Beware the mustache, fraudulent voters!

Beware the mustache, fraudulent voters!


Desperate Dems, take note! You may have supported the Republican-loathed election-modernization act HB 1303 mandating that mail-in ballots be sent to all registered voters and enshrining same-day registration as the law of the land, but don’t start loading “gypsy voters” onto buses or digging unmarked ballots out of your dorm’s trash receptacle. James O’Keefe, the grand mustachio of “voting integrity,” knows what’s up in Colorado, and he’s on the ground to investigate.

Mother Jones’ report on O’Keefe’s integrity inquisition into Colorado’s 2014 election cycle reads like slapstick noir:

“The guy identifying himself as ‘Nick Davis’ returned to the Democratic office in Boulder. He was accompanied by a man wearing heavy makeup and a mustache, according to the Democratic staffer who had met Davis three days earlier. Davis introduced his friend as a ‘civics professor’ at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the faculty adviser to Rocky Mountain Vote Pride. Davis and the professor, who said his name was ‘John Miller,’ picked up Udall campaign literature and canvassing information.”

O’Keefe tweeted a selfie of his masterful disguise:

Mark Udall campaign merch later was featured in an O’Keefe sting operation targeting nonprofit voter-turnout organization New Era Colorado. The effort to catch New Era coordinating with a campaign in violation of campaign-finance law ended with O’Keefe’s team trying to push open New Era’s front door to insert a microphone and New Era filing a police report.

Though O’Keefe has made himself nationally known as what MJ calls a “conservative provocateur,” he’s hardly the only guy to inject a little spy-tech into the political funhouse.

The phenomenon of “trackers” or “bird-doggers” — people who follow candidates around with a hidden-ish camera, waiting for a live-action gaffe to feed the tweeters — is up, way up, nationwide. Trackers have rocked #copolitics with gaffes that can shape elections — such as Gov. John Hickenlooper’s epic misfire or Rep. Doug Lamborn’s blaze of semi-treasonous glory. 

Indeed, trackers are now such a regular presence in politics that NPR reports that some bird-doggers develop a highly civil, office-like rapport with their dog.

[Image by Lindsay Stanford


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About the Author

Tessa Cheek

She writes and makes photos about communities. Her book, Great Wall Style, a monograph-profile-lyric essay, is out from Images Publishing. | 720-440-2527 | @tessacheek

1 Comment

  1. Don Lopez on said:

    “The only bias we have is for good journalism.”
    Colorado Independent Mission Statement

    If this article represents the CI’s definition of good journalism you gotta wonder what bad journalism looks like or if CI knows the difference.

    The entire article is simply a rehash of a story from the left-leaning Mother Jones. Ms. Cheek gives no indication she sought another source or even viewed the video Mr. O’Keefe made of his meeting with Ms. Hicks and another volunteer who referred to north Aurora as “Ghetto Aurora”. Hint: It’s on You Tube.

    Maybe the author didn’t want to see the video because the truth might confuse her but the question remains: Is this article what the CI considers good journalism?

    Allow me to do what Ms. Cheek should have done and introduce another source. This from the National Review Online:

    “Many liberals are adamant there is no threat of voter fraud that justifies efforts to improve the integrity of elections. “There is no real concrete evidence of voter fraud,”tweeted Donna Brazile, former acting chair of the Democratic National Committee, this week. “It’s a big ass lie.”

    James O’Keefe, the guerilla filmmaker who brought down the ACORN voter-registration fraudsters in 2010 and forced the resignation of NPR executives, politely disagrees. Today, he is releasing some new undercover footage that raises disturbing questions about ballot integrity in Colorado, the site of fiercely contested races for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and the governorship. When he raised the issue of filling out some of the unused ballots that are mailed to every household in the state this month, he was told by Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress, a liberal group funded by Democratic Super PACS.: “That is not even like lying or something, if someone throws out a ballot, like if you want to fill it out you should do it.” She then brazenly offered O’Keefe, disguised as a middle-aged college instructor, a job with her group.”

    Is objectivity at the Colorado Independent even a goal?

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