Undercover sleuth James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas have elicited mostly scorn from the political left for their investigation of political corruption, but a number of liberal commentators, along with the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, begrudgingly admitted the unorthodox reporter got it right when he exposed an apparent conspiracy by a Democratic campaign operative to commit voter fraud.
Indeed, Dave Weigel of Slate, in a post titled “The Power of James O’Keefe,” stated that while it may anger liberals to say it, “James O’Keefe has had more of an impact on the 2012 election than any other journalist.”
As WND reported, Patrick Moran, the son of Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va, resigned Wednesday after an undercover video showed him advising a Project Veritas investigator how to fraudulently cast ballots in the name of registered voters by forging utility bills and relying on the assistance of Democrat lawyers.
The Arlington Police Department in Virginia told WND today it has launched a criminal investigation into a possible “election offense” by the younger Moran.
In a statement to Politico, Patrick Moran contended he thought the whole interchange caught on video was a joke, claiming he stepped down only because he didn’t want to be “a distraction during this year’s critical election.”
“At no point did I take this person seriously. He struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him,” Moran said.
But Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon.com, in a piece titled “James O’Keefe does something right,” said he watched the full raw video and concluded Patrick Moran’s comments were “detailed, extensive and clear.”
He saw “no misleading editing tricks.”
“There is no doubt that Moran is advising O’Keefe’s man how to do something illegal,” Seitz-Wald said. “It was right for him to resign and right for the campaign to accept his resignation.”
See O’Keefe’s latest video:
On MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s blog, in a piece titled “A Broken Clock is Right Twice,” Steven Benen allowed that O’Keefe “actually caught a Democrat doing something wrong.”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was asked about the Moran video in an interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.
The DNC chief called Moran’s actions “indefensible,” though she quickly took the opportunity to level an attack against Republicans, pointing to allegations of voter fraud by GOP members.
She argued that Moran was just “one person,” and he was “quickly taken out of the campaign.”
Wasserman Schultz said the party has “stressed our commitment to making sure that there is no tolerance for voter fraud.”
Though many on the left have belittled O’Keefe and dismissed his accomplishments, including Salon.com’s Seitz-Wald and MSNBC’s Benen, Slate’s Weigel acknowledged his previous impact.
Benen noted that in 2009, O’Keefe and Hannah Giles exposed workers with the controversial community organizing group ACORN, which is closely tied to President Obama, assisting undercover Project Veritas operatives who posed as international sex traffickers.
The videos led to a bill in Congress, supported by Democrats, that banned federal funding to ACORN. The group disbanded within six months.
In 2010, Benen recalled, secretaries of state were elected in several states pledging to undo the potential damage to the electoral system wrought by voter fraud.
At least 24 states now have passed voter registration and voter ID laws.
“Democrats don’t really dispute this: They got fewer new registrations than they might have when ACORN was around,” Benen wrote.
This year, O’Keefe’s reporters were offered the ballots of other voters in places with no ID laws, including New Hampshire and D.C., Benen pointed out.
Their success bolstered voter ID campaigns in states such as Minnesota, Benen said.
Benen said that “because there’s video evidence, it’s more powerful and more widely reported than the sorts of voter problems (like purges in Indiana and Florida) that excite Democrats.”
Project Veritas says it has been conducting an ongoing series of investigations in more than a dozen states “demonstrating the ease with which election fraud can be committed and legitimate voters can be disenfranchised.”
As WND reported, in Houston earlier this month, Organizing for America Regional Field Director Stephanie Caballero was fired shortly after Project Veritas released a video that showed her helping people who declared they wanted to commit election fraud.
Caballero was fired shortly after the Project Veritas video was released.
See the video:
Earlier today, the spokesman for the Arlington County Police Department in Virginia, Dustin Sternbeck, told WND that the department has launched an investigation of Moran, based on the video.
“Our detectives assigned to the case will probably reach out to the video producers,” he told WND.