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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fired ACORN Worker Wins $100K Settlement From Republican Con Artist James O’Keefe

Originally posted at The Brad Blog

Former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera will receive $100,000 in a settlement from federal criminal and professional liar James O’Keefe, after being secretly videotaped in violation of California law by the right-wing propagandist. The tape was just one in a series of similar videos, all deceptively edited as part of his 2009 ACORN “pimp” hoax series.

The story of the settlement was originally broken by Wonkette, which published the three-page settlement document [PDF], yesterday.

Several official investigations, including those by the former MA attorney general [PDF], the Kings County, NY district attorney, and the CA attorney general all determined that there were no violations of law by any ACORN worker seen in the surreptitiously taped videos. The officials found the tapes were “highly” and “deceptively” edited.

The videos were published originally by the late Republican con-man Andrew Breitbart, who, before he died of heart failure just over a year ago, was likely to have been pulled into the civil case as well, after disclosures that he had paid O’Keefe for the videos and had advance knowledge of the scheme to secretly videotape workers in violation of CA’s Invasion of Privacy Act.

After Breitbart’s publication, the edited tapes were widely covered, without fact-checking, in both the right-wing media such as Fox “News” and non-right-wing media such as the New York Times. The Times was eventually forced to issue partial corrections for their inaccurate reporting after a six-month effort by The BRAD BLOG to point out how they’d been duped by O’Keefe, who had lied about appearing as a 70s-era “Blaxploitation”-style pimp in the offices of ACORN.

A 2010 investigation by the CA attorney general determined there was “no criminality” by ACORN workers seen in any of the raw videotapes. O’Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles agreed to turn over the unedited tapes in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution in the state. “The evidence illustrates that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality,” California’s then AG Jerry Brown said in a statement accompanying the release of his office’s investigation, which “involved attorneys from all three legal divisions – criminal law, public rights, and civil law – as well as special agents from the department’s Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence.”

“Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor,” he added.

While the deal left the AG’s office unable to prosecute the duo, the criminal investigation found that O’Keefe and Giles likely violated the civil provisions of CA’s Privacy Act and could be sued under those provisions “for recording a confidential conversation without consent.” Vera, who, after his odd meeting with O’Keefe and Giles had the wherewithal to contact the police, sued both of them in July of 2010 for violations of the act.

Giles had the common sense to settle with Vera last summer after a string of losses in court. O’Keefe, on the other hand, attempted to argue a First Amendment privilege as a “journalist” to secretly videotape Vera. Judge M. James Lorenz soundly rejected the argument in May of 2011, but O’Keefe persisted in his unsuccessful defense.

O’Keefe now finally faces at least some accountability in the settlement, which, in addition to agreeing to pay $100,000 to the former ACORN employee, notes that he “regrets any pain suffered by Mr. Vera or his family.”

Thousands of ACORN workers were left unemployed by the O’Keefe/Giles/Breitbart stunt after the U.S. Congress also fell for it. In 2010 they passed legislation, signed by President Obama, that federally defunded the four-decades-old community organization that advocated to end predatory lending practices and helped millions of low- and middle-income Americans obtain housing loans and legally register to vote. The group was forced to shut its doors in the wake of the manufactured scandal.

While O’Keefe, Giles and Breitbart helped perpetrate the long-held GOP lie that ACORN was involved in voter fraud, there is not one piece of known evidence to demonstrate that even one illegal vote was ever cast thanks to an improper registration by any of the organization’s tens of thousands of voter-registration workers.

The only question now: Will any of those other ACORN workers who were improperly fired due to O’Keefe’s illegal, secret videotapes file suit against him as well?

UPDATE: Conor Friedersdorf’s coverage of the Vera/O’Keefe settlement over at The Atlantic points out that, to this day, Breitbart’s “news” site, where the fake ACORN stories were originally published, still has the original inaccurate story sliming Vera — published as is, with no correction, even though it was long ago debunked as nonsense, and even since O’Keefe has agreed to apologize and pay him $100,000 in the settlement as described above. Read more here.

  • charleo1

    A Republican accusation, without a shred of truth, is so common, I’ll bet Fox doesn’t even bother
    to report it. After all, they just ran this garbage in a loop, 24/7, for months. That’s all okay.
    Because it’s not the truth of a thing that is most important. Only that it elicits a desired response.
    In this case, the lying piece of shameless propaganda achieved it’s purpose. The silencing of an
    organization that advocated for, and sought to empower a group of people the Right treats with
    disdain. In general, the poor. Specifically, African Americans, and Latinos. Shame on O’keefe,
    shame on Breitbart. But, also shame on the Democratic leadership, and the Democratic President
    for not demanding a full investigation of the charges, before defunding an organization that
    worked tirelessly, for much of the constituency, and the ideals, of the Democratic Party.

    • lana ward

      Acorn is a communist organization. They are still there, just under a different name. It’s almost impossible to rid ourselves of fifth!

      • stcroixcarp

        Who is the head of the “communist organization” in the United states? Who are its officers? Have you researched or tried contacting this “communist organization”? What do you have against FIFTH? Take your meds.

        • lana ward

          This filthy organization is still up and running. Just under a different name.

        • idamag

          That babbling idiot is probably a member of a neo Nazi group.

          • lana ward

            You’re just pissed you don’t know what I know with “all” that schooling you had., Maggot

      • WhutHeSaid

        The real ‘filth’ are the lying bigots that engage in fraud and deception to further their evil agenda. It’s good to see the law nab these Tea Bigots for their illegal antics. There is plenty of room in prison for Tea Bigots and other lunatic nut-bags who overstep their bounds. Once there they will not have to lie about being ‘taxed enough already’, since they will no longer have a taxable income. Seems like a good deal to me.

        • lana ward

          Acorn is an underhanded organization. The videos don’t lie, no matter how they were gotten. Thousands of Acorn workers have gotten away with crimes that weren’t recorded!!!

          • WhutHeSaid

            True, the videos don’t lie. It’s the right-wing nut-bags who selectively edit the videos and offer them up with tall tales. Nobody has ever been charged with any crime as a result of these videos other than the right-wing nut-bags themselves. It’s all good — prison is a wonderful place for Tea Bigots.

          • lana ward

            The editing than is done is by mother jones, ABC, CNN and other communist outlets- THAT’s a fact

          • whodatbob

            Lana, don’t stop posting. You are great. Your post are so bazar and goofy they are a laugh a second. I don’t understand the people who are baited into replying to you.

          • lana ward

            Thanks!! : )

        • lana ward

          You’re always talking satan so you must know the Bible. In the end times, that which is good will be called evil and that which is evil will be called good–YOU are fulfilling prophecy

          • WhutHeSaid

            I’m curious: Were you born a bitter old hag, or did something happen to you in your life to cause you to be so miserable? It’s hard to imagine you ever being young and hopeful with all of the bitter crap that you post on a daily basis.

            Give yourself and the rest of us a break — try posting something positive once in a while. You don’t have to be an asshole every day of your life, you know.

          • lana ward

            Something positive–RAND PAUL President of the United States

          • WhutHeSaid

            Hee-hee!

            That wouldn’t be the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking of the positive, but it’s much better than obsessively slamming President Obama. There may be hope for you yet!

          • Ms. Ward, as with all filthy teanderthal liars such as yourself, you fulfilled prophecy when you started this bad-mouthing. Hate is evil, harming the weak is evil, doing evil IS evil, and that IS you. Helping others to better themselves is good (and the epitome of your Lord’s teachings) and was largely why Acorn existed.

          • lana ward

            Read the Bible, communist. In the end times that which is evil will be called good. And that which is good will be called evil. We are there right now!!!

          • lana ward

            Obama is a communist. Acorn is a communist organization. Cheats and fraud. That’s all they are, that’s all they know!!

          • lana ward

            Dirt licker, go back to your crate

          • beulahmo

            So are you, lady. So are you. You should set aside your certainty about your own fate and examine your own words and deeds. By the way, if you really are a sincere believer, here’s a friendly reminder: you are woefully lacking in moral humility, which Christ calls on us to maintain.

          • lana ward

            Obama desperately needs you to lecture him! He doesn’t and an ounce of humility!! He doesn’t even know the word!!

          • beulahmo

            I’m not talking about Obama, lady. I’m talking to you about YOU.

          • lana ward

            Yeah, well I’m talking Obama needs lecturing more than I do , so get busy, lady.

          • beulahmo

            Two things: (1) Lecturing President Obama is not my job and not relevant to the subject being discussed; and (2) Your tactic of repeatedly changing the subject to deflect personal responsibility gives me the impression that I need not take you seriously about anything you pretend to moralize about. You appear to be nothing more than an outrage junkie.

          • lana ward

            Lecturing me isn’t your job either so go bother someone else

          • beulahmo

            If you review what I said, it was given as friendly advice, from one Christian to another. It’s interesting that you call it “lecturing” and do everything you can to deflect it.

            And I’ll point out that you’re the one doing “trolling” in the “opposition camp,” and clearly deriving enjoyment by being a “bother”.

          • lana ward

            No way!!! You can’t be a Christian and be for Obama. Can’t happen

          • beulahmo

            LOL! Indeed I am — a twice-a-week-church-going Christian. I’m tempted to believe you are trying to be a cartoon character. But if you’re for real, you have a whole lot of “horrifying” discoveries in store for you when it’s time for you to “meet” Jesus, that’s for sure! LOL!

          • lana ward

            Obama believes in murdering unborn babies. He believes in murdering babies as they are being born. Christians know this is infantacide. Do you believe in murdering babies?

          • beulahmo

            Ah, so you are a cartoon asking cartoonish questions and talking like a simpleton. LOL! That helps clear things up. Thanks.

          • lana ward

            You cleared things up for me too . As I said, you CAN’T be a Christian and be for Obama–can’t happen!!!!!!!!

          • beulahmo

            I do know this — you believe in murdering presidents. You’ve said so, haven’t you, Christian sister Lana?

          • lana ward

            He’s not a president. He was purchased by Islam. He hates America, and yes I hope he meets his maker SOON, to save my country. You believe in murdering innocent babies, giving them no right to life. You’re a murderer!!

          • beulahmo

            I’ve never murdered anyone. I’ve never expressed a wish to murder anyone, either. But you have, haven’t you Lana? Apparently Christian sister Lana feels entitled to believe she knows better than God in matters of life and death of a president. Look in a mirror, Lana. YOU are a minion of Satan — his favorite kind! Satan never had to convince you because you’re so easily tricked. You believe you are “of God” so securely, so arrogantly, you can engage in the things God and Jesus proscribed — so long as you have it all rationalized in your own mind.

          • lana ward

            Thou shall not kill. I think that is one of the commandments. 55 million babies and counting

          • lana ward

            55 million babies and counting. God is watching!!!

      • darkagesbegin

        when I say, “sort of like a bad penny,” I am really talking about you

      • ralphkr

        So true that it is almost impossible to rid ourselves of filth as evidenced by the fact that you still show up. Lana.

      • metrognome3830

        Right you are, Lana, and you are a perfect illustration of that statement.

        • lana ward

          You agree Acorn is scum! Great, you’ve got a good start. Acorn is scum, now spread the message!! Thanks!!!

  • beulahmo

    “…Breitbart’s “news” site, where the fake ACORN stories were originally published, still has the original inaccurate story sliming Vera — published as is, with no correction, even though it was long ago debunked as nonsense…”

    I’m glad Breitbart’s dead, but I can’t help thinking it’s too bad he isn’t around to have his ass sued off.

    Oh, and I think O’Keefe got a slap on the wrist with that $100,000 judgment.

    • lana ward

      The videos don’t lie! Communist judges awarded this creep money that should have gone to O’Keefe for exposing slime!!!

      • WhutHeSaid

        You need to travel to court personally and tell this judge that he is a communist.

        • idamag

          Whut, I am happy that people are finally starting to fight back. God Bless Vera.

        • BDC_57

          Anal won’t it to much chicken shit.

        • beulahmo

          Absolutely! And then as a thank-you, the judge can offer her some “peanut brittle” from one of those colorful canisters, because this gal will definitely fall for it. LOLZ!

        • lana ward

          Most judges are communists. Two of them are in the Supreme Court. Kagan and Sotomayor

          • WhutHeSaid

            You need to make it a point to inform these judges in person of your beliefs. I’m certain that you will be rewarded appropriately.

          • lana ward

            Yeah, we don’t have free speech in this country anymore, it has gone to the dogs of political correctness

          • WhutHeSaid

            I’m certain that these judges would be more than happy to let you speak. They would probably reward you with a visit to a nice comfy psychiatric ward.

          • lana ward

            Of course they would, they’re communists

          • beulahmo

            Right. Why, you must be locked up in a gulag even as we speak. I WANTS MY FREEDUMS! TYRANNY HAZ ME!!!11!

  • ORAXX

    James O’Keefe is a snarky little twerp that wouldn’t be allowed into any of the Koch brothers homes through the servants entrance. GOP fat cats like the Kochs will, however, use him as long as he’s useful. When he becomes more of a liability than an asset, they will throw him under the bus with never a second thought. They didn’t exactly rush to his defense in this matter did they.

    • lana ward

      O’Keefe is a patriot for exposing scum, which you wouldn’t understand since you are scum!

      • WhutHeSaid

        O’Keefe is a criminal. You are a servant of Satan who supports crime. Satan beams with pride over you, but that won’t save your ass from his pitchfork when you finally arrive at your eternal (but very hot) home.

        • lana ward

          Exposing crime isn’t criminal. Only to communists is it criminal

          • WhutHeSaid

            Then we should call you ‘comrade lana’, because O’Keefe is a criminal. A REAL one. Since this upsets you, by your own yardstick that makes you a communist.

          • lana ward

            O’Keefe is a patriot for exposing criminals. You’re a communist for taking the criminals side

      • ORAXX

        Wow! What an intellect you have. O’Keefe didn’t actually expose anyone, which you would have realized had you actually paid attention.

        • lana ward

          I saw his tapes exposing crime, apparently you didn’t!

          • ORAXX

            Yeah, actually, if you’d read the whole thing his tapes were all doctored and bogus.

          • lana ward

            Actually it is the MSM that doctors and edits tapes! They have admitted it

          • beulahmo

            If you’re trying to change the subject by pointing to other people who are guilty, that’s a childish trick. We’re talking specifically about O’Keefe’s videos of ACORN “interviews”. Are you saying that “the MSM” — and not O’Keefe — selectively edited those videos? And if you are, are you repeating what you’ve seen/heard at Breitbart? Try hard to remember who told you that somebody other than O’Keefe selectively edited the ACORN “interviews”, because they’re lying.

          • lana ward

            The MSM got caught and admitted they have edited tapes to make someone look bad!!! The judge who decided this case is a communist. Someone who is against the truth. Just like Acorn is communist and deceitful organization

          • beulahmo

            You ignored my point. O’Keefe selectively edited the ACORN “interview” videos. You repeatedly ignore this. You appear to be rationalizing and giving cover to his dishonesty, unless you can explain why his dishonesty is acceptable. Your claims that “well others do it too!” and “the judge in this case is communist!” are not explanations. They are very clear and obvious attempts at deflecting guilt.

          • idamag

            Even though Vera called the police after the so called “interview” that fact was never put out there.

  • jakenhyde

    One look at O’Keefe’s booking photo above and the first thing that crossed my mind was that this looks like the kind of kook who could/would shoot up a movie theater or school house.

    • idamag

      Or bomb a government building.

      • BDC_57

        He needs to go to jail the low life.

  • idamag

    Have you noticed how much O’keefe resembles Timothy McVeigh?

  • BDC_57

    He does look like him.

  • AaronNashuaNH

    The demonic spirit of “Dirty Trickster” tricky Dick that seems to pervade the GOP and its slavish supporters has once again been unveiled and indicted. There are so many rats that still need to be flushed out. It may take another generation to do this. Clearly a new system needs to arise to take the place of our deeply partisan thinking. Bost sides need to give way to one based primarily on “trustworthiness” and concern for the welfare of all. And no, that doesn’t equate to “Socialism” as some one-dimensional thinkers would suggest.

    • hilandar1000

      Most of the people who scream SOCIALISM all the time, no matter what the subject is, don’t have the slightest idea of what socialism really is.

  • Show no mercy. James O’Keefe represents the garbage in this world that I spent 43 years fighting with the US Army. He should be tarred & feathered and thrown to the dogs. Every single former employee of ACORN who lost his or her job when ACORN was shut down, should without delay, follow suit and sue to living hell out of the worthless piece of —-.

  • Pamby50

    I want O’Keeffe in jail. That he made a deal to keep his slimy ass out, makes me mad. As for Breitbart’s web page, someone is running the operation. They should get sued also. Then they should get together a class action law suit against all the idiots at Fox News who to this day keep playing this nonsense. Only when you hit a republican in the pocket book do the even get the picture.

  • sleeprn01

    Lana you are nothing but an ignorant troll!!!

  • ralphkr

    Can anyone say “class action law suit”. All those fired ACORN workers should get a powerhouse law firm and go after Fox, Breitbart’s site, and every other outfit that is still happily publishing the proven untrue reports. A pity that they can’t go after Congressmen who are still busy passing legislation defunding ACORN even though it no longer exists.

  • 1standlastword

    And he still likely still thinks of himself as a legitimate investigative reporter.

  • lana ward

    A year of WH tours costs far less than a single one of the Royal Familys’ lavish vacations. Why won’t the Royals give up just one vacation for our kids??? Selfish???

  • And three question. (And I do not care to hear the answers, but if you ask yourself honestly, you will understand.) Without looking it up, what is a Communist? What name is Acorn under now? What about Acorn, etc. constitutes “filth”?

    • beulahmo

      Russell,

      I’m pretty sure she can’t provide an answer to any of those questions, because they have become codes for what she’s really thinking. What she’s really holding in her mind’s eye when she repeatedly spews “communist!” “filth!” “Acorn!” “criminals!” is an image of black and brown people. She will undoubtedly deny it and say how much she loves conservative black people. But I guarantee you that what her mind immediately goes to when she says those things is those “bad” blacks — you know — just the lazy, thieving, lying, shuckin’ n’ jivin’ ones that liberals are inciting. I’m sure of it.

  • The videos do LIE, idiot. That was admitted as fact.

  • Three questions and I do not care to hear the answers. There, I am being honest, because if you ask yourself honestly, you will get the point. What is a Communist? (Don’t cheat and look it up.) What name does the new Acorn operate under? What is the “filth” you carry on about?

  • Please keep posting. Most of us realize that you are not smart enough to spoof anyone. You really believe this s##t. Next, you will tell me that Obama is gay and married to a Pakistani man. . . . 🙂

  • Once again, what is the name of this heinous organization? By the way, where is it headquartered, so I can know the foci of evil?

  • And Scalia goose steps all the way from home to the bench.

  • Then why are you not in irons in one of those internment camps your mob thinks exist. How is it you are here spreading lies and propaganda.