EDITOR’S NOTE: The unedited video is embedded after the jump.
Project Veritas, the group headed by James O’Keefe and known for undercover video operations on ACORN, NPR and voter fraud, has released today a new video on stimulus-funded “Green jobs” that features New Rochelle residents Anthony Tocci, business manager for Laborers International Union – Local 601, and his brother, former New York Assemblyman Ron Tocci. Also in the video is John Hutchings, a member of the Broome County legislature.
A time stamp on the video indicated the video was shot on May 4, 2009. Reached for comment by Talk of the Sound, Ron Tocci said the video was shot a couple of months ago.
Tocci said they agreed to the meeting as a courtesy at the request of a contact in New Jersey. Tocci said that none of the labor representatives took the pair of “kids” seriously.
“We figured this can’t be serious,” said Tocci. “We were trying to get the name of the grant they said they received so we could report them. It didn’t add up.”
The headline of the YouTube video — “Legislators, Union Bosses Seek Funding for Digging Holes and Filling Them Back In” — is misleading. There is no indication that any anything illegal or improper took place in the meeting and no one in the meeting makes any effort to “seek funding” for the phony business.
In the video, two people from Project Veritas pose as the owners of a company called “Earth Supply and Renewal”. The pair claim to have gotten funding in New Jersey for a business of digging holes in the earth and refilling them. The two “businessman” seek assistance from the union in getting political support in the New York State legislature and in Congress.
In the video, Hutchings and Anthony Tocci do most of the talking for the union. Tocci is mostly silent. They inform the two “businessman” of their lobbying efforts in Albany and Washington, DC and the view that it will be difficult for elected representatives to vote against any bill that references “jobs”.
A press release distributed by Project Veritas cited a statement by Hutchings as the highlight of the video: “You know the Green Jobs — Green NY, between us, a lot of it is bullshit”.
Sources tell Talk of the Sound the video was shot in a meeting that lasted two hours. The time stamps indicate that the video was heavily edited and that most of what appears in the Project Veritas video is from the end of the meeting.