The right-leaning provocateur has a new book out.
William F. Buckley Jr. wrote over 40 years ago that “conservatives, under the stress of our times, have had to invite all kinds of people into their ranks to help with the job at hand.” Among the diverse types conservatives might find fighting on their side, Buckley cited radicals, noisemakers, and pyrotechnicians.
James O’Keefe does not identify as a conservative, but many conservatives claim him as a fellow traveler. It is easy to understand why. At just 28 years old, O’Keefe is a self-described “radical” whose video stings have helped to bring down some of the conservative movement’s biggest bugbears: top executives at National Public Radio, the community-organizing group ACORN, and careless staffers at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.
O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, an organization devoted to investigating and exposing “corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct,” can now add “author” to his colorful résumé. His book, Breakthrough: Our Guerrilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy, is a combination biography and do-it-yourself guide for the would-be activist. It is organized according to “Veritas Rules” that he has learned through hard knocks.
Those knocks include a few nights in federal prison. The enfant terrible, who looks every bit the Irishman and seems constantly to bear a mischievous smirk, finished a three-year probation sentence last month for what he calls a “bullsh** crime.” In 2010, he was charged with a misdemeanor for entering federal property under false pretenses. At the height of the national fervor over Obamacare, he and two accomplices attempted to enter Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office to determine whether she was avoiding calls from angry constituents. (After constituents complained they couldn’t get through, Landrieu said her phone system had been gummed up by an influx of calls.)