If you haven’t read The Trials Of Nadia Naffe, then stop what you’re doing and go read it, now. It’s a long, in-depth piece that outlines in agonizing detail the collusion between the Republican Party, Fox News, conservative Sugar Daddies, and James O’Keefe’s smear operations.
Here’s a sample:
The idea for the next Project Veritas mission originated with John Fund, a Fox News contributor and author of the 2008 book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy. In January 2010, Fund emailed the Republican National Lawyers Association and other hard-right affiliates about an incriminating tip he received about the Massachusetts Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — Greater Boston’s brotherhood of janitors, health-care workers, and other mostly low wage earners. Fund’s “normally reliable” source, he wrote in an email that has since been made public, claimed the SEIU planned to help Democrats steal the special Senate election between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley. According to Fund, the union would accomplish this by chartering buses in the liberal and minority-rich neighborhoods of Roxbury, Mattapan, Roslindale, and Jamaica Plain. “If you’re black or brown,” he wrote, “they’ll rope you in and take you to the polls. Registration can be worked out.”
Shuttling voters to polls is perfectly legal, of course — but pretty soon emails were flying between members of O’Keefe’s associates, rife with speculation that the SEIU would try more nefarious ploys, like paying for votes and helping people to vote twice.
Such hypothetical shenanigans sounded like surefire fodder to Steve Friess, son of investment billionaire and Rick Santorum bankroller Foster Friess. The elder Friess is perhaps most famous for telling MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that, back in his day, “gals” “used Bayer Aspirin for contraception.” To plug conservative causes, Freiss has a whole foundation that’s run by his son Steve, who relished the prospect of causing “image problems for SEIU.” With their support in place, O’Keefe jumped on board, and he brought Naffe along with him. Not only did she have her star turn in the Waters series to recommend her, but she also matched the request from Freiss for “black/Latina conservatives [who] could be wired for video, and get picked up on one of these busses.” Less than a week later, Naffe flew into Logan airport. Her first task was to snoop on an election-eve rally for Coakley at a Dorchester union hall.
John Fund? Foster Friess? Foster Friess’ son? It’s always the same characters in right-wing land, isn’t it? (By the way, that attempted SEIU sting was a big bust. The suspected fraud never existed and Brown won the election.)
Also, I don’t understand why Nadia Naffe never questioned the fact that these Project Veritas “stings” almost exclusively targeted minorities, the poor, and those serving them. Maxine Waters? Shirley Sherrod? ACORN?
I mean, I understand the Planned Parenthoood sting: conservatives hate abortion, and PP is identified with abortion, that makes sense. But ACORN? From the article:
His big score came in the fall of 2009 — O’Keefe’s decisive blow against ACORN, which at the time was among the nation’s leading advocates for poor and disadvantaged people. ACORN had also been historically integral in getting out the minority vote; after the rise of Obama, this made them the object of widespread conservative consternation.
That’s it? ACORN got out the minority vote? That what put them on O’Keefe’s hit list? Umm … isn’t that a little … racist? That strikes me as an idea rooted in a campaign office or party headquarters, not some young activist trying to make his name with a “gotcha” video attacking a notable liberal figurehead. Who had even heard of ACORN before this?
I’ve always been suspicious about why ACORN was even targeted in the first place. Who sent O’Keefe their way, anyway? Aren’t right-wingers always saying that non-profit groups like, well, ACORN should deal with the poor and disadvantaged? Not nasty old big gummint?
By the way, I meant to put this in my Good News Friday post, but last week it was announced that James O’Keefe will pay $100,000 to one of his ACORN victims, Juan Carlos Vera. O’Keefe’s accomplice, Hannah Giles, already paid Vera $50,000 last year.
I’m sure Foster Friess or PayPal cofounder/Facebook investor Peter Thiel, who gave $30,000 to make the ACORN videos in the first place, won’t mind chipping in. Because a community organization helping poor and disadvantaged people is just the most awful threat to democracy ever.
Anyway, go read the article. It’s an eye-opener.