Nonprofit Newswire | Acorn Antagonist Arrested in New Orleans

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January 26, 2010; The Times-Picayune | In what is being dubbed by some the “Louisiana Watergate”, James O’Keefe, one of the undercover “citizen” videographers who staged the renowned “pimp and prostitute sting” on ACORN was arrested on Monday, January 25th, in New Orleans with entering federal property under false pretenses to commit a felony. O’Keefe and three others, one of whom is the son of William Flanagan, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana are alleged to have gone to the offices of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) (in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans) posing as telephone repairmen. Once inside, they allegedly said they were there “to fix problems with the telephone system.” As some of them, dressed in denim pants, blue work shirts, and fluorescent vests, carrying tool belts and construction hardhats, toyed with the telephone of Landrieu’s office receptionist, O’Keefe is alleged to have filmed them with his cell phone. When finally confronted for proof of who they were, they said they left their IDs in their vehicle outside. According to the Times Picayune, “An official close to the investigation said one of the four was arrested with a listening device in a car blocks from the senator’s offices. He spoke on condition of anonymity because that information was not included in official arresting documents.” The three men have been released on $10,000 bail and “Robert Flanagan’s attorney, J. Garrison Jordan, said he believes his client works for the Louisiana-based Pelican Institute, a politically conservative think tank. Asked the motivation for the alleged wiretap plot, he said: ‘I think it was poor judgment. I don’t think there was any intent or motive to commit a crime.’” Ironically, the Pelican Institute’s Website includes a notice about a January 21st program of the organization titled “Exposing Truth: Undercover Video, New Media and Creativity” featuring none other than James O’Keefe. NPQ will, of course, follow this developing story for you, much as we hate to shine any light on these pathetic attention seekers who apparently recorded themselves while committing a serious federal crime.—Rick Cohen and Ruth McCambridge

  • Gary Sandusky

    I remember hearing my co-workers talk about the Obama victory perhaps meaning a long term decline of the coalition that produced 12 years of Republican domination of the national scene. But it is that underestimation of the devotion of the right of center activists and their alliance with money which has gotten progressive a liberal politics into trouble before. The Pelican institute and other elements of the right actually have broad appeal and we run a risk by viewing them as pathetic.