James Edward O'Keefe, III

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James Edward O'Keefe, III's Geni Profile

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James Edward O'Keefe, III

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Bergen County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Private and Private

Managed by: Alex Christopher Bickle
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Private
      parent
    • Private
      parent

About James Edward O'Keefe, III

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_O%27Keefe

James Edward O'Keefe III (born June 28, 1984) is an American conservative political activist. He produces secretly recorded undercover audio and video encounters, some selectively edited to imply its subjects said things they did not, with figures and workers in academic, governmental and social service organizations, purporting to show abusive or allegedly illegal behavior by employees and/or representatives of those organizations. He gained national attention for his video recordings of workers at ACORN offices in 2009, his arrest and guilty plea in 2010 for entering the federal office of then-U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) under false pretenses, and the release of videos of conversations with two high-ranking, now former, NPR executives in 2011.

When his videos of ACORN workers allegedly aiding a couple in criminal planning hit the 24-hour cable news cycle, the U.S. Congress quickly voted to freeze funds for the non-profit. The national controversy resulted in the non-profit also losing most private funding before investigations of the videos were conducted. In March 2010, ACORN was close to bankruptcy and had to close or rename most of its offices. Shortly after, the California State Attorney General's Office and the US Government Accountability Office released their related investigative reports. The Attorney General's Office found that O'Keefe had misrepresented the actions of ACORN workers and that the workers had not committed illegal actions. A preliminary probe by the GAO found that ACORN had managed its federal funds appropriately. One of the fired ACORN workers sued O'Keefe for invasion of privacy; O'Keefe issued an apology and agreed to pay $100,000 in a settlement.

O'Keefe gained support from conservative media and interest groups. In 2009, Andrew Breitbart commissioned him for the option to publish new videos exclusively on BigGovernment.com. In June 2010, O'Keefe formed a 501(c)(3) organization, Project Veritas, with the stated mission to "investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud and other misconduct."

Early life and education

James Edward O'Keefe III was born in Bergen County, New Jersey, the elder of two children of James, a materials engineer, and Deborah O'Keefe, a physical therapist. He has a younger sister.

O'Keefe grew up in Westwood, New Jersey. His home was politically "conservative but not rigidly so", according to his father. He graduated from Westwood High School, where he showed an early interest in the arts, theater and journalism. He attained Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. O'Keefe started at Rutgers University in 2002 and majored in philosophy. Beginning in his sophomore year, he wrote a bi-weekly opinion column for The Daily Targum, the university's student paper. He left the Targum and founded the Rutgers Centurion, a conservative student paper supported by a $500 "Balance in the Media" grant from The Leadership Institute.

For his first video, he and other Centurion writers met with Rutgers dining staff to demand the banning of the cereal Lucky Charms from dining halls because of its offense to Irish Americans. O'Keefe said the leprechaun mascot presented a stereotype. He intended to have officials lose either way: to appear insensitive to an ethnic group, or to look silly by agreeing to ban Lucky Charms. They expected to be thrown out of school, but the Rutgers official was courteous, took notes, and said their concerns would be considered. Rutgers staff say the cereal was never taken off the menu.

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James Edward O'Keefe, III's Timeline

1984
June 28, 1984
Bergen County, New Jersey, United States