Meet Lawrence B. Jones III, the UNT Student Behind the Obamacare-Navigator Sting

LawrenceJonesFlag.jpg
James O'Keefe may be the motive force behind Project Veritas, the conservative nonprofit that has taken down ACORN, an NPR executive and now a handful of health-insurance navigators, but its latest undercover video sting wouldn't have packed the same punch had it been him walking into the Urban League of Greater Dallas headquarters on Lancaster Road asking to sign up for Obamacare. It would have gone down sort of like the video's bizarre introductory vignette, in which O'Keefe, decked out in full cowboy getup, sidles into an Old West saloon and orders a cranberry juice.

So, he enlisted Lawrence Billy Jones III, a conservative activist from Garland currently prepping for law school at the University of North Texas.

We've met Jones before. Last year, when he was 19, he ran for a seat on the Garland ISD Board of Trustees. "The community cried to me, and I heard their cry," he told us last January, by way of explaining his candidacy.

See also: Just a Year After Graduating From Garland ISD, Lawrence Billy Jones III Wants to Help Run the School District

He lost the school board race, but that hasn't discouraged him from pursuing a political career he has eyed since childhood. On his website, which includes information on how to book him for speaking engagements and a prominent "donate" button, Jones writes that his introduction to public service came in 2009, when he served as youth mayor of Garland.

Later, as he was about to begin his senior year, Jones writes that he "decided to retire from the game of basketball to serve his community."

That's what he was doing when he signed on to go undercover for Project Veritas. In a sit-down last night with Fox 4, he explained how it came about.

"They found me," he explained. "They knew I was an activist, we had a common goal, and we both had suspicion there was fraud in the system. So I did whatever I could do to uncover the fraud."

See also: Dallas-Area Obamacare Navigators Caught on Undercover Video Encouraging Fraud

He continues, "I was after truth, which is veritas."

The results -- one Urban League navigator telling him not to report cash from odd jobs as income, a couple of others suggesting he lie about a smoking habit to get a lower premium -- speak for themselves. That's what led the Urban League of Greater Dallas to suspend three navigators-in-training and fire a receptionist.

The video released this week, though, is only the beginning.

"It's gonna get worse," he told Fox 4. "Some of the stuff I encounter at these facilities is just unbelievable."

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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101 comments
JackJett
JackJett

As a former fashion model from the 80's, I want to commend JOK for his retro throwback pose.  The Face-To-Chin will hide any throat gut and draws attention to his brilliant smile.  Yet, the need to hold up his right arm with his left hand throws me off.  But hey, all models have their own individual pose choices. 

Plus the use of the American flag in the background assures us he is telling the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth in a fair and unbalanced way.  FOX Bookers will take notice. 

Obummer
Obummer

Yo what part o' illegal iz so hard fo' some peeps ta gets?

oilman
oilman

I will always be skeptical of anyone who consciously chooses to become a part of the James O'Keefe machine...they always seem be either crooked or uninformed.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

It's becoming obvious that we need a Healthcare Czar. Obama is better than any of his Czars, as we know,, so why not have him continue to take full charge? Skip the democratic process, the administrarive crap and just issue new rules at his whim.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

Considering he is working with O'Keefe he has all the credibility of a carnival barker. If the fraud he is alleging consists of not telling about side money and smoking this means nothing. Both of those are lied about constantly. I could not care less. 

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

Remember when Obama allowed the govt to be shut down rather than allow any changes to Obamacare - yeah, then today happened.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Holy smokes, no wonder they urge people to lie to and cheat the insurance companies... This from Althouse:

"The Affordable Care Act... allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting [Jan. 2014]. For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums."

Watch out fatties, you're next!

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Hey.  We have to give the Left a break.  It's their first stab at wide open in-your-face European social democracy.  It's hard.  

And they said there would be no math. 

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

If Craig Watkins had a son, he'd look just like Lawrence Billy Jones.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The GOP has you stooges by the cojones.  What would you do if your employer decides to cancel employee healthcare coverage?  You're your own worst enemies.

observist
observist

@ruddski  Don't you think it makes sense to charge people more if they voluntarily pursue cancer, and charge them less if they stop?

leftocenter
leftocenter

@holmantx @ruddski

cred check...where's the "no math" reference from?  NO GOOGLE-ING IT!

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

"And they said there would be no math."

They LIED, and Obamacare died.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@holmantx I'm quite happy with my Medicare and Social Security as are millions of other beneficiaries.  Social programs; try them.  You just might like them.

doublecheese
doublecheese

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz My employer better not, or they'll lose me.  That's how this works.  It's part of my compensation.  In fact, they pay 100% of my insurance premiums because they prefer to keep the best talent.  

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

That wasn't very common until Obamacare. The huge premium jumps weren't very common until Obamacare. The reduction in services wasn't common, until.....

What if someone promises you one thing, and after you've bought it, delivers something quite different, quite less, than promised? Quickly buy more!!!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@observist @ruddski 

my company provided health insurance policy issued by Cigna has different premiums based on smokers and non-smokers...with a mandate to provide a saliva swab to prove you are a non-smoker.

this is good sound policy. a smoker is proven to be a greater heath risk and smoking is a choice. how anyone could be arguing against this policy is baffling.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ruddski 

there does not appear to be a firing solution for this mess.  

there is no fix.  

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @holmantx

The only way Congress can send checks to Social Security and Medicare recipients like you is to take the earnings of a person currently in the workforce. You want your monthly check and are oblivious about who has to pay and the pending economic calamity that awaits future generations because of the federal government’s $100 trillion-plus unfunded liability, of which Social Security and Medicare are the major parts.

The burden is too great on the generations behind you.  They going to become very angry with you for what you've done.  You and your tribe have been borrowing against these entitlement trust funds over your entire adult life and you spent it on stuff.  Now you refuse to help pay it back.  Further, you want to borrow ever greater sums of money to keep you in the lifestyle you have become accustomed to with a federal credit card.

One day you may have to atone for what you have done to those you now demand pay back all that you have spent.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

This cascading failures of dear leader have you in full-on idiot wind mode, hon. But don't stop.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski Obama has just announced a fix in the law for people who wish to retain their current coverage.  That blows away your charges of broken promises and lies.  Next.

leftocenter
leftocenter

:) yep -- Chevy Chase in a political debate skit...I can't remember the candidates though.

One of my favorite lines ever.  And, would have been a better retort than "oops".

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ruddski 

Take out the tithing to their churches and where do they land on the giving scale?

Romney gives millions to charity - The Mormon Church.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx 

doubt the CBO has much interest in Roger Miller...but they do know about taxation.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@mavdog 

and God din't make little green apples, and it don't rain in Minneapolis in the summer time.

just ask the CBO, right?


mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx 

wow, what a belicose admission that you were wrong.

the US effective corporate tax rate is among the lowest in the world. many businesses pay zero income tax.

a product is sold for the price at which the market determines it is worth. excise taxes are not inside a retail price, are not common, and they certainly are not "hidden".

when you can, try to address these points. or you can talk about your favorite extraneous items, which you did a great job of above, and continue to play the part of chicken little.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@mavdog @holmantx 

Now you are attempting to defy gravity.  

Lay in a $10,000 EPA tax on all new car sales and see who pays that tax.  Using the private sector to collect taxes from Americans is a hideous act.  It does not pass through the legislative process where the citizen can weigh in.  Joe does not know he is paying the business tax IN EVERY CASE.  It is a hidden tax on us all and you know it.

To say the market sets the price when government already controls and pays 50% of the healthcare market even before the ACA is laughable.  All the worse when you know that we are running trillion-plus deficits to float these entitlements.

And to assert corp taxation is low is to call night day.  Aside from the double taxation aspect on foreign profits we are bleeding industry overseas and you wax on about fairness.  

I got your fairness pal.  It is right there in your Obamacare collapse.  

Welcome to the equal sharing of misery.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx

first, the market determines what a consumer pays for a product, not the amount of taxes the retailer/manufacturer may pay. taxes a retailer/manufaturer pays varies by where they are domiciled and how they are structured.

second, the word "disingenuous" applies to anyone who claims the US corporate taxes are "the highest tax rate on the planet". dishonest is another word that applies...

"big profitable U.S. companies paid just 12.6% of their reported worldwide profits in federal income taxes in 2010, a study released today by Congress’ Government Accountability Office shows"

http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2013/07/01/gao-big-companies-paid-a-12-6-federal-income-tax-rate/

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

add in corporate taxation, which the consumer has to bear through the product, which is also the highest tax rate on the planet. once again you are being disengenuous.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@dingo

We are already being cumulatively taxed at or near an all time high according to the CBO

not according to this CBO post...

Federal taxes on middle-income Americans are near historic lows, according to the latest available data. That’s true both for federal income taxes and total federal taxes

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43373

dingo
dingo

@holmantx @strathound @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

 "Seriously, you are profoundly ignorant as to what is rolling toward you."

Or too lazy do actually do the math before spouting off in such a clueless manner. We are already being cumulatively taxed at or near an all time high level according to the CBO. 

Ditweeds like strathound cannot fathom the meaning of 'killing the goose that lays the golden egg'.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski You benefit from "bloated" government by collecting SS and having Medicare coverage.  So do I.  Difference is that you have yours, and the hell with everyone else, while I want everyone included under a healthcare plan.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@strathound @holmantx @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

If we were going to pay for what we've spent by merely increasing taxes, we would have had to start back in 1965.  

Seriously, you are profoundly ignorant as to what is rolling toward you.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Conservatives are provably charitable, they just don't see a bloated government as needing that charity.As for fifty percent calling themselves "progressive", not according to "Progressive Studies Program at the Center for American Progress"' or any other study I've seen."... 34 percent of the country self-identifies as ‘conservative’, 29 percent as ‘moderate’, 15 percent as ‘liberal’, 16 percent as ‘progressive’, and 2 percent as ‘libertarian’

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2009/03/11/36713/halpin-teixeria-progressive-study/

strathound
strathound

@holmantx @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz This is what I love about conservatives ... their unabashed selfishness. Yes, we will have to increase taxes to pay for these benefits. Sorry you don't like it. Try voting. That's what we did to get these changes. I will probably never see a dime of these benefits. I don't qualify for the subsidies. But I am incredibly blessed in my career and in my family life. We aren't addicted to consumption. And so I can afford to give some back to the community to help the less fortunate. That's what makes the 50% of people out there that call themselves Progressives better than you. It's not about money. It's about creating a better country for all Americans. You should try it sometime. Unselfishness feels really good. Being part of a democracy that cares ... even better. Peace.

MaxNoDifference
MaxNoDifference

@ruddski I think that the government prefers its citizens to be uninformed, so that they can inform them to their tastes.  Remember the three basic principles of our Federal Government:

War is Peace

Ignorance is Strength

Freedom is Slavery


ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Barack Obama will REQUIRE you to work. He is going to DEMAND that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack WILL NEVER ALLOW you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

Now that's funny.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

I'm retired hon, none of this laughable idiocy touches me.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski Simple fool.  You better hope your employer doesn't decide to end your coverage.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Lots of promises of fixes, following lots of promises that proved to be lie after lie after lie, followed by the most entertaining incompetence by a genius/born leader/ultimate manager than Americans have ever seen.

But here's Myrna, as I said, to Quickly buy more!!!

Do the math on just the website, hon. The people who had years to build something produced an utter failure. Those same people are NOW going to fix those years of fuckup in a couple of months. Quickly buy more bullshit hon, but you'll have a hard time selling it here.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@MaxNoDifference  Perhaps.  Hopefully, by then those folks will see how bad their plans are, paying next to nothing, and embrace Obamacare.



MaxNoDifference
MaxNoDifference

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @ruddski The "fix" is only for one year and it "allows" insurance companies to renew plans but does not compel them.  Gut feeling is that the insurance companies will continue to not renew the plans

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