Eric O'Keefe is a right-wing political operative that has deep ties to the Koch brothers. He started in the Libertarian movement in the 1980s, worked to enact congressional term limits in the 1990s, and transitioned into a leader of the Tea Party movement in the late 2000s. His 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 Right-Wing 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 Right-Wing Groups
Sam Adams Alliance
O'Keefe founded the Sam Adams Alliance (SAM) and served as chairman and CEO. According to O'Keefe's website, SAM was intended to be a right wing source of support for freedom of speech and discussion of political issues, training citizens to be activists and bloggers. The organization was active from 2007 to 2011. 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.
According to the State Policy Network's (SPN) website, SAM received funding from SPN and was listed in their network of state think tanks. 
The Franklin Center
In 2009, under O'Keefe's leadership the Sam Adams Alliance helped launch the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, and provided 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 has reportedly been 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.
Koch Funded Groups
O'Keefe sits on the board of the Koch's Institute for Humane Studies(IHS). O'Keefe is a director of the Cato Institute, a Koch-founded libertarian think tank. SAM's internship recruitment page was connected to Koch Industries through the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program. The program was administered through the IHS and the State Policy Network and featured on the IHS website.
O'Keefe previously worked for Citizens for Congressional Reform, a project of David Koch's Citizens for a Sound Economy (the predecessor to Americans for Prosperity). He has also been featured at events funded by David Koch's Americans for Prosperity group. 
In 1980, the Libertarian Party presidential ticket was Ed Clark and David Koch. O'Keefe worked as the national director of the party that year in support of Clark/Koch.
O'Keefe helped found and is a board member of Citizens for Self-Governance, an organization dedicated to supporting grassroots movements and citizen involvement in politics.
- 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 Keys), 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 receives 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 Nov. 25, 2013
- Alex Brant-Zawadzki and Dawn Teo, Anatomy of the Tea Party Movement: Sam Adams Alliance, Huffington Post, Dec. 11, 2009
- State Policy Network, Same Adams Alliance, Official website, accessed December 11, 2013.
- 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
- About the Center for Competitive Politics, organization website, accessed Nov. 25, 2013
- 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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