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ACORN Antagonist O’Keefe Arrested

By Wyatt Earp | January 27, 2010

James O’Keefe, the man behind the ACORN stings, has been arrested for apparently trying to tap the phone lines of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. This is shocking to me – mostly because I figured he was a lot smarter than this.


NEW ORLEANS – The four men accused of trying to tamper with Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office phones share a common experience as young ideologues writing for conservative publications.

Federal authorities said two of the men posed as telephone workers wearing hard hats, tool belts and fluorescent vests when they walked into the senator’s office inside a federal building in New Orleans on Monday. The other two were accused of helping to organize the plan.

The most well-known of the suspects is James O’Keefe, a 25-year-old whose hidden-camera expose posing as a pimp with his prostitute infuriated the liberal group ACORN and made him a darling of conservatives. A witness told authorities that O’Keefe was already sitting in the waiting area of the office and appeared to record Basel and Flanagan on his cell phone when they arrived posing as phone workers.

A federal law enforcement official said one of the suspects was picked up in a car a couple of blocks away with a listening device that could pick up transmissions.

Look, I think that Landrieu is about as corrupt as they come, but there is no defense for trying to tap her phone lines. Unless there is some really juicy scandal forthcoming, I think O’Keefe and his friends will be spending some time in a jail cell. Rightly so, in my opinion, because – at least in this case – O’Keefe is guilty of being terminally stupid.

UPDATE: The Washington Post posted this correction to their story.

“Earlier versions of this story incorrectly reported that James O’Keefe faced charges in an alleged plot to bug the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu. The charges were related to an alleged plot to tamper with a phone system. The headline incorrectly referred to a plot to bug the phone and a caption incorrectly referred to an alleged wiretap scheme.”

Okay, no wiretapping accusations, but still not a smart move.

Topics: Politics | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “ACORN Antagonist O’Keefe Arrested”

  1. metoo Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I heard some commentator say he “is basically a good kid” and that may be but this was an idiotic stunt to try and pull. It also gives some people reason to doubt the ACORN sting. This has been the talk of the office today and he played right into some people’s hands with this stupid caper.

  2. Crankipants Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    From what I’ve been reading, it sounded as if they wanted to play a prank or pull a “gotcha.” I doubt if it was an actual bugging. But it’s one thing to pull this stunt on an ACORN office and another when you’re playing with people who can put you in a federal pen.

  3. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    MeToo – Absolutely. Now some people will think ACORN is a victim, and not a corrupt organization.

    Crankipants – Especially someone like Landrieu, who doubles down on the Kool-Aid.

  4. Randal Graves Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Great, what shred of credibility this guy had is out the window. Way to go, dumbass.

  5. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Randal – He gets an A+ for jackassery.

  6. Chris Cameron Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    My journalistic instincts tell me there is a lot more to this story then we know at the moment. There’s another side missing.

    I think we need the full story before we make judgments or claims of dis-honesty. Otherwise we are just like the Post who print false claims of wiretapping.

    To do so otherwise would be just like the hypocritical MSM who worshiped lefty reporters Amy Goodman and Cheryl Biren for their excellent work being arrested while doing journalism.

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Chris – I agree, but right or wrong, the arrest completely damaged his reputation.

  8. Raptor Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I’m probably way out in looneyville, but honestly this whole thing smells fishy to me. According to the article, the only thing they have on O’Keefe was that he was in the lobby with a cell phone when the incident occurred. Any attorney with half a brain could blow holes in that case big enough to sail an aircraft carrier through.

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Raptor – So far, there’s not a whole lot in the realm of felonies, but expect Landrieu to really push the case. Either way, O’Keefe should be regretting this decision.

  10. Chris Cameron Says:
    January 28th, 2010 at 8:09 am

    His reputation will be fine.

    The only charge that has not been refuted so far is entering a building under false pretenses, which is something he’s also charged with in the ACORN investigation.

    And we didn’t bail on him then so no sense doing it now before all the facts are in.

    Laws can often be used as political tools unfortunately and this might be a situation where that is the case. If so we cannot sit idly by and allow that to happen.

  11. miriam Says:
    January 28th, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Let’s not rush to judgment–anyone can be charged with anything. Innocent until proved guilty?

  12. Randal Graves Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?