James O'Keefe's Best Friends Network
James O'Keefe has some high-rolling donors. I always wondered who was behind his bogus efforts to smear people with edited video, and now I have a better idea.
Lately, the right wing blogosphere has been eating each other alive while desperately trying to smear a couple of left wing bloggers for reasons I don't fully understand. That story is one that reads like a bad spy novel, and not worth trying to sort out. But James O'Keefe's ongoing difficulties with women, and especially women he hires? That's worth looking at more carefully.
Just to refresh memories, O'Keefe hatched a couple of "projects" that were intended to smear journalists. One was his "To Catch a Journalist" media trap game, and the other was his incredibly stupid effort to entrap CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau by "seducing" her. The full plan, which is even worse than originally reported, is here.
One thing that O'Keefe demonstrates over and over again is that he should be nowhere near women. He seems to be prone to sexual and sexist behavior while around them. For these two plans, he recruited two different women. The first, who was supposed to be a part of the Boudreau scam, was Izzy (Isabel) Santa, who is the one who stopped the ridiculous scenario from continuing by tipping Boudreau off to what O'Keefe had planned for her. In October, 2010 Santa's attorney demanded that Project Veritas pay off her contract. Subsequent to that, a settlement agreement was drafted where Project Veritas agreed to pay Santa $20,000 as a final settlement and agreement between them. An unsigned copy of that settlement agreement is posted online, and I don't know whether it was the final version or not.
Here's what I do know. Part of that agreement was to hold harmless all parties affected. The list of affected parties is in the image above, and includes the following people: Francisco Gonzalez, Greg Walker, Colin Sharky and Maureen Wagner as members of the board, former and past. Consultants, donors and fundraisers to Project Veritas include Kate Doner, Eric O'Keefe, and Denis Calabrese. Who are these people who consulted, donated or fundraised for James O'Keefe?
Doner Fundraising established by Kate Doner in 2003 in Austin Texas, is a fundraising and event services company "that partners with issue based non-profits, coalitions, corporations, and professional associations" and Republican candidates.
Although listed on the site of the State Policy Network and its current newsletter as its event planning consultant, there is no website corresponding to the domain. Her colleague, Elizabeth James, who lists her phone number as the same as Doner Fundraising, has an email address affiliated with Quorum Public Affairs, another Austin strategic public affairs company helping businesses to influence goverment and regulatory policies.
A biographical note states that "Doner received her Bachelor’s of Arts from Hillsdale College in Michigan with a double degree in Political Science and History. She is a native of Michigan, has lived in Texas since 1993."
She served as Director of Finance for the Texas Public Policy Foundation in 2003.
She managed the Austin fundraising for Texas Representative Joe Nixon in his race for the Texas Senate in 2005. Nixon of Houston chaired the Texas House Civil Practices Committee and was described by Texans for Lawsuit Reform in 2003, in The Advocate as "our one true friend" there and a courageous lawyer." In a news release, Nixon described Doner as "known throughout the state as an Austin fundraising powerhouse....Her client list reads like the who's who of Texas' best known Republican and conservative causes."
Doner's comments on tort reform appeared in the Winter 2006 issue of James Madison Institute.
Her former husband, John Doner operates John Doner & Associates. His Austin-based firm provides marketing services and consulting for political campaigns, political action committees, grassroots initiatives, and associations since 1989.
Denis Calabrese is one of the founding members of the lobbying firm Patriot Group, a board member of the Sam Adams Alliance, and affiliated with American Majority. He was also Dick Armey's Chief of Staff. That would be former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who is now Chairman of Freedomworks.
Calabrese is also President of the Arnold Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by billionaire Enron trader and hedge fund manager John Arnold and his wife Laura. The Arnold Foundation is dedicated to funding education deforms around the country.
Eric O'Keefe is Chairman and CEO of the Sam Adams Alliance and sits on the board of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, Institute for Humane Studies, Center for Competitive Politics, and the Health Care Compact. All of these are Koch-related and/or funded entities. O'Keefe also is connected to Joe Ricketts and Houston building billionaire Leo Linbeck III.
This is how pissant liars like O'Keefe get any traction at all. They get some funding from billionaires whose single focus is on taking over the whole damn country, work with a compliant corporate media to amplify without any actual verification what O'Keefe does, and so he gets to keep doing it over and over and over.
I want to extend a particular thanks to Nadia Naffe for her contributions to my research for this post. She is in the process of being slandered viciously by the right wing blogosphere and twitterati because she dared to call James O'Keefe out for his effort to smear Professor Charles Seife and it appears, Jay Rosen. She writes:
Patrick Frey [Patterico] may have believed that posting my Social Security Number and medical records online to his blog, in retaliation, would intimidate and stop me from telling the truth about O’keefe, chill my First Amendment rights and dissuade me from coming forward to report a crime committed in his jurisdiction. Though, what he has accomplished is precisely the opposite.
These two civil servants, both deputy district attorney’s in Los Angles County, in the past were able to bully and harass private individuals, with impunity. But their patent on intimidation and retribution expired when they came to me. The Frey’s are the poster children for the type of rampant corruption Carmen Trutanich, Alan Jackson and Danette Myers have each spoken out against.
This is also what they do. When they're afraid of being exposed, they just chew up and try to destroy any person who might dare to tell the truth about them. Whatever Nadia Naffe's story is, she posted actual filings and pleadings online which confirm the story she's telling about James O'Keefe, and it's not pretty.