Ordinarily, videos from far-right activist James O'Keefe are easy to ignore. His alleged exposes have struggled under scrutiny in recent years, and when there's word of a new O'Keefe "scoop," the appropriate response is generally to roll one's eyes.
But even a broken clock is right twice a day. In this case, the activist actually caught a Democrat doing something wrong.
The son of Representative James P. Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, has resigned from his father's campaign after being shown in an undercover video discussing a plan to cast fraudulent ballots.
The son, Patrick Moran, had been a field director for the campaign. He said Wednesday that he had not taken the conversation seriously and was humoring the man who was secretly recording him, adding that he should have walked away.
An organization led by the activist James O'Keefe, Project Veritas, released the video, which showed an undercover operative pitching a voter-fraud plan that called for casting ballots in the names of 100 voters who were registered but rarely voted. In the video, Patrick Moran expresses doubts but eventually tells the undercover volunteer to "look into it."
Patrick Moran said late yesterday that he thought the man was joking "and only for that reason did I humor him." Nevertheless, he was caught on camera falling into O'Keefe's trap on voter fraud, and had no choice but to resign from his father's campaign.
But while O'Keefe is no doubt delighted to have actually succeeded for a change, it'd be a stretch to suggest there's any balance in his win-loss ratio.
Alex Seitz-Wald offered this round-up of the activist's greatest hits.
He brought down execs at NPR, but that was only because the radio network badly botched the situation. Even Glenn Beck’s website debunked that tape.
And those were the successes. Beyond that, there’s a whole series of laughably bad “bombshells” that completely fizzled. There was the hit on the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein for drinking beer with sources (gasp!); the Occupy Wall Street sting that wasn’t; and a whole series of flops on voter fraud. And then there were O’Keefe’s calamities. These include the time he tried to seduce a CNN reporter onto a boat filled with sex toys; the time he was arrested and charged with a felony (but convicted of only a misdemeanor!); and the time he may have actually committed fraud himself in New Hampshire. There is also this horribly embarrassing music video he made to promote himself.