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Sheldon Silver, then and nowRemember back in 2012 when we went after New York labor bosses and legislators to secure funding for “bullshit” Green jobs? Here’s a summary of the conversation, as described by the New York Observer:

According to Mr. Hutchings, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver won’t involved himself in picking the recipients of grants, but he does approve them.

“Shelly Silver wouldn’t say specifically, ‘Fill the dirt there.’ He would have to approve a grant to do that type of stuff, then we’d have to find places where to dig,” Mr. Hutchings says. “He doesn’t want to get involved in picking, that’s where they get into trouble.”

Mr. Hutchings is dismissive of the Green Jobs, Green New York program as well as the NYSERDA grant system, but thinks there’s a positive aspect as long as people are being hired.

“You know, the Green Jobs Green New York, between us, a lot of it’s bullshit,” Mr. Hutchings says. “Even if it’s bullshit, I think as long as people are working that’s not bullshit.”

In the video, union officials mentioned specific lobbyists who would “take care” of the Democrats in the assembly — and “take care of the Senate” in order to push their agenda through. They also said Shelly Silver would have no problem approving it.

Shortly after the video was released, Silver’s spokesman Michael Whyland responded, stating that James O’Keefe’s video shouldn’t be treated as serious journalism, again via the New York Observer. 

This is not reporting. This is not journalism. It doesn’t even rise to the level of a comic strip. This is the kind of stuff that gives honest reporters a bad name,” Mr. Whyland said.

“Shelly Silver wouldn’t say specifically, ‘Fill the dirt there.’ He would have to approve a grant to do that type of stuff, then we’d have to find places where to dig,” Mr. Hutchings continued. “He doesn’t want to get involved in picking, that’s where they get into trouble.”

Boss TweedFast forwarding to yesterday, the Observer observed that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver “faces arrest on corruption charges.” In a subsequent article, the Observer noted that “Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver used his office to mask millions of dollars in ‘bribes and kickbacks.’” 

Unfortunately, Shelly Silver’s alleged antics do seem to rise to the level of a comic strip. Thomas Nast’s famous Tammany Hall cartoon of Boss Tweed certainly comes to mind.

 

 

 

In Memoriam
James O’Keefe Sr.
September 1th, 1929 – January 20th, 2015
In Breakthrough, I tell the a story about how my grandfather restored an old carriage house by borrowing someone’s else’s tow truck and doing what others told him “couldn’t be done.”

I told the story of how I stood on a stepladder as he watched me scrape wallpaper off the wall with my fingernails for hours instilling a sense of drive, purpose and will.

There was more to the story. In 1996, when I was 11, the house that my father spent two years fixing up nearly burned to the ground. The papers and local contractors declared the house uninhabitable.

My dad invested blood, sweat, tears and everything else he had in that project. When I arrived at the scene with a dozen firetrucks containing the blaze, it was the first time I saw my dad tear up. It would have only made sense for dad to give up or move on.

The next week my grandfather, James O’Keefe Sr., a former lineman, moved into my father’s attic. At 4am every morning I would hear the stairs creak, and my grandfather would put on ratty old lineman clothes and go over to spend another two years with my dad undergoing the grueling process of rebuilding an entire house, with my mother, sister and me the only assistants.

Most weekends I would be forced, unwillingly, to join. Because we didn’t have any money, we had to do whatever it took.

“Time to get up, Irish” he would say, grabbing me sometimes by the shirt collar to get me out of bed.

Early one morning we drove to a large red dumpster of the same contractor who told my grandfather some of his rebuilding projects “couldn’t be done.” In the dumpster was old scrap wood the dubious contractor discarded from another house he was building.

My grandfather would have me climb into the dumpster to hand him scrap wood, and I used his knee as a stool. We cut our hands on the plywood and sides of the metal dumpster, and he, a child of the depression, would tape his hands up in electrical tape. I found the tape made a better band-aid anyways.

Slowly but surely, he used all the scrap wood to build an entire garage and partially rebuild the one that burned down.

Maybe I was too young to sense irony but the irony became the norm.

My grandfather was so good at improvising and using recycled materials, he almost never had to make a purchase. He would salvage neighbors’ shingles, find old cabinets on the side of the road, unused copper pipe from subcontractors at the Elks Club, scavenge bricks in fields and use them to make pathways. He would drive around at night finding furniture and would rebuild wood chairs using glue and screws that were never the same size or color.

He would quite literally, build things out of nothing – and make the end product more ergonomic, useful and beautifully designed than the stuff you can buy at Home Depot.

In town, when people saw an old man and his grandson in rags covered in paint, they would give us strange looks. “I should have been an architect,” he would tell me. But my grandfather was dyslexic in school – his writing looked like a 3 year old’s chicken scratch. Most of all, my grandfather was too proud to tell anybody these stories . . . something I never understood.

Ultimately, my father won an award from the Bergen County Historical Society for his efforts at preserving the old home. My grandfather didn’t want any credit. He just wanted to keep working.

During one of his scavenging trips to an old flea market, my grandfather came across an old Chinchilla shawl coat that someone had discarded. Thinking of my grandmother (and maybe not having much fashion sense), James O’Keefe Sr. brought it home. He threw it with the other items, including an old derby hat from Las Vegas a friend had given him for free.


Three years later I would use that derby hat and that chinchilla coat in the iconic ACORN videos.

From 2011-2012, I used the restored carriage house as an office for Veritas.

My grandfather passed away yesterday. I got the call while I was on the other line with a videographer who was getting probably one of biggest stories we’ve ever obtained.

My organization, Project Veritas was nothing more than my operating as a lone wolf with credit cards and thrift in my parents house five years ago. What doesn’t jail you makes you smarter, and Necessity, the mother of invention, has forced me to scale the operation into something much different now and far more lasting.

This month we are in the process of building our field operations into an elite unit of highly trained highly skilled videographers to be deployed at moments notice any place in the country. We’ve hired an Emmy award winning TV producer, field directors, the best lawyers and support staff with the financial support of thousands of people constantly and generously giving to us.

While money is necessary, the price tag for a successful investigation is also drive and courage of our reporters whose raison d’etre is to make the status quo do the impossible — with a mission to bring veritas to the vulgate, or truth to the people.

All the materials we are using to make these videos, like my grandfather’s supplies, are donated.

It is a dying art, the gift my Grandfather had of being a good steward of his resources. There were times during this process I wanted to give up or I didn’t know exactly how to make use of what I had, and I may have given up if he didn’t instill in me what he did.

If he didn’t make my fingers bleed standing on that stepladder, while I hated him for making me do it. If I didn’t see that house burn down and salvage the wood to build it back up. And the improbability of finding that chinchilla that he gave to my grandmother. It all seemed to happen for a reason.

God Bless James O’Keefe Sr. I will make sure your legacy lives on, Irish!

James

Here’s a quick recap of our accomplishments in 2014.

Exposing the truth, on video, has changed the narrative on a number of issues this year. For example, in the beginning of the year, immigration conversation was predominantly about the children of illegal aliens, but following James O’Keefe’s videos on the Mexican and Canadian borders, people started talking about border security. We showed Wendy Davis supporters making fun of Greg Abbott’s physical disability and turned back the clock on the liberal plan to turn Texas blue.

We’ve gone after Republicans when needed, even forcing one prominent state Senator to resign. We’ve exposed the liberal Hollywood agenda regarding US energy policy. James O’Keefe was also the first person to conduct a video interview of the man who exposed Jonathan Gruber to the national spotlight regarding Obamacare.

Read more ...

O’Keefe introduces the man who made Jonathan Gruber well known

“Rich” claims hidden quarter-trillion dollar annual tax grab was key component of Obamacare

O’Keefe demands answers from the White House

(Mamaroneck, NY – December 16, 2014) Project Veritas is releasing a video interview of the man who recently brought videos of MIT economist and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber to public attention. Award-winning journalist and best-selling author James O’Keefe conducted the interview, which is being distributed on YouTube.

James O'Keefe Interviews Man Who Exposed Jonathan Gruber Videos

James O’Keefe Interviews Man Who Exposed Jonathan Gruber Videos

During the interview, “Rich” stated that there was intentional mislabeling in the Affordable Care Act in order to hide a secret agenda in the bill: A two-hundred-and-fifty billion dollar per year tax grab.

“President Obama promised us the most transparent administration in history,” said Project Veritas President James O’Keefe. “Rich has opened a new debate about an effect of the Affordable Care Act which will impact over one hundred and fifty million Americans. We deserve to know if part of the Obamacare plan was intended to eliminate the two hundred and fifty billion dollar yearly tax break. If this is the case, we also deserve to why this information was kept from the public by the White House.”

Best-selling author James O’Keefe serves as the President of Project Veritas, whose mission is to investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud and other misconduct. O’Keefe is a graduate of Rutgers University. A congressional resolution was introduced in 2009 with 31 cosponsors praising him for his work. He was the recipient of the Robert Novak Award for Journalistic Excellence in 2011, has been named “Fox News Power Player of the Week” twice by Chris Wallace, and was placed on the Forbes 30 under 30 for media moguls. O’Keefe was recently presented with the 2014 Young Conservative Coalition William F. Buckley Jr. Award.


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