A reliable source has told Deep State Nation that conservative dirty trickster James O’Keefe is targeting the Doug Jones campaign for US Senate with the help of Ashley Edwards, a longtime Republican operative in Alabama.
The report gained credibility when AL.com reporter Kyle Whitmire indicated on Twitter that he had heard similar reports about O’Keefe’s Project Veritas coming to Alabama in recent days.
I was warned about this earlier this week. https://t.co/FaE7jH5m43
— Kyle Whitmire (@WarOnDumb) December 1, 2017
This week, The Washington Post exposed an O’Keefe scheme to discredit the paper’s reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct by Jones’s opponent Roy Moore. O’Keefe had sent a woman named Jaime Phillips to approach the reporters with a false story about being impregnated by Moore when she was 15.
Ashley Edwards has not been linked to Project Veritas before now, but she has a background in right wing politics. On her Facebook, it is apparent that Edwards favors conservative politicians and considers herself a Rand Paul libertarian. She lists her employer as Forward Focus Media, “a strategic web consulting firm with offices in Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL” according to their website.
It is not clear that the company is still operating. Their Facebook page has not been updated since 2013, and an employee who is still featured at the Forward Focus LLC website tells Deep State Nation that they have not worked with the company in years.
Nevertheless, Forward Focus has enjoyed prominent clients in the past. Edwards, a web development specialist, seems to have helped create former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough’s book sales website, for example.
The company also built a campaign website for Scott Beason, a former state senator who was behind Alabama’s 2011 immigration bill. Now a talk show host, Beason recently gave Moore a platform to deny the Washington Post reporting and make empty lawsuit threats against his accusers.
Forward Focus created a website for Moore’s primary opponent Luther Strange when he ran for state Attorney General in 2012. Tim James, the failed 2010 gubernatorial candidate who made a national sensation with his weird commercial demanding that driver’s license applicants speak English, was also a client.
O’Keefe, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge when he was caught attempting to wiretap US Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in 2010, was recently informed by the New York state attorney general that his fundraising license is at risk because Project Veritas failed to disclose the conviction. That isn’t slowing him down, however, and neither is his fresh embarrassment by the Washington Post.
In fact, the provocateur told students at Southern Methodist University on Wednesday night that “I think in many ways being hated is a sign of respect.”
The O’Keefe style can be distilled down to ‘weird people with weird questions.’ Generally, undercover operatives approach low-level staffers with odd requests or display unusual behavior. Virtually everyone who has encountered O’Keefe or one of his minions describes the strange sensation that something was a little off.
Nevertheless, O’Keefe depends on the natural desire of unassuming people to be helpful and agreeable. The resulting hidden camera video is then edited to remove context and create the appearance of impropriety where none exists.
People who suspect they have encountered an O’Keefe operative are advised to decline or defer any requests they make, to ask them whether they are filming, and to take photos of them.
If you encounter James O’Keefe in the course of Democratic or progressive social organizing, ask him politely to leave and then call the police if he refuses.
Queries to the Jones campaign were not answered before press time.
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