Eric O'Keefe is Wisconsin-based political operative. He started his career as a political activist in the Libertarian movement in the 1980s, worked to enact congressional term limits in the 1990s, and transitioning into a leader of the Tea Party movement in the late 2000s. His former group, the Sam Adams Alliance, led to the founding of numerous tea party organizations, and also helped launch the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
- 1 2013 John Doe Investigation
- 2 Ties to conservative groups
- 3 Other affiliations
- 4 Articles and resources
2013 John Doe Investigation
In October 2013, O'Keefe broke a secrecy order and told the Wall Street Journal editorial board that he had been served with a subpoena in a "John Doe" investigation into possible campaign finance violations during Wisconsin's 2011 and 2012 recall elections, apparently in his capacity as chair of Wisconsin Club for Growth. The investigation was conducted under Wisconsin's "John Doe" laws, which is similar to a grand jury investigation. The Journal's editorial board characterized the investigation as a "political speech raid."  
Ties to conservative groups
Sam Adams Alliance
O'Keefe founded the Sam Adams Alliance (SAM) and served as chairman and CEO. According to O'Keefe's website: "The Sam Adams Alliance was active from 2007 through 2011, encouraging citizen engagement in politics, with specialties in studying and training citizen activists and bloggers." The development of SAM led to the foundations of the tea party movement, allowing activists like Eric Odom the opportunity to develop websites and social media as a organizational platform. Odom was SAM's new media director before he branched out on his own.
The Franklin Center
In 2009, the Sam Adams Alliance helped launch the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, providing the new organization with "seed money," according to the National Journal.   
Wisconsin Club for Growth
O'Keefe is on the Board of Directors and chairs Wisconsin Club for Growth, which spent $9.1 million on ads during Wisconsin's 2011 and 2012 recall elections.   O'Keefe was also on the board of the national Club for Growth organization in 2007.
Wisconsin Club for Growth was one of 29 conservative groups (including nonprofits, political vendors and party committees) that was reportedly subpoenaed as a part of a "John Doe" investigation into possible campaign finance violations during Wisconsin's 2011 and 2012 elections, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Board of Directors, Citizens in Charge, an initiative and referendum advocacy group.
- President, Legislation Education Action Drive, a pro-voucher PAC
- Longtime Libertarian Party activist, along with his wife, Leslie Graves (formerly known as Leslie Key), and reportedly aligned with Ed Crane through her ties to Update newsletter
- Lucy Burns Institute, official sponsor of Ballotpedia and Judgepedia. His wife is president and the organization received funds from SAM
- Also connected to "Rachel's Vineyard," an "abortion recovery" group, through his wife, who has been involved in managing the group's publicity 
- Author of book that argues for term limits (entitled Who Rules America: The People versus the Political Class)
Articles and resources
- Wall Street Journal editorial board, Wisconsin Political Speech Raid, Nov. 18, 2013, Wall Street Journal.
- Mary Bottari, Heart of Darkness: Criminal Investigation of WI Recall $, prwatch.org, Nov. 25, 2013
- Eric O'Keefe, About Eric, personal website, accessed March 2014
- Alex Brant-Zawadzki and Dawn Teo, Anatomy of the Tea Party Movement: Sam Adams Alliance, Huffington Post, Dec. 11, 2009
- State Policy Network, Sam Adams Alliance, Official website, accessed March 2014.
- Press release, Sam Adams Alliance Launches New Website
- Eric O’Keefe, Chairman and CEO, Sam Adams Alliance, How Understanding Politics Helps in Policy, Liberty Guide, October 18, 2012.
- Julie Kosterlitz, Conservative Watchdogs Awake, National Journal, Dec. 12, 2009.
- Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, Non-Profit News, accessed December 11, 2013.
- Daniel Bice, Conservative outlets write all the news that fits their tilt JSonline.com, August 7, 2011.
- Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Recall Race for Governor Cost $81 Million, organizational website.
- Marc Fisher, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall: Big money fuels small-government fight, Washington Post, Mar 25, 2012
- Alex Brant-Zawadzki and Dawn Teo, Anatomy of the Tea Party Movement: Sam Adams Alliance, Huffington Post, Dec. 11, 2009.
- Wisconsin Political Speech Raid, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 18, 2013
- Paul Kane, One super PAC takes aim at incumbents of any party, Washington Post, Mar. 7, 2012
- About Citizens for Self Governance / Mission, organization website, accessed Nov. 25, 2013
- Health Care Compact Alliance website, "About Us" page, accessed Apr. 12, 2011.
- [Sara Jerving, http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/11/11791/lucy-burns-institute-publishers-ballotpedia-judgepedia-and-wikifoia-and-her-right "Lucy Burns Institute (Publishers of Ballotpedia and Judgepedia) and Her Right-Wing Bedfellows"]
- The Libertarian Forum. Volume XVI, Number 6, July 1982. "Double Victory for Agression", from "Ludwig von Mise Institute", organizational website, accessed November 2012
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