Project Veritas, the rightwing organization known for its sting operations against progressive groups and individual leaders in government, academia, and the social service arena, is targeting NYSUT. We don’t have specific details, but we are posting here, for your information, an email that was sent from Matt Jacobs, NYSUT’s Regional Staff Director, to all local presidents.
TO: Local Presidents
FROM: Matt Jacobs, Regional Staff Director
DATE: March 29, 2018
RE: Alert for anti-union sting operations by “Project Veritas”
Three regional offices (including both Nassau and Suffolk) and one local union office were the subjects of attempted stings on Tuesday sponsored by Project Veritas. As you may recall, Project Veritas produces secretly recorded undercover audio and video encounters with leaders and workers in public sector unions and various academic, governmental and social service organizations, purporting to expose allegedly abusive or illegal behavior by employees and/or representatives of those organizations. In an effort to make unions look bad, they selectively edit videos to take comments out of context and create the false impression that people said or did things they did not actually say or do.
In order to protect yourself and your members against these dishonest sting operations, please regularly practice the following safety procedures at all union meetings and events, both formal and informal:
- Be alert to suspicious behavior or encounters in private and public settings.
- Report any suspicious behavior or encounters to your LRS.
- When solicited for advice or counsel, always make sure you know the identity of the person you are talking to. Verify membership if the person soliciting your help or advice is not known to you personally.
- If you have your own union office, be sure any staff person working there is aware of these procedures.
- Always assume that someone may be recording a conversation with you and remain professional in all of your responses.
- End conversations that make you uncomfortable or suspicious.
- Post signs at all union events stating: Members Only. Making recordings without the authorization of the union is not permitted. Make everyone show a badge or ID to enter.
- Remind members to be cautious when having conversations people they do not know in public settings like coffees shops or bars.
Since Project Veritas operatives did show up at at least one union local’s office, we should assume that the NCCFT is also in their sights. Therefore, we urge all our members to take Matt Jacobs’ cautionary steps very seriously.
If you’d like some more information about Project Veritas and some what they’ve done, here are some relevant news articles:
- Controversial Project Veritas hit with restraining order sought by teachers union
- A woman approached The Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore
- Project Veritas: how fake news prize went to rightwing group beloved by Trump
- Anti-Abortion Activists Charged in Planned Parenthood Video Case
- The 33-year-old who tried to trick the Washington Post with a fake sexual harassment story has a long history of sting operations backfiring
- ACORN filmmaker James O’Keefe sentenced in Sen. Mary Landrieu break-in
- Colorado Dems: We Caught James O’Keefe and His Friends Trying to Bait Us Into Approving Voter Fraud