You are hereOregon Live: Video activist James O'Keefe hurls charges -- but no video -- at Oregon Bus Project
Oregon Live: Video activist James O'Keefe hurls charges -- but no video -- at Oregon Bus Project
-By Jeff Mapes
April 18, 2012- James O'Keefe, the conservative activist who has gained national publicity with his controversial ambush videos, made some pretty provocative charges in an appearance before the Oregon Tea Party this weekend -- but he didn't back it up with any actual video.
O'Keefe said he went undercover on a trip with the Portland-based Bus Project – a group that has worked with several Democratic politicians and that encourages young people to get involved in politics – and found "potential drug abuse" and underage drinking. And he made an apparent reference to Gov. John Kitzhaber by saying the "former governor or current governor [was] involved in it."
The charges angered and mystified officials with the Bus Project, who said they are scrupulous about not serving alcohol to minors. And they questioned why O'Keefe is making the charges so long after taking a two-day trip with the Bus Project back in July of 2010.
"I have no reason to believe his two-years-after-the-fact allegations," said Caitlin Baggott, the Bus Project's executive director.
Henry Kraemer, the group's organizing and political director, said that Kitzhaber spoke to participants in Portland before they left on a bus trip to Eugene and Coos Bay. But Kitzhaber, who was then seeking a return to the governor's office, did not take part in the trip, Kraemer said.
Kitzhaber's spokesman, Tim Raphael, declined comment.
O'Keefe could not be reached through his organization, Project Veritas. He told the Oregon Tea Party that more would be forthcoming. "We'll be holding onto that footage as we further that investigation and release it sometime in the future," he said.
O'Keefe received national headlines after he filmed undercover videos of himself posing as a pimp while seeking help from staffers at ACORN, a low-income advocacy group. The video severely damaged the organization's credibility and dried up much of its funding, but a Government Accountability Office report later charged that the videos were edited in a misleading manner and that ACORN had not mismanaged its federal funds.