Why is Speaker Bruce Hanna standing with James O'Keefe?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Why is Speaker Bruce Hanna standing with James O'Keefe?

James O'Keefe

James O'Keefe is the right-wing activist that uses selectively-edited hidden-camera video to punk organizations like National Public Radio, Planned Parenthood, and ACORN.

He likes to claim that he's a journalist, but nothing could be further from the truth. What he does is more like Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd than Mike Wallace's 60 Minutes.

As the Washington Post's Michael Gerson wrote last year:

In [the NPR] case, O’Keefe did not merely leave a false impression; he manufactured an elaborate, alluring lie. ... There is no ethical canon or tradition that would excuse such deception on the part of a professional journalist. ... These tactics are not a new brand of gonzo journalism. They are a sophisticated version of the political dirty trick.

Nevermind this bizarre episode:

[T]he latest stunt by James O'Keefe -- this time involving a female CNN reporter, a boat and lots of sex toys. ... O'Keefe's plan? To lure her to his floating "palace of pleasure" (filled with champagne, strawberries and sex toys), hit on her and secretly film the whole Borat-like exchange.

Which is why it's so troublesome that Rep. Bruce Hanna, the Republican co-Speaker, is standing beside O'Keefe and speaking at a day-long workshop on Wednesday called "Making an Impact: Citizen Watchdog Training with James O'Keefe".

Last year, the 30-30 tie in the Oregon House could have been a disaster. Instead, Hanna and the Democratic co-Speaker, Rep. Arnie Roblan, managed to work together and keep things from going off the rails.

And starting Wednesday, the Oregon House will try and reprise that procedural comity for the next month. For the life of me, I can't figure out why Rep. Hanna would take time out of the first day of the new legislative session to hang out with one of the most divisive and ethically-challenged figures in American politics today.

Just a couple of weeks ago, O'Keefe's pals appear to have attempted to commit voter fraud in the New Hampshire primary. From Think Progress's Scott Keyes:

The undercover video shows unnamed individuals working at O’Keefe’s behest approaching polling stations throughout New Hampshire. After poll workers asked for the person’s name, O’Keefe’s agents gave the name of a voter who died within the past few weeks, before then receiving a ballot to vote. The individuals asked the poll workers if they needed ID to prove their identity, and when poll workers confirmed that they did not, O’Keefe’s men insisted on returning to their car to retrieve their ID and returned the ballot.

However, in highlighting the non-problem of voter fraud in New Hampshire and elsewhere, O’Keefe’s agents appear to have committed voter fraud themselves.

And I've heard rumors that he's been trolling Washington County, trying to get his hands on a ballot.

Really, Speaker Hanna, this is how you want to open the February session?

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    Goodness, Kari, give us a break. Americans For Prosperity is conducting a workshop to help average citizens get more involved in the goings on in Salem. Speaker Hannah is doing the honorable thing by participating in a forum that is designed to encourage more participation. O'Keefe, along with many other activists, helped to uncover fraud and abuse being perpetrated with our tax dollars (and he's going to keep doing it). I know this makes you uncomfortable, but our society is better off for people like O'Keefe and the other citizen journalists he's inspired who wish to shine the light of truth on what goes on with our tax dollars.

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        By the way, Rep, Hanna's office number is 503-986-1200.

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        Speaking of "editing" and taking out of context, the very example quotes you gave were selective and out of context. The links to the full articles tell a more complete story of how the sting was done (regardless if the commentator liked the results or not)...

        Yes, they posed as a Muslim organization who wanted to donate money to NPR... not much different than a cop posing as a prostitue in a vice sting operation -- talk about "alluring lie" (sorry, couldn't resist the pun). Everything in that vice operaion is a set up... EVERYTHING. But no one makes the johns proposition the "manufactured" hookers.

        ...and no one made Ron Schiller make the statements he did -- NO ONE tricked him into revealing how he felt. Sorry, he did it and said it.

        I'm not an O’Keefe fan, but saw your name Kari and thought I'd have a little fun. Just like to point out hypocrisy now and again. (and build up your comment activity, make this a hot article for Blue Oregon) :-)

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      Jeff, this is the funniest BO comment of the year so far, keep it up!

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      So then, I am guessing you consider Michael Moore to be one of America's greatest hero's?

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        When was Mr. Moore arrested and convicted for breaking and entering? He has never, to my knowlege, gone undercover or incognito to decieve anyone in pursuit of a story. Am I wrong about that?

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          I was referencing: "but our society is better off for people like O'Keefe and the other citizen journalists he's inspired who wish to shine the light of truth on what goes on with our tax dollars."

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      If O'Keefe were serious about voter irregularities and fraud, he'd be donning his pimp gear and investigating Republican voter suppression schemes. There are certainly plenty of them documented.

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    Kari, your last part on voter fraud made me giggle, thanks.

    He, among others, is working to STOP voter fraud by exposing how ridiculously easy it is to do it, which is why it was videoed... it was a voter fraud sting, and proved his point quite convincingly.


    Kinda reminds me of "60 minutes"... hmmm...

    My guess is you fear the worst about "evil republicans" and are not purposely misrepresenting the story on the voter video. Although, 1 google search and I had everything about it...

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        Did you bother to read Kari's comment on the voter video? Did you even watch the video? It's clearly being misrepresented since he was EXPOSING the voter fraud, not trying to "commit voter fraud". There's a difference.

        Do a google search on anything like "number of deceased voters in the last election" or similar, see how common it is for "dead people" to vote. Just one type of voter fraud going on. I think we all can probably agree, NO ONE wants voter fraud. We ALL would like to see it stopped.

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            This should say, "When you do illegal stuff, even while you think you're exposing illegal stuff, it's still illegal."

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            ...and that's the risk O'Keefe is taking. Gonna see nothing from me on that.

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            Ugh... 3 second search again and found this:


            is NBC News good enough? Voter fraud happens. Are you denying there is any voter fraud?

            This isn't a republican/democrat thing (and a little off topic from Kari's article which is citizen journalism related), but we need to shine a light on it and get a system in place that prevents voter fraud from happening.

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              No one's making blanket statements here.

              We're just disagreeing on how much, and how proposed "fixes" will hurt honest citizens with no ill intentions.

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                I'm not going to create a research paper for you on this. Voter fraud is happening, one method is using people who are deceased. The NBC News above was for a small election... and they confirmed it.

                "...NBC Action News investigation confirmed 11 cases where dead registered voters were credited with voting in Johnson and Jackson Counties..."

                Checking if voters/votes are valid seems like a reasonable thing, whether that's before you're allowed to vote (lot's of disagreement on this), or verified after votes are cast when they are being counted (can't imagine anyone disagreeing with this)... James O'Keefe showed how easy this was and posted the video. No slicing, no dicing...

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    If I see this lucky charms munching misdemeanant lurking in my county trying to illegally obtain someone else's ballot I will be sorely tempted to tune him up.

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    Two interesting reports on "voter fraud"

    PDF here
    NYT story here

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