Salt Lake County Republicans are scrambling to line up a new keynote fundraising speaker after the arrest Tuesday of their scheduled first choice, filmmaker James O'Keefe, on charges of attempting to tamper with the phone system of a U.S. senator.
"The allegations and arrest today certainly change our plans," county GOP Chairman Thomas Wright said in a telephone interview with The Tribune. "We'll be announcing a new speaker shortly."
As of Tuesday night, the party's Web site, slcogop.com, still advertised O'Keefe as the guest speaker for the Feb. 4 Lincoln Day Dinner. His topic was to be "his national exposé of ACORN's unethical behavior, his changes in Congress and [how he will] inspire our Party's passion for a grassroots comeback."
The fundraising announcement said donations of $4,000 to $7,500 would entitle contributing groups to have access to elected Republican officials and the guest speaker at a VIP reception. Wright said the Web site and other promotions would be altered soon to reflect a change.
"We're disappointed," he said of O'Keefe's arrest on felony charges. "He doesn't necessarily represent the Republican Party."