Sierra Club Exposes Climate Change Denier and Likely Project Veritas Operative Volunteering at Angeles Chapter

  • Posted on 2 December 2018
  • By Oakland, CA -- Lauren Lantry
The Sierra Club welcomes more than 3.5 million members, volunteers and supporters across 63 chapters and even more groups, whose collective influence advances climate change action, protects the environment, and advocates for healthy communities and numerous issue campaigns across the country.  
The organization recently learned that a political operative likely working for the right-wing smear organization Project Veritas volunteered at the Angeles Chapter Office in an attempt to undermine Sierra Club’s work, indicating that Project Veritas is likely using substantial resources to attempt to undermine organizations that protect the environment and pursue climate action.
Republican activist with ties to Project Veritas infiltrates the Sierra Club
Project Veritas-linked operative allegedly tried to use Sierra Club credentials to access Democratic campaigns.  Read more.
Ernest “Ernie” White, a right-wing commentator, Trump advocate and climate change denier, signed up as a local office volunteer using the apparently fake name “Earl White.”  During this same period, he made false claims to at least one federal campaign about his role with the Sierra Club. Previously, White had been identified as one of the infiltrators at the Sinema for Senate campaign in 2018, separate from his attempted infiltration of the Sierra Club.
“At a time when voters are sending climate champions into office, Trump’s cronies are sinking even further by using dirty tricks to again try to peddle falsehoods and deceptions. Nobody should be fooled,” said Sierra Club Communications Director Maggie Kash.  “Our strength is built on our members, supporters and volunteers, and the deceitful actions of a few infiltrators will not diminish our enthusiasm or derail our mission to openly bring communities together to advocate for climate action and clean energy.”
White was removed from his volunteer role with the Sierra Club as soon as his affiliation with Project Veritas was discovered and the organization is in the process of implementing new security practices to ensure that operatives intent on harming our organization, staff and volunteers are not successful.
Project Veritas’ deceptions have been widely condemned for years, and their repeated attempts during the 2018 midterm elections received widespread backlash. The Kansas City Star editorial board wrote, “Project Veritas undercover videos and lies have no place in Missouri Senate race.” The Columbia Tribune editorial board wrote about Project Veritas, ”Don’t confuse espionage for journalism.” Project Veritas’ known funders include the Trump Foundation and extremist conservative entities. Project Veritas is currently facing a host of litigation regarding its practices, and its two leaders have both faced criminal charges: in 2010, O’Keefe was arrested on felony charges at the offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu for “entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony;” he later pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge. Former CBS journalist Joe Halderman serves as Project Veritas Executive Producer; just prior to joining Project Veritas, Halderman pleaded guilty to felony attempted grand larceny for a planned extortion.
For more information contact Lauren Lantry, 
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