakezula

        FAZE. Crap.

        • spencer

          I’ve seen it spelled both ways in that context.

          • rm

            Yes, but “faze” is correct even though it looks wrong, while “phase” is wrong even though it looks correct.

    • Richard

      Because, as reprehensible as he is, most of what he does isn’t illegal. Filming and tape recording someone, even without their knowledge or consent, is not illegal in most states (if it were, many reporters would be arrested on a daily basis). The only criminal trouble he faced was entering government property under a ruse, an act that is not likely to get jail time.

      • DocAmazing

        Libel, slander, fraud? These aren’t applicable? Granted, the first two are civil rather than criminal…

        • Richard

          Libel and slander are civil, not criminal. Fraud is only criminal if you take money, or something of value, from someone, under fraudulent pretenses. What he is doing isn’t criminal fraud, not even close.

          • R. Johnston

            They’re only civil, not criminal, until a judge finally signs an appropriate restraining order ordering him to refrain from libelous publications, perhaps resulting from a class action suit against him on behalf of his victims.

            • Richard

              It would be a violation of the First Amendment for a judge to issue a restraining order ordering him not to libel persons in the future (prior restraint orders are NEVER upheld). It cant be done.

              And the type of behavior this creep engages in would not be subject to a class action suit. Doesn’t come close to meeting the standards for a class action

              “Commonality—there must be one or more legal or factual claims common to the entire class (in some cases, it must be shown that the common issues will predominate the proceedings over individual issues, such as the amount of damages due to a particular class member),
              Adequacy—the representative parties must adequately protect the interests of the class,
              Numerosity—the class must be so large as to make individual suits impractical (in other words, that the class action is a superior vehicle for resolution than numerous individual suits), and
              Typicality—the claims or defenses must be typical of the plaintiffs or defendants”

              He’s doing horrible things but he isn’t doing criminal things (as long as he’s doing them in a state where consent isn’t needed to tape someone).

      • ironic irony

        So, filming a police officer is okay? Because people have been arrested or hassled by the cops for doing so.

        • Richard

          They may have been hassled but they have never been criminally convicted. In California, its a misdemeanor to make an audio recording of a person without that person’s consent or knowledge. Most states do not have such a law.

          • ironic irony

            Ah, I see. Thanks.

            • Richard

              Plus, even in California the taping, to be illegal, has to be of a communication not made in a public gathering or in circumstances where there is no reasonable expectation that the communication can be overheard on recorded. So taping or filming a cop would be legal even here. Its conceivable that you could do the taping in such a way that it constitutes obstruction of justice and there have been a few cases where cops arrest someone for obstruction based on taping. But those get tossed as soon as they hit a D.A.’s desk

          • Just Dropping By

            They may have been hassled but they have never been criminally convicted.

            False. See, e.g., http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/08/13/anti-police-brutality-journalist-jailed-for-recording-public-officials/ (“A New Hampshire man has been sentenced to just under three months behind bars for secretly recording conversations with Manchester police and school officials.”)

            • Richard

              I dont think so. As I read the story, he was indicted and convicted for secretly recording telephone conversations with the police and others – wiretapping (not for recording police in the field). Recording telephone conversations without consent is a crime in most states. He wasnt convicted of taping or videotaping the cops. There’s no question that if O’Keefe had recorded phone converations, he could have been criminally prosecuted but thats not what he did.

      • JMP

        Attempted rape, however, is illegal, and what he did to Nadia Neffe (following which O’Keefe and Breitbart kept harassing her and trying to destroy her career – and she had worked for them!) sounds a lot like that. As his breaking and entering most certainly normally would have gotten more than just a slap on the wrist if it hadn’t been committed by a group of rich, politically connected white guys.

        • Richard

          I disagree. What he did with Neffe was certainly reprehensible but it wasn’t anywhere close to being attempted rape. Not close.

          And if you think that jail sentences are routinely handed out for entering federal property under false pretenses (which is what he did, not breaking and entering since there was no forcible entry), you have not been around the federal criminal justice system. He got EXACTLY what any less connected person would have got in that situation.

      • wengler

        Attempting to wiretap a Senator’s phone seems to be a little illegal. I know he’s rich and white, but it feels like it’s on the wrong side of the law.

        • Richard

          He pled to entering a federal building under false pretenses which is all that could be proved. Got probation which would be standard. The other stuff he does is evil but not illegal

    • Timb

      Did Atwater go to jail? Did Rove (for filing a false police report about bugging right before a debate, for example). The only ratfucker to do was Segretti and the guy from New Hampshire with the fake phones. Meanwhile, YAF churns 20 of them a year and Richard Viguerie teaches them to grift the rich and old

  • DrDick

    Have to say that story brought a small smile to my lips earlier. Would have been much larger if he were going to jail.

  • At O’Keefe’s blog, he’s claiming he beat the lawsuit full out.

    Despite the fact he’s paying money.

    I wonder what would have happened if the plaintiff had one of the esteemed LGM attorneys handling the case, pro-bono?

    • Richard

      Actually, the attorney who handled the case, Gene Iredale, is one of the best trial attorneys in San Diego. Extremely good attorney.

      • Not saying he’s not, mostly because I don’t know. I’m just saying that he might not have the eye of the tiger when it comes to O’Keefe.

        • Richard

          Very unlikely. He’s a very prominent trial attorney and he’s very good. I think the suit was settled for the reasonably modest amount of $100,000 because there were real problems in going forward and obtaining big damages under the statute he was sued on. (Plus the only LGM attorney is Campos who’s a professor and not a practicing trial attorney)

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “Despite the fact he’s paying money.”

      I wouldn’t be completely sure, until the check clears.

      • Cody

        Maybe he will refuse to pay up, and open himself to criminal filings.

        The best of all ways to convict rich people. “I won’t pay .001% of my trust fund to you, puny government!”

        • Jim

          Generally speaking, it would open him up to a contract action or an enforcement action – both civil – and not any criminal filings.

          • Richard

            Correct. The failure to pay a judgment is not a criminal matter

          • Richard

            Actually, even less. If he doesn’t pay the money, there is no dismissal and the case goes on

      • cpinva

        <em“Despite the fact he’s paying money.”>

        my guess is, he isn’t. some conservative group/person probably is.

        “I won’t pay .001% of my trust fund to you, puny government!”

        it’s not a fine, it’s an out-of-court settlement, in lieu of a potential judgment, payable to the plaintif (plus court costs & attorney’s fees, one assumes). the only reason for the gov’t to be involved, is if it doesn’t get paid in the alloted time, and they have to go back to court.

        • Richard

          And even then he only gets a judgment against O Keefe. If he doesn’t pay the judgement, the you try to enforce it through the normal judgment enforcement procedures.

          And it’s a total of one hundred grand, not a hundred grand plus fees and costs

          • Richard

            Actually, I was wrong. O’Keefe is not agreeing to a judgment of $100,000. Reading the notice of settlement, the failure to pay the $100,000 only means there is no dismissal and the case goes on. No other consequences.

        • Jim

          Well, if it’s incorporated into a court order signed by a judge, then the settlement could be enforceable through a motion to find him in contempt of court.

          Not that that makes it a criminal issue, or increases the likelihood that O’Keefe would spend a moment behind bars.

          And, I mean, of course he’s saying he won. That’s what every civil defendant everywhere who pays out a massive settlement does. What’s the point of paying someone $100,000 otherwise?

          • Richard

            No. Absolutely not. The failure to pay a civil judgment is NOT contempt of court. All judgements are court orders signed by a judge but the failure to pay is NEVER contempt of court (in fact, it cant be since debtors prisons were abolished a long time ago). I’ve been practicing law for 36 years and can assure you of that

            He agreed to pay $100,000 but without an admission that he committed a wrong (which is a standard part of nearly every settlement). Despite the fact that he did not admit wrongdoing, he lost the case

    • SEK

      I wonder what would have happened if the plaintiff had one of the esteemed LGM attorneys handling the case, pro-bono?

      I’m more than happy to take the case of any conservative wronged by The Man. The fact that I wouldn’t know what the fuck I was doing is, of course, a feature, not a bug.

      • Pshaw! It might be an asset.

      • cpinva

        “The fact that I wouldn’t know what the fuck I was doing is, of course, a feature, not a bug.”

        it seems to work for orley taitz.

      • Hogan

        I’ve argued in front of every judge in this state. Often as a lawyer.

  • Peter Hovde

    As loathsome and harmful a creature as O’Keefe is, the privacy statute grounding the suit is, in my view, over broad, and would, if applicable in the relevant jurisdiction, subject the recorder of the “47 %” video to civil liability.

    • Did you read what they did with the tape?:

      A man fired from ACORN’s San Diego-area office for discussing human smuggling with a fake pimp and prostitute reported the incident to police two days after it happened, according to information released by the police. Juan Carlos Vera was fired by ACORN after a videotape was aired on Fox News showing him discussing with a couple posed as a pimp and a prostitute the best ways to smuggle underage prostitutes into the U.S. from El Salvador.

      “It’s better if it’s in Tijuana,” Vera is heard saying in the video. “Because I have a lot of contacts in Tijuana.”

      But police said in a press release that Vera reported the incident to his cousin, a detective with the National City Police Department. Vera worked in ACORN’s National City office. The detective contacted a federal task force that deals with human smuggling, and an officer from the task force asked for more details.

      The guy did the right thing(contacted the authorities, and lost his job anyway).

      That’s hardly the case with the 47% tape.

      • Peter Hovde

        What O’Keefe did with the tape was utterly awful, but my comment was about the law, not the conduct.

    • Jim

      If I understand correctly, the California statute requires that the illegal recording be in a context where one would “not expect to be overheard.”

      That doesn’t apply to a speech made to dozens of people who paid to hear you speak.

      I think the federal court decision rejecting O’Keefe’s facial challenge to the statute addresses both of your concerns here.

      • Yes, Jerry Brown was then the AG here in CA, and he made a settlement with Mr. O’Keefe not to prosecute him for violating that statute, part of which was for Mr. O’Keefe’s “unedited” tapes be made available to JB’s office.

        • Loud Liberal

          Apparently, even James O’Keefe is too big for a Democratic prosecutor to jail.

      • Peter Hovde

        A group of wealthy donors and their donee who are holding a private event might be considered reasonable in their expectations not to be overheard or recorded-this was not a rally.

        • Jim

          The wealthy donors don’t enter into it – they wouldn’t have a claim under the California statute (unless they were personally identifiable by visual evidence – I don’t recall that any of them were).

          The question you’re raising is, I think, covered by the caselaw cited in the federal decision I linked to earlier. At any rate, it’s basically a moot point, since the 47% recording took place somewhere other than California. State laws do differ state-by-state on recorded conversations, but that doesn’t make all of the more restrictive laws unconstitutional.

          • cpinva

            State laws do differ state-by-state on recorded conversations, but that doesn’t make all of the more restrictive laws unconstitutional.

            i think i’m confused. since when does someone have the right to violate my privacy, by secretly recording me, in a private context? i honestly don’t see where you’re “right” to record me, outweighs my right to privacy?

            • Richard

              In many states, you dont have a right of privacy not be to recorded. And even if there is a right of privacy that would encompass the right not to be recorded while in private, such recording would be a civil tort, not a criminal violation (unless there is an explicit statute making recording illegal). Even in California, where there is a statute making recordings both a criminal charge and a civil tort, there are several exceptions. Law enforcement, or a person working for law enforcement, can carry a secret microphone and make a recording. (The Wire). And there is an exception when you have a reasonable belief that the conversations you are recording are felonious or are being said in order to carry out a felony.

              Your federal right of privacy is extremely limited, since it is not set forth in statute nor explicitly stated in the Constitution, and would not extend, IMHO, to a right not to be recorded.

              • cpinva

                “Your federal right of privacy is extremely limited, since it is not set forth in statute nor explicitly stated in the Constitution, and would not extend, IMHO, to a right not to be recorded.”

                it’s part of 4a case law, “A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy”. this has historically applied to limit the state’s ability to just rummage through your house and goods, absent a properly executed warrant. however, i see nothing that restricts it solely to that context. in my house, i have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and shouldn’t have to be concerned about being secretly filmed in it.

                obviously, in the case of a private individual, this would be a civil action, not a criminal one, but the issue remains the same, in my opinion.

                • Richard

                  I dont think so. Whatever right of privacy you have by reason of the Fourth Amendment applies only to action by the government. In the case of action taken by a private individual, you have no right of privacy by reason of the Fourth Amendment or by reason of the US Constitution. There are many cases holding this. Some state constitutions and state statutes give a right of privacy but they are limited.

                  In other words, state law determines whether recording you in a private context is actionable or not and, in most states, it is not. As you can see from the decision in the O’Keefe case, which was an interim decision denying a motion to dismiss, the judge held that California law makes it both a misdemeanor and a tort to audiotape someone without his or her consent and knowledge but, even in California, there are exceptions to this. The decision, properly, makes no reference to a right of privacy, only to the statute. If he had sued O”Keefe based only on violation of a right to privacy, the case would have been tossed.

  • Daverz

    Come on people, haven’t you heard this taped phone call:

    http://whitehousetapes.net/clip/lyndon-johnson-joe-haggar-lbj-orders-some-new-haggar-pants

    LBJ asks for deeper pockets because, obviously, nuclear weapons keep falling out of his pants. So embarrassing when that happens.

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