ACORN-hater O’Keefe arrested in Louisiana Watergate


We don't know why O'Keefe targeted Louisiana's Landrieu, but we do know he led the attack on ACORN in 2009

Last year, we wrote about how Karl Rove targeted ACORN in 2006 as part of a concerted Republican campaign to attack progressive organizations that were registering low-income voters and helping them fight corporate power.

Those attacks came to a seemingly salacious climax in 2009, when James O’Keefe, a conservative videographer, secretly taped some ACORN employees saying stupid things—an incident that somehow became one of the biggest political stories of the year.

And now O’Keefe is back in the political headlines, only this time as one of four men charged Jan. 26 with trying to illegally access and manipulate the phone system in a district office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

We don't yet know why O'Keefe targeted the Democratic senator from Louisiana. But his arrest has a fortunate side effect: it's keeping the focus on the results of an official investigation into ACORN—a story that otherwise probably wouldn’t have got much coverage but is now being widely reported.

Take CNN’s coverage of O’Keefe’s arrest. It notes that, “a review by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, who was hired by ACORN to examine the issue, found no wrongdoing by ACORN employees.”

It also notes that O'Keefe and a female associate were named in a lawsuit that an ACORN worker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, filed Jan. 21, accusing the pair of illegally videotaping an interview with her last July and distributing it on the Internet.

“That video and others by O'Keefe and his associate led to the dismissal of four ACORN employees who appeared to offer advice to the couple and to federal legislation barring the group from receiving federal funds," CNN notes.

Now, I don’t expect the right-wing attack machine to stop its assault on progressive organizations and individuals, any time soon, but there’s hope the truth will eventually out.