TPM on O'Keefe alleged phone interference* case: "What Is The Pelican Institute?"

Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

Earlier this evening, Media Matters' Eric Hananoki brought you some details on James O'Keefe's three alleged accomplices. TPM's Justin Elliott has a bit more. Reporting on their apparent connection to the Pelican Institute, he writes:

There's a lot we still don't know about the four men implicated in the alleged attempt to bug Sen. Mary Landrieu's phones yesterday, but a little-known organization called the Pelican Institute appears to be key to the story.

Located at 400 Poydras St. in downtown New Orleans -- half a block from Landrieu's office at 500 Poydras St. -- Pelican describes itself as a state policy think tank dedicated to advancing "sound policies based on the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, and limited government."

James O'Keefe, the conservative filmmaker behind the ACORN stings who has been charged in the Landrieu case, was scheduled to give a talk at Pelican last Thursday on "Exposing Truth: Undercover Video, New Media and Creativity." Tickets were $35; the setting was the posh Plimsoll Club at the World Trade Center. An ad for the luncheon promised attendees insights into O'Keefe's special strain of new media genius:


Another of the charged men, Robert Flanagan, works for Pelican, his attorney told the Times-Picayune. Flanagan allegedly dressed up as a telephone repairman to infiltrate Landrieu's office.


The Wall Street Journal opinion page published a glowing profile of Pelican and its leader, Kevin Kane, in August 2008.


In yet another possible connection to the Landrieu case, Kane also blogs at Big Government, the Andrew Breitbart site.

Big Government is where O'Keefe's ACORN sting videos were posted, though Breitbart has said, "We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O'Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu's office."

Andrew Breitbart, James O'Keefe
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