Former New York State Assemblyman Ron Tocci Appears in Project Veritas Video Mocking Obama "Green Jobs" Stimulus Programs

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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.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Bob McCaffrey on Fri, 09/28/2012 - 13:18
Title: Say No More!

One thing stands true,
Between you and me, it’s all a lot of it is bulls—t! This video should not be re-surfacing except for the fact that the political masters are at work once again. Timing is everything. The original post was back in July when Ron and the crew were pitching their Armory Proposal. Now that they may be taking up the cause of the improper vote by the mayor it just happens to come up again. Even Ron as a politician can see through the attempts to discredit him and pull in his groups cause. Just the way a desperate politician would use smear campaign tactics. That is why they remain silent and ignore this kind of stuff.

I am not involved with either group for The Armory. I think they both have some good basic ideas and feel the better one was theirs. They reached out to the people and not the inside track of political favors. I don’t remember any open meetings about The Good Profit Proposal. The best way to delete this message is to ignore it and post no more on it. Smart people can see right through some of the anonymous postings here and see that some are plants from both sides of the aisle. Let’s play like grownups and do what is right for New Rochelle and leave the political games to the little boys in the back rooms down in Washington.

Say No More!

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 15:54

I have added the raw video from the meeting. There were actually two cameras rolling, one on each of the two guys sent by O'Keefe, this is one of the two.

If you watch the entire video what you will see is that most of the meeting is the three guys from the union asking questions about the nature of the business -- how many people do you employ? what is the grant that you have now? what happens to the workers when there is not enough wok? what sort of equipment do you have?

You will also see Ron making the point that their business has to have a purpose such as brownfield soil testing and remediation, excavation, pre-construction testing for archeological artifacts such as Indian burial grounds.

All of that was edited out of the video posted yesterday.

About half way through the meeting you can see from the look on his face that Anthony Tocci is not buying what he is hearing and his questions reflect that. He asks the same questions several times, dissatisfied with their answer.

There is no "there" there in this video. It will be circulated among right-wing media outlets and blogs to discredit Obama's green jobs programs and so will have some legs nationally but it is not a serious news story, in my view. O'Keefe did a lot of good with this stories on ACORN. This is not even remotely of the same caliber; in fact, it is a farce.

Mike Scully on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 16:38
Title: Next?

Well, that was one hell of a boring 56 minutes.

It would seem Mr. O'Keefe and his pals, who have done some good work in the past, are inching their way towards an official Shark-jumping.

One more video like this one, and they'll be joining the Fonz and looking for real jobs in this booming Obamaconomy.

Citizen Observer on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:26

I Have voted for Ron Tocci in the past, I will no longer support him.
He And his brother should of walked out of the meeting, or questioned the frudulent green job.
Our politicians will be held to a high standard.
No excuses Ron !
We dig things up and fill them back in. N
Not on this taxpayers dime!

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 03:39

PalinTweetsTocci

Ron hits the big time.

John Imburgia on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 00:59

I don't see any story here other than a couple of kids making fun of Obama policies. Big deal.

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 16:53

Except that the net they used caught a pretty big fish. I know and Like Ron Tocci and I am sure some of this is out of context.
That said if you want to know why Unions are dying a huge death in this country just look at the Union Bosses in the video.
We went from the days where Unions were needed because workers where being treated like cattle to unions slowing down progress and costing us all with feather bedding, a high way for little work ect.
Ron you are done you have no credibility left you and your brother and cronies need to go retire to Florida like the rest of those who day has come and gone. You look like idiots.

John Imburgia on Fri, 07/20/2012 - 00:36

You can see what has happened without the unions. American middle class workers are being railroaded by big corporations. Middle class Americans are starving thanks to lack of decent paying blue collar jobs. You can blame the loss of those jobs on Reagan-nomics and NAFTA. It is the destruction of the middle class that is killing this country.

I do agree that some unions are too powerful and hurtfull to our economy. But the vast majority were needed to protect workers from cut-throat employers.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 23:20

Forecheck,

You can not like Ron if you like but the raw footage makes clear that the short video was heavily edited and does not remotely present an accurate picture of what happened in the meeting. In fact, they created a "conversation" by inserting statements which got no response into the middle of a discussion to make it appear that the union guys were agreeing with the statement when, in fact, it was artificially inserted.

You will see that the opening of the short video is shot over the winter but the meeting took place in May suggesting they scripted the video first then went looking for soundbites they could cobble together to fit their narrative.

#FAIL

Tom Jeferstahl on Wed, 07/18/2012 - 19:08

I've been in hundreds of meetings with all kinds of people. It's very common to sit through a meeting, listening, running "what if" scenario's, going along with the people you are meeting with's agenda and flow only to end the meeting with a handshake then turning to your partners and saying "those guys were nuts, that was a waste of time" or "there may be possibilities to proceed". This video seems to show a couple of naive kids sitting with grown men, I highly doubt the events unfolded the way the edited video would have us believe.I don't really think anyone can draw any conclusions from this video. Just from my own experience.

Warren Gross on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:36

Sarah continues to be an extraordinarily popular distaction and we are not the better for it.

Ron, the big time would be to overcome those considerable hurdles you and your mates face in doing something with the Armory that gets through the web of suspicion and ownership from the current power elite.

So, hope to see Ron and others going up North and winning friends for their Armory proposal which is a damn good one on its face.

That will benefit this community and affect the really big time constituents; veterans, seniors, young people.

Sarah can migrate further up North and gaze at the aurura borealis or Russia from her back porch.

willyrand on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 14:45

So, since you like Ron and he's local, we need not concern ourselves with these trivial matters. It's just all Palin's fault. I admit, there isn't enough here, but it looks bad for Ron. These types of deals go on all the time. They're dressed up and presented by union bosses, Democratic strategists, and Obama as noble job creation. It's all just a big game that costs us a fortune. When we criticize unions, they point the finger at millionaires (as if there's some connection between a guy making good money and high property taxes). Ultimately, it all comes back to Sarah Palin.

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