O’Keefe came to national attention when he and a female friend filmed themselves posing as a pimp and prostitute and defrauding personnel at the offices of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN). The heavily edited videos were used as part of a successful campaign to deny ACORN funding and shut the organization down. He then carried out a similar sting on executives from National Public Radio.
More recent stunts by the conservative activist have not been as successful, including a botched hidden-camera interview with a Columbia University School of Journalism dean who turned his own camera on the media prankster, and this latest project, in which O’Keefe claimed to have video evidence of two alleged non-citizens voting in U.S. elections in the state of North Carolina. The video, which was released on May 15, charged that Zbigniew Gorzkowski and William Romero were immigrants who had committed voter fraud by casting votes without having valid U.S. citizenship.
Think Progressdebunked the claim about Gorzkowski on the day of the video’s release, pointing to a 2008 article in the Raleigh News and Observer that discussed Gorzkowski and his wife’s naturalization process, through which they became U.S. citizens in the late 1980′s.
Today, the family of William Romero has provided Think Progress with proof of his citizenship in the form of his certificate of naturalization dated February 4, 2011. In a post that provides an image of the certificate, TP‘s Scott Keyes wrote, “O’Keefe’s “proof” that Romero had committed voter fraud was that he refused jury duty in 2010 for not being a citizen but then registered to vote on December 5, 2011, as though there was no possible way his citizenship status could have changed in the interim year.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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