Dunce of the Week: James O'Keefe

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I'm in the business of facts. Numbers, names, quotes - if I get 'em wrong, I'm at the mercy of my editors, sources and audience (particularly all you lovely online commenters).

Sadly James O'Keefe's lies probably just inspired his followers.

The conservative filmmaker's latest endeavor "exposed" voter fraud in North Carolina when he claimed two non-citizens, Zbigniew Gorzkowski and William Romero, had voted in recent elections, according to ThinkProgress.org. Trouble is, Gorzkowski and Romero are citizens.

In fact, if O'Keefe had done a simple Nexis search for "Zbigniew Gorzkowski", he would have found a single article from the News & Observer in 2008 noting that Gorzkowski and his wife are naturalized citizens:
"Customers flock through the red door of Zbigniew "Ziggy" and wife Halina Gorzkowski's European grocery and flower shop to buy one of the 12 varieties they sell. The pierogis and 400 eastern European food items and flowers are also punching the naturalized citizen couple's ticket for their version of the American Dream."

ThinkProgress spoke with Gorzkowski, "who verified that this information was indeed correct and he had been an American citizen since the late 1980s. Therefore, his votes in the 2008 and 2010 elections were not only perfectly legal, but encouraged as a civic duty."

O'Keefe's "proof" that Romero had committed voter fraud was that he refused jury duty in 2010 for not being a citizen but then registered to vote on December 5, 2011, as though there was no possible way his citizenship status could have changed in the interim year.

ThinkProgress published a redacted a copy of his certification of naturalization, issued on Feb. 4, 2011.

O'Keefe vowed to correct the story if someone could prove that he was wrong. No doubt the bastion of morality will stick to his word.


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  • ThinkProgress

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