As ThinkProgress documented this week, both of the “non-citizens” shown in James O’Keefe’s latest video sting supposedly committing voter fraud by participating in American elections are actually American citizens.
Following our stories, ThinkProgress readers confronted O’Keefe with these facts on his Facebook page. The conservative filmmaker refused to acknowledge that the two “non-citizens” he smeared in his video, Zbigniew Gorzkowski and William Romero, are actually American citizens, demanding “official documentation that proves otherwise” before he’d correct his story.
Romero’s family provided this official documentation to ThinkProgress last night. Here is a scanned copy of Romero’s certificate of naturalization, issued on February 4, 2011. Redactions are ours:
To refresh, 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.
O’Keefe has pledged to correct the story if someone showed proof that it was wrong. Setting aside his misguided ethics of being willing to report outlandish smears but putting the responsibility on others to prove whether his allegations are factually correct, we have taken the liberty of providing this proof.
O’Keefe posted a mealy-mouthed update on his website, admitting that Mr. Romero and Mr. Gorzkowski are American citizens while conceding no fault for insinuating that they weren’t (and had therefore committed voter fraud). His “correction” included this passively-worded gem: “However, while our facts were correct in the report, the perception presented in the investigation — which highlighted the ease in which voter fraud can be committed — deserves correction in regards to the citizenship status of Mr. Romero and Mr. Gorzkowski.” However, O’Keefe’s video, which now has over 90,000 views, remains uncorrected and still smears Romero and Gorzkowski.
A number of ThinkProgress readers noted O’Keefe’s mistakes on the filmmaker’s Facebook page. Many of their posts have since mysteriously disappeared.