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White Supremacists Targeting Tea Party Movement for Infiltration & Possible Takeover

Comment: It really shouldn’t come as a great surprise, but white supremacist elements are targeting the Tea Party movement for infiltration and co- option. With the GOP’s history of involvement with Nazi and fascist elements, they shouldn’t be too far out of the Republican mainstream.

“Tea Party Rejects Racist Label, but Concerns Remain” by Judy L. Thomas; Kansas City Star; 7/15/2010.

Excerpt: Billy Roper is a write-in candidate for governor of Arkansas and an unapologetic white nationalist.

“I don’t want non-whites in my country in any form or fashion or any status,” he says.

Roper also is a tea party member who says he has been gathering support for his cause by attending tea party rallies.

“We go to these tea parties all over the country,” Roper said. “We’re looking for the younger, potentially more radical people.”

Accusations about racism within the tea party have rumbled for a year, but they suddenly exploded this week with a resolution at the NAACP convention in Kansas City saying the party is attracting people and groups hostile to minorities.

The allegations prompted irate denials from tea party supporters, and even critics make it clear that they’re not accusing all tea parties or party members of racism.

Indeed, it’s difficult to answer the racism question because the tea party is split into hundreds of shards, and the issue of racism depends somewhat on perceptions.

Still, it’s clear that some with racist agendas are trying to make inroads into the party.

In several instances, tea party members with racist backgrounds such as Roper have played a role in party events. At the same time, The Kansas City Star has found, white nationalist groups are encouraging members to attend tea parties. One organization based in St. Louis is sponsoring tea parties of its own.

“There definitely is racism within the tea party movement,” said Daryle Lamont Jenkins, an African-American and a spokesman for One People’s Project, a Philadelphia-based group that monitors racism. “I’ve seen it, and it’s something they need to deal with now.”

The tea party absolutely rejects the racist label, for a number of reasons.

Many deny outright that any incidents of racism have occurred. They point out that there are minorities in the tea party and that tea parties are endorsing minority candidates in some races.

Others say racism may be occurring, but only on the fringes of a movement that is so decentralized that 69 tea parties exist in Missouri and 24 more in Kansas. Nonetheless, some in the party have tried to police incidents of racism and turn away white supremacists.

Brendan Steinhauser, director of campaigns for FreedomWorks, which organizes tea parties, acknowledges that some racist groups may be trying to “glom” onto the movement. But “where we see that behavior, we’re going to call them out,” he said.

He noted that one tea party in Houston helped expose a tea party leader who allegedly made a racist poster.
“Racism is something we find morally repugnant,” Steinhauser said. “It damages the movement, and it’s just not good for our image or our message.”

At the same time, Steinhauser downplays actual racist incidents, saying he hasn’t seen any himself.
“Are there infiltrators coming in to try to make it look racist or extremist? Yes,” he said. “Are there people that may have those kinds of views that are showing up at our events trying to be a part of the movement? Sure. But if you talk to 99.9 percent of these people, that’s not what they believe.”

But for Leonard Zeskind, who has written a history of the white nationalist movement, the problem is obvious.
“There are hard-core racists brewing inside the tea party movement,” said Zeskind, author of “Blood and Politics” and a Kansas City resident. “They see tea parties not only as recruitment opportunities, but as vehicles to cross over into mainstream American politics.”

Is it racism?

For many tea partiers, racism is in the eye of the beholder.

Take Ron Wight, who stood with dozens of tea party activists at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain in April, complaining about the Obama administration, its socialist agenda and being called a racist.

Those like him who complain about President Barack Obama are accused of racism, lamented the semi-retired music teacher from Lee’s Summit.

Then he added: “If I was a black man, I’d get down on my knees and thank God for slavery. Otherwise, I could be dying of AIDS now in Africa.”

Wight doesn’t consider that comment to be racist.

“I wish slavery had never happened,” he said. “But there are some black people alive today who have never suffered one day what the people who were black went through in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. Has somebody said something stupid or done something stupid? Yes, there have been incidents.

“But with everything that has been done in this country legally and socially for the black man, it’s almost like they’ve been given a great leg up.”

Signs at tea party events that have drawn criticism also have defenders.

One poster says: “What’s the difference between the Cleveland Zoo and the White House? The zoo has an African lion and the White House has a lyin’ African!”

Another depicts Obama as a tribal witch doctor, wearing a headdress and a bone through his nose, with the words “Obamacare: Coming soon to a clinic near you.”

While some tea party events turn away signs that might be offensive, it’s not always clear that they depict racism, party members say.

Another concern — even within the tea party — is the actions of some who are in leadership positions.

A photo circulating on the web shows Dale Robertson, founder and president of Houston-based TeaParty.org — also called the 1776 Tea Party — at a 2009 rally carrying a sign that said: “Congress = Slave Owner, Taxpayer = Niggar.”

In an interview, Robertson denied his sign was racist, saying someone altered the picture on the web.
“The original sign said ‘slave,’ and somebody changed it to the N-word,” he said. But then he defended the use of the word.

“I looked the word up in Webster, and it says it means politically unrepresented,” he said.

Robertson also sent a fundraising e-mail that contained a picture depicting Obama as what some describe as a stereotypical black pimp with a thin mustache and wearing a zebra-striped fedora trimmed in white fur with a black feather on top.

Robertson said allegations of racism in the tea party are coming from “people who have an agenda, and all they want to do is slander this movement.”

But some tea party groups have denounced Robertson.

“We do not choose to associate with people that use his type of disgusting language,” the Houston Tea Party Society said in a statement issued on its website.

The Tea Party Patriots also shunned Robertson.

“We stand firmly against any expression of racism and the kind of language and opinion expressed in his (N-word) sign,” the group said.

The Council of Conservative Citizens, a St. Louis-based group that promotes the preservation of the white race, has sponsored its own tea parties in some Southern states.

The council’s website has referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity” and said non-white immigration would turn the country into a “slimy brown mass of glop.”

Gordon Baum, the group’s founder, told The Star that the council encourages members to participate in tea parties.

He described the tea party rallies as “mainly a white thing, because there’s not a whole lot of blacks that participate, and the ones that do get to be speakers.”

That leads some groups into a bizarre hypersensitivity, he said.

“They have black speakers, and sometimes when they can’t get one lined up, they just get some poor devil that’s on their side, black guy, in the audience and drag him up on stage,” he said.

Some other white supremacy groups also see tea parties as recruiting grounds.

Roper, a former organizer for the neo-Nazi National Alliance and now chairman of White Revolution, said he has been attending tea party rallies to recruit members and garner support for his 2010 write-in campaign for Arkansas governor.

Roper, a member of the ResistNet.com tea party, said in an interview that he sees tea parties as a base of support.

Have tea parties been receptive?

“It varies,” he said. “If I go to some of the larger tea parties, I’ll find a few dozen people at least who are seeing the world through the same lenses I have.”

Roper said he was kicked out of one tea party rally by a man who said racists weren’t welcome.
“I told him I’m not a white supremacist,” Roper said. “I’m a separatist.”

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has posted a video on his website addressing tea party supporters. Duke says in the video that the majority of tea party activists “oppose affirmative action and diversity, which are nothing more than programs of racist discrimination against white people.”

Tea party on racism

Last fall, the Council of Conservative Citizens put fliers promoting the group on cars at a tea party event in Virginia. In response, leaders of the Roanoke Tea Party publicly disavowed the council.

In April, an Alabama attorney who was scheduled to speak at a tea party rally in Wausau, Wis., was asked to withdraw after it was revealed that he had a history of speaking at white supremacist events.

Those are among several examples of tea parties making it clear they don’t support racist views.

At the same time, though, supporters want to make sure racist incidents aren’t blown out of proportion.
“We’ve got to recognize that there are freaks at both ends and they will attempt to attach themselves to legitimate movements,” said Woody Cozad, a former chairman of the Missouri Republican Party who has spoken at tea party events.

“But that does not say anything about the movement unless the movement endorses or embraces them, which the tea party has not done that I know of.”

Indeed, some tea partiers say they haven’t seen racism at all.

Lloyd Marcus, a black conservative and musician who has both spoken and entertained at tea party rallies, said he has been to 200 events and never witnessed any racist incidents.

“It’s women, it’s families, it’s grandparents, it’s kids,” Marcus said. “The decent folks that I meet at the tea parties, to be called a racist is devastating to them.”

Ward Connerly, a conservative African-American who has spoken at numerous tea party events, said he has no qualms about the tea party movement.

“I’ve probably spoken at over 20 tea party events in the last three months, and I’m convinced that these folks are ordinary people who are frustrated with government,” he said.

Connerly acknowledged that minorities are scarce at tea party events he’s attended, but he attributed it to “the attitude that minorities often have about the political process.”

Sometimes language differences hold back blacks and Latinos, he said, while those of Asian descent don’t participate in political events unless it relates to what they see as their own identity.

Many also are complaining about racism on the other side. They accuse the NAACP of failing to denounce racist incidents by African-Americans, such as voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party during the 2008 elections.

“There’s no room for that kind of vitriolic language in a civilized democratic society,” NAACP spokesman Chris Fleming said Thursday about the voter incidents.

Watchdog fears

Those who monitor hate groups are worried about racism in the tea party.

“There are probably close to a couple thousand of these local tea party chapters now,” said Devin Burghart, vice president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which is finalizing a special report on tea parties.

“A number of these groups have been either thoroughly infiltrated by more hard-core folks, or at least those more hard-core folks are allowed to swim in that same ocean.”

As examples, Burghart cited Robertson, as well as some speakers promoted by tea parties, such as Red Beckman, an anti-Semite who was once evicted from his land by the Internal Revenue Service for refusing to pay taxes.

The racism isn’t coming only from the fringe, Burghart said.

“This is not just a nut showing up in the audience with a crazy sign,” Burghart said. “It’s someone who they vetted and decided to give a platform to.”

Zeskind said racist tendencies may be broader within the party than even critics realize. . . .

Discussion

19 comments for “White Supremacists Targeting Tea Party Movement for Infiltration & Possible Takeover”

  1. Uh oh, it looks like someone almost everyone didn’t get the “don’t act like a giant racist” memo at this year’s CPAC:

    TPM
    CPAC Event On Racial Tolerance Turns To Chaos As ‘Disenfranchised’ Whites Arrive
    Benjy Sarlin March 15, 2013, 5:11 PM

    A CPAC session sponsored by Tea Party Patriots and billed as a primer on teaching activists how to court black voters devolved into a shouting match as some attendees demanded justice for white voters and others shouted down a black woman who reacted in horror.

    The session, entitled “Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” was led by K. Carl Smith, a black conservative who mostly urged attendees to deflect racism charges by calling themselves “Frederick Douglass Republicans.”

    Disruptions began when he began accusing Democrats of still being the party of the Confederacy — a common talking point on the right.

    “I don’t care how much the KKK improved,” he said. “I’m not going to join the KKK. The Democratic Party founded the KKK.”

    Lines like that drew shouts of praise from some attendees and murmurs of disapproval from one non-conservative black attendee, Kim Brown, a radio host and producer with Voice of Russia, a broadcasting service of the Russian government.

    But then questions and answers began. And things went off the rails.

    Scott Terry of North Carolina, accompanied by a Confederate-flag-clad attendee, Matthew Heimbach, rose to say he took offense to the event’s take on slavery. (Heimbach founded the White Students Union at Towson University and is described as a “white nationalist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

    “It seems to be that you’re reaching out to voters at the expense of young white Southern males,” Terry said, adding he “came to love my people and culture” who were “being systematically disenfranchised.”

    Smith responded that Douglass forgave his slavemaster.

    “For giving him food? And shelter?” Terry said.

    At this point the event devolved into a mess of shouting. Organizers calmed things down by asking everyone to “take the debate outside after the presentation.”

    Chad Chapman, 21, one of the few black attendees, said overall he enjoyed the event — except “there were lots of interruptions, mainly because of the woman.”

    I asked whether he was concerned about the question from Terry and Heimbach.

    “No they were just telling the truth,” he said. You mean he agrees blacks are systematically disenfranchising whites, I asked?

    “I listen to anybody’s point of view, it doesn’t really matter,” he said.

    Seconds after the event ended, a media scrum formed around Terry. A woman wearing a Tea Party Patriots CPAC credential who had shouted down Brown earlier urged him not to give his name to the press.

    She wouldn’t give her name either, but I asked her what she thought.

    “Look, you know there’s no doubt the white males are getting really beat up right now, it’s unfair,” she said. “I agree with that. My husband’s one of them. But I don’t think there’s a clear understanding about what really is going on. He needs to read Frederick Douglass and I think that question should be asked to everyone in this room who is debating.”

    Oddly enough, the unnamed woman ended up talking to Brown afterwards and it actually approached something of a constructive dialogue, even if she kicked it out by complaining about an “entitlement mentality” among liberal African Americans. She explained that despite appearing outwardly white, she was one quarter Korean and her mother’s side of the family had been called “Japs” in the 1950s. She added she had gotten heat from “white men” who mocked her for going to a university, Berkley, over its large Asian population without knowing she was Asian herself.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 15, 2013, 2:30 pm
  2. One of the strangest aspects of American democracy is how little interest there generally is in the primaries given how much more influential a vote in a primary can be compared to a vote in the general election given the relatively low voter turnout for primaries and the de facto one-party rule for so many state and local elections. Plus, when you vote in the primary, you get to vote against all the candidates like this:

    Norwich Bulletin
    August 07. 2014 5:39PM
    Probate candidate’s husband admits to history with white supremacy movement

    By John Penney
    jpenney@norwichbulletin.com (860) 857-6965

    The husband of a Plainfield attorney running for a probate judge seat was a member of a prominent neo-Nazi group for several years, according to watchdog groups, and currently maintains a pro-white online blog.

    Rob Freeman is the husband of attorney Anna Zubkova, of Plainfield, who is a candidate in the Democratic primary for probate judge. The election is Tuesday.

    Freeman’s blog, called “Mindweapons of Ragnarok,” has the tagline of “Once Aryan Skynet is self aware, it doesn’t matter who threw the switch.”

    The Ragnarok website, which includes references to mythological and science fiction-based end-of world scenarios, includes entries promoting white pride. The latest entry is a reaction to his being “outed.”

    “So I’m ‘prominent’ and a ‘neo-Nazi?’ the entry states. “I don’t know that I’m prominent, and the neo-Nazis are the ones genociding my wife’s people in Eastern Ukraine, funded by the USA government to the tune of 5 billion dollars.”

    In another entry, Freeman speaks of white guilt.

    “White children are taught to feel guilty for being white,” it states. “White guilt makes white kids timid and ashamed of being white, and emboldens other races to attack them unprovoked.”

    When asked about his specific views on race, Freeman dissembled at times.

    “There are different groups,” he said. “Don’t you think East Africans are the best marathon runners? Certain groups excel in areas others don’t. I believe in human bio-diversity.”

    Freeman admitted being part of the extreme right wing movement years ago, “until it died out.”

    “I think every group of people have legitimate conflicts of interest and I am for having an open conversation about those conflicts, not through violence. I don’t wish ill of anyone.”

    Zubkova will compete for the 27th Probate District judgeship, which covers Killingly, Plainfield, Canterbury and Sterling, against fellow Democrat Andrea Truppa in Tuesday’s primary election.

    Zubkova and Freeman have been married for 17 years and have one daughter, according to an interview conducted by a Bulletin reporter. In a phone interview on Thursday, Zubkova said she does not subscribe to her husband’s views and her fitness for the bench should not be tarred by his opinions.

    “He did not have those views when we married, but acquired them after,” she said. “What am I supposed to do? Divorce him? It’s not unusual for husbands and wives to have different views. As a judge, I can assure you I would not discriminate against anyone, even based on their beliefs. In my career, I’ve represented clients from many different backgrounds and races, all to the best of my knowledge and ability.”

    Zubkova garnered six of the Democratic endorsing committee’s 16 votes during its convention and was endorsed by the Plainfield Democratic Town Committee.

    Chairman William Holmes said the committee was unaware of Freeman’s views at the time of Zubkova’s endorsement.”If we had, there obviously would have been a conversation before we proceeded,” he said. “I would have proposed holding back any endorsement until we could have researched the matter.”

    Truppa declined to comment on the matter, except to say she was “very shocked.”

    Plainfield First Selectman Paul Sweet, who endorsed Zubkova, said learning about Freeman’s history was like “getting kicked in the stomach.”

    “I feel (Zubkova) deceived us by omission and I feel misled,” he said. “I’m pulling my support and telling my friends and family to do the same. The signs on my lawn are coming up. There’s a lot of good people who made a decision to support her without having all the information they needed.”

    Daryle Jenkins, founder of the One People’s Project, which keeps tabs on neo-Nazi groups, said his group became aware of Freeman about 10 years ago.

    “He was one of 300 neo-Nazis attending a rally in Pennsylvania and, before that, was at some anti-hate forums in Massachusetts,” he said. “So we looked him up and created a bio of him.”

    Jenkins said his group has not turned up any information that links Zubkova to her husband’s activities. He said Freeman was a member of the National Alliance, which the Southern Poverty Law Center said “was for decades the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi formation in America.”

    “He went off the radar for a while before he popped up again with his website,” Jenkins said. “The best thing about (Freeman) is he’s boastful.”

    In writing about his voting for President Barack Obama, Freeman said:

    “Worse is better! All those white people who aren’t on our side, need to suffer! They need to lose their jobs to Mexicans, they need to get knockout games, they need to not get into college because they are white, they need to be driven to desperation!”

    A picture under one his entries depicts the grinning caricature of a black man holding a large knife with the caption: “Around blacks … never relax.”

    Freeman said the picture was in reference to the prevalence of the “knock-out game,” in which assailants attempt to render a victim unconscious with a sudden blow to the head.

    According to the Boston Globe, Freeman was arrested on a felony cruelty to animal charge along with two other men in 2007. The Herald reported two of the men, including Freeman, had ties to white supremacy groups and had tortured a rabbit. The men were cleared after stating they killed the rabbit for food.

    Of course, voters that skip the primaries and only vote in the general election might still get a chance to vote against these kinds of candidates.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 9, 2014, 5:25 pm
  3. Shocker:

    TPM Livewire
    Report: GOP Whip Spoke At White Nationalist Meeting In 2002

    By Dylan Scott
    Published December 29, 2014, 4:01 PM EST

    House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) spoke at a 2002 meeting hosted by a white nationalist group, the Washington Post reported Monday.

    The Post reported that Scalise “confirmed through an adviser that he once appeared at a convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization.”

    Louisiana blogger Lamar White first reported over the weekend about Scalise’s alleged appearance in May 2002 in Metiarie, La. EURO, as it is know, is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist group and “a paper tiger” to sell books and otherwise publicize the work of former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana representative David Duke.

    White’s report was based primarily on contemporaneous forum posts on Stormfront, a white supremacist website. Scalise was a state legislator at the time.

    Two top-shelf congressional reporters, the Washington Post’s Robert Costa and Politico’s Jake Sherman, followed up with Scalise’s office about the report.

    They got slightly different responses, though Costa ultimately reported that Scalise had confirmed the appearance.

    Yep, a total shocker.

    You gotta wonder what Scalise and the other speakers might have talked about at the event.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 29, 2014, 4:25 pm
  4. The self-flagellation of the GOP’s House Whip is going to be interesting…

    Roll Call
    What Scalise and Vitter Told Roll Call About David Duke in 1999
    By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 6:55 p.m. on Dec. 29

    Back in 1999, Roll Call interviewed white supremacist leader David Duke about the possibility he would seek the House seat vacated by the resignation of Republican Rep. Bob Livingston. As part of that report, reporter John Mercurio also talked to up-and-coming Louisiana politicians, current Sen. David Vitter and current House Majority Whip Steve Scalise:

    “I honestly think his 15 minutes of fame have come and gone,” said state Rep. David Vitter (R), a wealthy Metairie attorney who holds Duke’s old seat in the state House and is “seriously considering” a Congressional bid. “When he’s competed in a field with real conservatives, real Republicans, Duke has not done well at all.”

    Another potential candidate, state Rep. Steve Scalise (R), said he embraces many of the same “conservative” views as Duke, but is far more viable.

    “The novelty of David Duke has worn off,” said Scalise. “The voters in this district are smart enough to realize that they need to get behind someone who not only believes in the issues they care about, but also can get elected. Duke has proven that he can’t get elected, and that’s the first and most important thing.”

    In light of Monday’s news reports about the likelihood that Scalise addressed Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization back in 2002, here is the full report from the Jan. 7, 1999, edition of Roll Call:

    One of the most unlikely beneficiaries of the Monica Lewinsky scandal could be former Ku Klux Klan leader and 1990 Senate candidate David Duke (R).

    But the idea that Duke could succeed exiting Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) in a House special election this year has sent Louisiana Republicans – who hope to hinder Duke by scheduling that vote with the state’s gubernatorial and legislative elections in October – into action.

    Party leaders are urging Gov. Mike Foster (R) to schedule the special election on Oct. 23 with a Nov. 20 runoff – the same dates other major state races are slated to be held. Doing so would dramatically increase turnout for the special, and GOP campaign strategists say a high turnout would hurt Duke, whose support is narrow but highly motivated to go to the polls.

    Duke – a former KKK grand wizard and author of white supremacist tracts who has already started focusing this campaign on opposition to affirmative action and immigration – is the only major candidate to announce his intention to run for the seat Livingston plans to vacate sometime this summer.

    Livingston was poised to succeed former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), but he announced his plans to resign

    shortly before the House’s Dec. 19, 1998, impeachment vote. Days earlier, Livingston had acknowledged several extramarital affairs during his tenure in the House.

    GOP leaders in Louisiana and on Capitol Hill fear Duke could undermine their efforts to attract moderate voters and minorities to the party. He has run competitively in two statewide races this decade.

    “I’m outside the mainstream of the Beltway politicians, but I’m well inside the mainstream of rank-and-file Republicans in this country and certainly in this district,” Duke said in an interview Tuesday. “The insiders are in a tizzy because they know I have a good shot.”

    Duke said his campaign will succeed regardless of how party leaders tinker with the schedule.

    “It probably helps me to run at the same time as the governor because the opposition, the good ol’ boy network, will be so wrapped up in their own races that they won’t have the time to fight me,” he said.

    That logic is not lost on Foster, who has not signed onto any election schedule yet.

    Duke, a former state Representative, won 44 percent of the vote in his 1990 Senate challenge to then-Sen. Bennett Johnston (D) and took 39 percent in his 1991 gubernatorial race against Gov. Edwin Edwards (D), but he carried Livingston’s solidly GOP 1st district in suburban New Orleans on both occasions.

    Eighty-five percent of the 1st district’s population is white; only 10 percent is black. The district is the most Republican and the most conservative in the state.

    In the 1991 gubernatorial election, Duke took about 60 percent in the four parishes that comprise the 1st district, according to the state Department of Elections.

    In the 1990 Senate race, he lost to Johnston, 54 to 44 percent, but Duke won about 54 percent in the 1st district’s parishes.

    Under Louisiana’s unique election law, all House candidates run on one ballot. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent, the top two vote- getters compete in a runoff, regardless of party affiliation.

    “By fall, you’ll see a rush by elected officials uniting behind a strong candidate to make sure they don’t have to deal with someone who wouldn’t be acceptable to Louisiana voters,” said Becky Miller, executive director of the state GOP. “Duke has some Republican principles, but for the most part he’s outside the box.”

    Other potential Republican candidates said Duke’s political viability has waned in recent years.

    “I honestly think his 15 minutes of fame have come and gone,” said state Rep. David Vitter (R), a wealthy Metairie attorney who holds Duke’s old seat in the state House and is “seriously considering” a Congressional bid. “When he’s competed in a field with real conservatives, real Republicans, Duke has not done well at all.”

    Another potential candidate, state Rep. Steve Scalise (R), said he embraces many of the same “conservative” views as Duke, but is far more viable.

    “The novelty of David Duke has worn off,” said Scalise. “The voters in this district are smart enough to realize that they need to get behind someone who not only believes in the issues they care about, but also can get elected. Duke has proven that he can’t get elected, and that’s the first and most important thing.”

    Duke said he’ll focus his campaign on promises to “outlaw affirmative action programs that discriminate against European Americans, shut down illegal immigration and take a time out on legal immigration.” He said he would also actively oppose efforts by Puerto Rico to acquire statehood.

    Duke, the founder and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, has provoked passionate reactions from every corner of the political spectrum since he vaulted onto the national scene in the late 1980s.

    He made headlines when he acknowledged sympathizing with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, but won votes by talking to constituents about issues more relevant to their daily lives, like taxes, welfare reform and racial quotas.

    A state legislator for only 18 months when he ran to challenge Johnston, Duke quickly became a household name in Louisiana. In September 1997, he was elected chairman of the St. Tammany Republican Parish Executive Committee – the most Republican parish in the 1st district.

    In the 1990 Senate race, Duke spent $2.6 million, Johnston $5.4 million.

    At a time when politicians are increasingly open to questions about their personal lives, Duke, who has been divorced for 20 years, is also seeking to assure Republican voters that he would not suffer the same fate as Livingston.

    “I’m the only candidate who doesn’t have to worry about skeletons in my closet. I don’t have a closet anymore,” he said. “No one has been more investigated politically in this state. I’m scandal-proof.”

    “The novelty of David Duke has worn off,” said Scalise. “The voters in this district are smart enough to realize that they need to get behind someone who not only believes in the issues they care about, but also can get elected. Duke has proven that he can’t get elected, and that’s the first and most important thing.”

    So the GOP’s House Whip is like an electable David Duke, who was just a novelty. Nothing novel about that!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 29, 2014, 5:11 pm
  5. “If Scalise is going to be crucified — if Republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the woods, then a lot of them better be looking over their shoulders,” Duke told Fusion:

    TPM Livewire
    David Duke: I’ve Met With Steve Scalise Several Times, So What?

    By Ahiza Garcia
    Published December 30, 2014, 4:32 PM EST

    Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said in an interview with Fusion on Monday that not only did House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) speak at a 2002 meeting of a group he led, but that the two of them also met on several occasions.

    Duke’s comments came as Scalise is dealing with the fallout of revelations that he spoke to the white nationalist group and that, in 1999, he reportedly said he agreed with Duke on “conservative” issues but questioned the ex-KKK leader’s electability to Congress.

    “Why is Scalise being singled out? I don’t know,” Duke told Fusion about the 2002 meeting. “He was just going there, obviously, to tell voters about some of his initiatives on some tax matters. That’s what it’s all about. And I think it’s insane, this whole process.”

    Duke’s comments came with a warning to Republicans who might be quick to distance themselves from Scalise.

    “If Scalise is going to be crucified — if Republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the woods, then a lot of them better be looking over their shoulders,” Duke told Fusion. He added that he wasn’t afraid to release a list of names of politicians he has connections to.

    Duke also disputed accusations that he was a “racist” or “white supremacist,” saying the political scorn being directed at him was “all bullshit.”

    Both Scalise and Duke served in Louisiana’s House of Representatives. Duke held office from 1989-1992, with multiple unsuccessful bids in the late 90s, and Scalise served from 1996-2008.

    Uh oh.

    Also, uh oh:

    New York Times
    Boehner Stands By Scalise in Furor Over Racist Group

    By JACKIE CALMES and JONATHAN MARTINDEC. 30, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner on Tuesday expressed “full confidence” in Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 3 Republican leader in the House, as he sought to quell a racially charged controversy shaking the party after Mr. Scalise confirmed that he had addressed a white supremacist group a dozen years ago.

    Mr. Boehner’s statement of support was his first public comment since the news broke on Monday night, a period filled with calls from some Republican and conservative commentators, as well as Democrats, for Republican leaders to shove Mr. Scalise from the leadership post. The flap roiled Republicans just as they were poised for a celebratory takeover of Congress when the new session opens next week.

    “More than a decade ago, Representative Scalise made an error in judgment, and he was right to acknowledge it was wrong and inappropriate,” Mr. Boehner said. “Like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I know Steve to be a man of high integrity and good character. He has my full confidence as our Whip, and he will continue to do great and important work for all Americans.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 30, 2014, 2:40 pm
  6. With the GOP now facing another “we’re not the the bigot party!” moment, it’s worth asking “What would Rand Do?

    The answer: Mostly just deny everything. And the band plays on:

    The New York Times
    Rand Paul’s Mixed Inheritance

    By SAM TANENHAUS and JIM RUTENBERGJAN. 25, 2014

    The libertarian faithful — antitax activists and war protesters, John Birch Society members and a smattering of “truthers” who suspect the government’s hand in the 2001 terrorist attacks — gathered last September, eager to see the rising star of their movement.

    With top billing on the opening night of the Liberty Political Action Conference, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told the audience at a Marriott in Virginia that a viable Republican Party must reach out to young people and minorities.

    But not long after the applause died down, Mr. Paul was out the door. He skipped an address by his father, former Representative Ron Paul, as well as closing remarks by his own former Senate aide, an ex-radio host who had once celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and extolled white pride.

    The senator was off to an exclusive resort on Mackinac Island, Mich., where he again talked about the future of the party. But this time he was in the company of Karl Rove and other power brokers, and his audience was of Republican stalwarts who were sizing up possible presidential candidates.

    As Rand Paul test-markets a presidential candidacy and tries to broaden his appeal, he is also trying to take libertarianism, an ideology long on the fringes of American politics, into the mainstream. Midway through his freshman term, he has become a prominent voice in Washington’s biggest debates — on government surveillance, spending and Middle East policy.

    In the months since he commanded national attention and bipartisan praise for his 13-hour filibuster against the Obama administration’s drone strike program, Mr. Paul has impressed Republican leaders with his staying power, in part because of the stumbles of potential rivals and despite some of his own.

    “Senator Paul is a credible national candidate,” said Mitt Romney, who ran for president as the consummate insider in 2012. “He has tapped into the growing sentiment that government has become too large and too intrusive.” In an email, Mr. Romney added that the votes and dollars Mr. Paul would attract from his father’s supporters could help make him “a serious contender for the Republican nomination.”

    But if Mr. Paul reaps the benefits of his father’s name and history, he also must contend with the burdens of that patrimony. And as he has become a politician in his own right and now tours the circuit of early primary states, Mr. Paul has been calibrating how fully he embraces some libertarian precepts.

    “I want to be judged by who I am, not by a relationship,” Mr. Paul, a self-described libertarian Republican, said in an interview last week. “I have wanted to develop my own way, and my own, I guess, connections to other intellectual movements myself when I came to Washington.”

    Coming of age in America’s first family of libertarianism — he calls his father, a three-time presidential aspirant, “my hero” — Rand Paul was steeped in a narrow, rightward strain of the ideology, according to interviews, documents, and a review of speeches, articles and books.

    Some of its adherents have formulated provocative theories on race, class and American history, and routinely voice beliefs that go far beyond the antiwar, anti-big-government, pro-civil-liberties message of the broader movement that has attracted legions of college students, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and Tea Party activists.

    That worldview, often called “paleolibertarianism,” emerges from the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Alabama, started with money raised by the senior Mr. Paul. It is named for the Austrian émigré who became an intellectual godfather of modern libertarian economic thinking, devoted to an unrestricted free market.

    Some scholars affiliated with the Mises Institute have combined dark biblical prophecy with apocalyptic warnings that the nation is plunging toward economic collapse and cultural ruin. Others have championed the Confederacy. One economist, while faulting slavery because it was involuntary, suggested in an interview that the daily life of the enslaved was “not so bad — you pick cotton and sing songs.”

    Mr. Paul says he abhors racism, has never visited the institute and should not have to answer for the more extreme views of all of those in the libertarian orbit.

    “If you were to say to someone, ‘Well, you’re a conservative Republican or you are a Christian conservative Republican, does that mean that you think when the earthquake happened in Haiti that was God’s punishment for homosexuality?’ Well, no,” he said in an earlier interview. “It loses its sense of proportion if you have to go through and defend every single person about whom someone says is associated with you.”

    Still, his 2011 book, “The Tea Party Goes to Washington,” praises some institute scholars, recommending their work and the institute website.

    And he has sometimes touched on themes far from the mainstream. He has cautioned in the past of a plan to create a North American Union with a single currency for the United States, Mexico and Canada, and a stealth United Nations campaign to confiscate civilian handguns. He has repeatedly referred to the “tyranny” of the federal government.

    Since becoming a national figure, Mr. Paul has generally stayed on safer ground. His denunciations of government intrusion on Americans’ privacy have been joined by lawmakers in both parties and have resonated with the public — though no other member of Congress as yet has joined him in his planned class-action suit against the National Security Agency.

    As a rookie senator, Mr. Paul initially was perceived as an irritant, his goal not to legislate but to disrupt.

    He proposed cutting the federal budget by five times as much as party leaders. He nearly caused the Patriot Act to expire by aggressively seeking changes before its reauthorization. And he tussled over detention policy with Senator John McCain of Arizona, who would later label Mr. Paul and like-minded Republicans, including Senator Cruz, “wacko birds.”

    But Mr. Paul had already begun a subtle makeover. His second book, “Government Bullies,” published in 2012, does not mention the Mises Institute or its affiliated scholars. (The book proved embarrassing last fall when journalists discovered that it included plagiarized material, which Mr. Paul attributed to sloppiness.) He emphasized his support for Israel with a visit there last year and told a black audience that he had “never wavered” in support for the Civil Rights Act.

    These shifts have alarmed some followers, as has Mr. Paul’s increasingly cordial relationship with Senator McConnell, whom he once depicted as the embodiment of the Republican establishment.

    “Some scholars affiliated with the Mises Institute have combined dark biblical prophecy with apocalyptic warnings that the nation is plunging toward economic collapse and cultural ruin.” Dark biblical prophecies from Mises Institute affiliates. LOL (check out pages 418-419)

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 30, 2014, 5:10 pm
  7. It was all so much easier when the GOP could pretend it doesn’t have a history of courting the white supremacist vote. Now it’s just awkward to see the GOP having to pretending that it totally courted that vote by accident. Awkward and painful. For everyone:

    The Daily Beast
    Racists Melt Down Over Steve Scalise
    White supremacists online whine that the Republican leader addressing one of their groups is no different than talking to the NAACP.

    12.30.14

    The scandal swirling around Steve Scalise’s address to white supremacists has white supremacists crying foul.

    Steve Scalise, newly elected as Republican majority whip, admitted to address the European-American Unity and Rights Organization conference in 2002 when he was a Louisiana lawmaker. (EURO was founded by David Duke, the ex-Klansman who ran for Louisiana governor in 1991.) Scalise says he didn’t know they were a white supremacist group and equated addressing them with “liberal” groups like the League of Women voters.

    Stormfront.org, the leading white-hate site on the Internet, agrees with Scalise’s defense. Stormfront founder and former KKK leader Don Black wrote he can’t stand the “absolute hypocrisy of the anti-White establishment.”

    The Stormfront folks say the forum isn’t about white Christian supremacy, but rights for whites, despite posting how African Americans have “IQs in the range of 80-85” and claiming the “jewsmedia” actively “ignores black on white crime.”

    “We are not white supremacist,” insists Popper 504. “We want to live with our own, farthest away from the blacks and jews.”

    The Stormfront crowd offers its own helpful political advice, not only for Scalise but also for the entire GOP.

    “If Republicans truly wanted to take this country back, they would make use of the majority of people in this country — Whites — and mobilize,” posts a user named Cyan Sky. “The Dems play identity politics with non-whites. The only way the Republicans will win is if they do the same with Whites.”

    “If Republicans truly wanted to take this country back, they would make use of the majority of people in this country — Whites — and mobilize…The Dems play identity politics with non-whites. The only way the Republicans will win is if they do the same with Whites.” Bwah! Ha! Ha! That was a good one. The part of Scalise comparing the white supremacists to the League of Women voters was pretty hilarious too.

    And the hits keep coming:

    TPM DC
    Why House Republicans Aren’t Dumping Scalise Despite White Supremacist Flap
    By Sahil Kapur
    Published December 31, 2014, 2:22 PM EST

    Republicans have no intention of dumping House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) from his powerful leadership position despite the congressman’s admission that he spoke to a gathering of white nationalists in 2002.

    On Tuesday, the day after the issue erupted, Scalise said his decision was “a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold.” Within an hour, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) blasted out statements supporting their recently-installed No. 3.

    Scalise was elected to leadership in July for two key reasons. First, many Republicans wanted a southerner in the ranks — before him, every leader hailed from a state won twice by President Barack Obama. Second, after former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary defeat in June, Republican leaders wanted an effective liaison to their restive right flank.

    On both counts, the Scalise experiment has been a success, GOP sources said. Conservative members feel they have more input in the legislative process under Scalise, who often voted with the party’s right wing. Boehner has watched Scalise whip up the votes to pass two key pieces of legislation despite long odds: the August messaging bill to boost border security funding, and the December bill to fund most of the government through the end of the fiscal year. Vote counting was not a strong suit for the previous GOP leadership team. Other problems with the ultraconservative wing could return or get worse if they forced Scalise out.

    House Republicans across the ideological spectrum are standing by Scalise, signaling a lack of an appetite to ditch him — at least, that is, unless new revelations make the situation even worse and force them to reconsider.

    “Based on what we know so far, he should stay on,” Rep. Peter King (R-NY), a Boehner ally who is often at odds with the right flank, said Wednesday on MSNBC. “He has proven himself to be a hardworking member of Congress, reaches out, works with everyone. There’s always rumors about this person, that person in Congress. I’ve never heard anything bad about Steve Scalise until the story broke the other day and he’s giving us his explanation. I believe we owe him the benefit of the doubt on this unless more comes out.”

    Above all, Boehner and his fellow Republicans want the story to blow over. It’s not the start they wanted to the 114th Congress, and they have nothing to gain by discussing it. Criticizing Scalise could offend the GOP base, and any praise has to be cautious given the nature of the controversy.

    The problem is unlikely to hurt Scalise back at home. His southern Louisiana district is the most conservative district in the state, and the 10th most Republican district in the entire House of Representatives, leaning GOP by a whopping 26 points, according to the Cook Political Report’s partisan voter index.

    “Above all, Boehner and his fellow Republicans want the story to blow over. It’s not the start they wanted to the 114th Congress, and they have nothing to gain by discussing it. Criticizing Scalise could offend the GOP base, and any praise has to be cautious given the nature of the controversy.”

    That does seem to summarize the situation well. At least the old situation. It turns out there’s a new situation:
    Scalise didn’t go to the EURO conference at all. He merely attended a different neighborhood association meeting that happened to be at the same hotel on the same day and that happened to be organized by the same David Duke associate, Kenny Knight, that booked the room for the EURO conference. Also, Kenny Knight had nothing else to do with the EURO conference. He just booked the room as a favor for David Duke while Duke was away in Russia. Yep, that’s totally what happened:

    Slate
    White Noise
    Did House Majority Whip Steve Scalise admit to speaking at a white supremacist event he never attended?
    By Betsy Woodruff
    Dec. 30 2014 6:49 PM

    Rep. Steve Scalise may have just ineptly admitted to speaking at a white supremacist event that eyewitnesses say he never attended. Two event attendees say it’s factually inaccurate to characterize Scalise’s comments as directed at the supremacist gathering—even though Scalise’s own office has said the House majority whip spoke to the group 12 years ago.

    Kenny Knight is a longtime associate of David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who ran for governor of Louisiana in 1991. He’s been a key player in news that broke on Sunday that indicated Scalise addressed the white supremacist convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization when he was a Louisiana state representative in May 2002.

    Knight said on Tuesday that it’s “totally incorrect” to say Scalise spoke at that convention.

    “He spoke early in the day to a contingent of people, prior to the conference kicking off,” Knight said. “He was not there as a guest speaker at the conference.”

    According to Knight, he and Scalise were neighbors in 2002, living in the Old Jefferson neighborhood outside New Orleans. They were friendly and lived within a few blocks of each other. Knight recalls that Scalise would beep the horn and wave at him if he drove by in his car.

    “Now and then I’d see him at a Republican function, we’d say hello, but we never exchanged any philosophy ideas,” Knight said.

    Knight has known and publicly supported Duke for decades. He agreed to help Duke set up some of the logistics for the 2002 EURO convention, especially since the former KKK leader was in Russia at the time of the event. You can read more about EURO’s background here at the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s ugly stuff—anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, concerns about “the ‘browning’ of America,” Nazi apologia—but Knight insists the organization isn’t a white supremacist group.

    Regardless, Knight said that he wasn’t involved in planning the event’s itinerary or picking its speakers but that he did book space for it in the Landmark Best Western Hotel in Metairie, Louisiana. Besides booking the venue, Knight said he also set up refreshments for attendees, arranged for them to eat at a local restaurant, and organized a haunted house tour of the French Quarter after the conference.

    “I, simply as a courtesy to Mr. Duke, rented the room and set it up to give them a location,” he said. “I wasn’t really involved with the actual conference itself.”

    It’s important to bear in mind that Knight isn’t critical of the conference, which puts him in a very small category.

    “EURO was not a white supremacist organization,” he said. “The people that came were middle-aged, taxpaying, God-fearing, Christian people.”

    According to Knight, the EURO conference was slated to start in the early afternoon, roughly around 1 p.m. But his reservation at the hotel gave him access to the conference space for a few hours before the event’s official kickoff. At the time, Knight headed the Jefferson Heights Civic Association, which was largely comprised of elderly people who lived in his and Scalise’s neighborhood.

    Knight said he set up a morning event for his own civic association in the hotel space before the EURO conference started. Though that event was in the conference’s hospitality room, it wasn’t at all related to the EURO event, he said.

    “It was my room to do what I want with it,” he said.

    Knight said that when he invited Scalise to speak to the civic association, he never mentioned that it would be held in the same room the EURO conference would later use or that some conference attendees may be present.

    Barbara Noble, Knight’s then-girlfriend who was also present at the hotel event and who I spoke with separately, corroborated Knight’s account.

    “[Scalise] was just up there for a few minutes, maybe 10, 15 at the most, and it was in the morning,” she said.

    Besides Knight and Noble, the only event attendees who have spoken publicly about the meeting are Scalise himself—who told the Times-Picayune that he doesn’t remember it—and a white nationalist StormFront message board commenter who wrote under the username “Alsace Hebert” and whose account now appears to be defunct.

    However, on Monday, an adviser for the House majority whip told the Washington Post that Scalise “appeared at a convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO.”

    Knight and Noble are adamant that the Jefferson Heights Civic Association event and the EURO convention were clearly distinct events. When asked if he had invited Scalise to attend the EURO conference, Knight replied, “That is not what happened. I’ll take a lie-detector test. That is not what happened.”

    When asked Tuesday afternoon, a spokeswoman for Scalise didn’t comment on Knight and Noble’s version of the events.

    There’s total consensus on the right and left that Scalise displayed miserable judgment by associating himself with Knight, an ally of the former KKK leader. But Knight’s and Noble’s accounts cast doubt on an emerging narrative: that, as Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Josh Schwerin told Politico, the Louisiana Republican “chose to cheerlead for a group of KKK members and neo-Nazis at a white supremacist rally.” If Knight and Noble are right, then the truth is much less theatrical than some make it sound.

    Woah! Well that’s quite an explanation from mutual Duke/Scalise associate Kenny Knight: he was merely neighbors with Scalise, and “now and then I’d see him at a Republican function, we’d say hello, but we never exchanged any philosophy ideas.” Presumably Knight never “exchanged any philosophy ideas” with the other folks at these Republican functions, because that would be scanalous.

    Anyways, so Knight wasn’t really involved with the EURO conference at all….except for booking the room as a favor for Duke. But he didn’t really attend it. No, he was only involved with the Jefferson Heights Civic Association conference that took place at the same hotel just a few hours earlier and that was the conference Scalise spoke at. Not the EURO conference.

    Well that settles that! It was all a big misunderstanding. Uh huh:

    Think Progress
    Alibi For Congressman Who Spoke To White Supremacist Group Completely Falls Apart

    by Judd Legum Posted on January 1, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Congressman Steve Scalise apologized earlier this week for speaking to a group of white supremacists in 2002. You would think that would settle the question of whether Scalise spoke to a group of white supremacists.

    But no.

    Two days ago, Slate ran a piece quoting Kenny Knight, a close associate of David Duke, who booked the room for the white supremacist group, known as EURO. Knight claimed that he invited Scalise to speak to the “Jefferson Heights Civic Association, which was largely comprised of elderly people who lived in his and Scalise’s neighborhood.” The meeting of the civic association, Knight said, just happened to be held in the same room as the EURO conference held later that day. Knight told The Times-Picayune that he “was not a member of EURO and did not arrange for any speakers at the 2002 conference

    The right-wing ran was the story, billing the entire controversy as little more than a hoax.

    But, as it turns out, Knight was lying. Not only was Knight a member of the EURO group but “documents filed with the Louisiana secretary of state’s office list him as treasurer…” He is also listed as a member of the group in a 2002 news release for the conference in question, where he was scheduled as a speaker.

    Asked about the discrepancy and the state document listing him as treasurer of the group, Knight hung up twice on a reporter for The Times-Picayune. Eventually, Knight said “Is that 15 years ago? I don’t even remember that. I’m not communicating any more with the news media. I’m finished with y’all.”

    If you have any further questions, ask David Duke. In an interview with the Washington Post, Duke said he “recalled Knight reaching out to Scalise in the weeks before the conference to come and update attendees on state affairs, and that Scalise accepted without reservation.”

    Ah. Well, it sure looks like Scalise’s alibi turned out to be a lie and he really did attend the EURO conference. Oh well. It’s kind of moot at this point.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 2, 2015, 12:06 am
  8. David Duke once again threatened to ‘name names’ of politicians who continue to attack Steve Scalise which means that David Duke is now successfully publicly blackmailing politicians using his own political taint as the WMD. And why not? He’s probably got a lot of names to name, after all.

    So we should probably expect see the GOP continuing to stand by Scalise while simultaneously denouncing Duke. But, of course, that may not be good enough, because the white supremacists not only want to see the attacks on Scalise end. They want to see the attacks on their white supremacist ideology end too. So the GOP has to defend Scalise while not attack the white supremacists too much. And there’s not really anything the GOP can do other than continue its weird political squirming.

    Squirm baby squirm

    NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
    White supremacist banners, racist talks at later events of group Steve Scalise previously addressed, civil rights group says

    By Mark Schleifstein
    on December 30, 2014 at 7:01 PM, updated December 30, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Banners proclaiming “White Power” and “White Pride Worldwide” plastered the walls, and speakers gave racist speeches at later conferences in Kenner of a white supremacist organization that U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise says he had addressed in Metairie in 2002, an investigator with the Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights group said Tuesday.

    The law center didn’t have an investigator at the 2002 conference of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization at which Scalise has acknowledged that he spoke. But Heidi Beirich, director of the center’s “Intelligence Project,” said EURO events she attended in 2004 and 2005 in Kenner left no doubt about the group’s racist agenda.

    “The conferences were a full day of people giving speeches representing the worst in racism or anti-Semitism,” said Beirich.

    Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke founded EURO, a connection the law center said should have made it clear the group’s racist agenda. The nature of the events EURO put together left no doutb, Beirich said.

    At one of the conferences she attended in Kenner, a featured speaker “spoke about how evil Muslims are,” Beirich said. “He described a Muslim woman as a ‘hag in a bag.'”

    Other speakers at the 2004 and 2005 conferences gave talks denying that World War II’s Holocaust — the extermination by Nazis of millions of Jews and others in concentration camps and massacres — actually occurred. Other speakers told audiences that Jews and non-whites were taking control of the United States.

    “It was almost held like an academic conference, but the topics were so horrific that it’s shocking,” Beirich said.

    Beirich said she did not attend the May 2002 conference at which Scalise spoke and has no information on what talks were given or whether similar banners were used.

    The Montgomery, Ala.-based center on Tuesday called on Scalise to step down as house majority whip because of his participation in the 2002 conference, and questioned Scalise’s insistence that he did not know EURO was a white supremacist organization.

    In a Tuesday statement, Scalise said his decision to appear at the conference to talk about state taxation issues was a mistake.

    “One of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation was a group whose views I wholeheartedly condemn,” Scalise said in a statement. “It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold.”

    But officials with the Southern Poverty Law Center argue that it would be difficult for Scalise not to know the kind of group he was addressing, especially since The Gambit reported ahead of the 2002 conference on an announcement by the Iowa Cubs minor league baseball team that they were cancelling their stay at the Metairie hotel where the EURO conference was being held. The Gambit also reported on a statement by the hotel, then called the Best Western Landmark, saying it did not support the conference but was contractually obligated to host it.

    The Gambit’s article said EURO officials decided to close the conference to the public and require those attending to be EURO members or local organizers and pay a fee after the hotel controversy sparked rumors that protesters might show up.

    “I think it is simply not credible that Steve Scalise, a Louisiana-based politician with national aspirations, could not have known at that time who David Duke was and what EURO was,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the law center and editor of its Intelligence Report investigative journal.

    “There was an immense amount of publicity, and especially in Louisiana. David Duke then and today was the most notorious white supremacist in the United States of America,” he said.

    Potok also was critical of the Republican Party for backing Scalise to remain as Majority Whip when Congress re-convenes on Jan. 6.

    “The Republican Party has made a lot of noise recently about reaching out to minorities in this country,” he said. “It’s very hard to understand how the party is going to do that when it turns out that one of their most important leaders has been giving speeches to an openly white supremacist group.”

    “The Republican Party has made a lot of noise recently about reaching out to minorities in this country…It’s very hard to understand how the party is going to do that when it turns out that one of their most important leaders has been giving speeches to an openly white supremacist group.”

    This sounds like a job for bold party leadership. Have fun with that.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 3, 2015, 6:35 pm
  9. It looks like Steve Scalise might finally be on the way out as House Majority Whip now that the Scalise/Duke scandal has finally started threatening what matters most to the GOP: its money:

    Politico
    Steve Scalise: Damaged goods?

    The majority whip may be toxic in some GOP circles.

    By John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman

    1/5/15 7:31 PM EST

    The scandal over Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise’s 2002 speech to a white supremacist group has so badly damaged his image inside the House Republican Conference that he faces serious questions over his political future, according to interviews with multiple aides and lawmakers — including some Scalise allies.

    Scalise’s job as House majority whip remains safe – and Speaker John Boehner has publicly backed him — but he may be too toxic for some Republican circles. Top GOP aides and lawmakers question whether he’ll be able to raise funds, especially on trips to New York or Los Angeles. Senior figures within the party doubt that the corporate chieftains and rich donors who bankroll Republican candidates will give him money to keep campaign coffers filled. Others say it will be difficult for him to persuade lawmakers to support the House Republican agenda.

    Rank-and-file GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, found themselves defending Scalise back home, a potentially fatal flaw for someone who wants to serve in leadership. Many of these lawmakers are faced with blistering editorials from hometown newspapers calling for Scalise to step down. Conservative activists like Mark Levin, Erick Erickson and Sarah Palin have all said he should be booted out of GOP leadership.

    “As far as him going up to the Northeast, or going out to Los Angeles or San Francisco or Chicago, he’s damaged,” said a GOP lawmaker who asked not to be named. “This thing is still smoking. Nobody is really fanning the flames yet. … The thing that concerns me is that there are people who are still out there digging on this right now.”

    Democrats, for their part, are working to craft a sustained attack against the Louisiana Republican, using Scalise’s continued role in the leadership to launch broadsides against dozens of rank-and-file GOP lawmakers.

    “If Republicans want to keep a white supremacist sympathizer as a top leader and the person in charge of telling their Members how to vote, they will pay the price,” said Jesse Ferguson, a top aide at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Republican donors won’t want to be seen with him and vulnerable Republican members can’t afford to be associated with his agenda.”

    “Steve has deep and meaningful relationships in the House Republican Conference, and with a number of Democrats in the House,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the chief deputy majority whip and a Scalise confidant. “Over the course of his term, he’s going to show what he’s shown in the last six months of being whip — that he’s effective.”

    McHenry added: “Something that happened over a dozen years ago doesn’t affect people’s relationships with [Scalise] now, nor should it.”

    Yet with the Scalise camp largely quiet, his critics — both public and private — have begun to rail against the Louisiana Republican, demanding to know how long he can remain in his post.

    “There is concern that the situation will make it more difficult for him to raise money,” said a GOP leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It will be difficult to raise money from major Republican donors. And it remains to be seen what sort of role he can play in terms of helping incumbents in tough districts.”

    A Republican fundraiser added, “I think it definitely makes it a little bit harder, particularly in certain districts, at least as it stands right now to have him in a suburban district in a blue state.” The fundraiser predicted that it would take time for the corporate PACs that usually gives piles of money to leadership to open their wallets.

    “The PAC world typically is not the most courageous, and I could totally see them take a wait-and-see approach, at least initially.”

    So, wait, are we seriously supposed to believe that any of the GOP’s major donors haven’t already come to terms with the GOP as a political vehicle for whatever-it-takes-including-pandering-to-racist-sentiments no holds barred electoral victory and general cronyism a LONG time ago? Winning elections and sharing the spoils and rigging the system so only billionaires can win. THAT’s the real heart of the GOP.

    Is the same big money THAT HAS BEEN FINANCING RACE-BAITERS FOR YEARS is going to suddenly get squeamish about continuing to financing the same party for doing the same thing it’s been doing for over a generation? Race baiting is what gets the rabble to get enthusiastic about dismantling the New Deal. You can’t just suddenly stop a strategy like that. Dismantling the New Deal is a core GOP value.

    Similarly, taking money from poor and middle-class people of all races and somehow giving it to the wealthy is a basic core value of the GOP’s true base (right-wing billionaires and thier millionaire minions) and pandering to the white supremacists vote is integral to living according those values. That’s not suddenly changing.

    Sure, this Scalise thing is potentially an issue for donors that are seen giving to a white supremacist panderer. But isn’t that what Citizens United is supposed to be for when it comes to the major donors?

    Instead, it sure looks the GOP might just be grasping around for an excuse to dump Scalise without looking like they did it because he was cavorting with David Duke’s outfit. Why? Well, maybe it has to do with the fact that Duke is blackmailing the GOP with the names of more bigot panderers the party doesn’t back off Scalise and stop making a big deal out the situation. So the party needs to dump Scalise, but in a way that sends a “We, the GOP party leadership, totally support Scalise, but it’s those overly sensitive billionaires that are forcing us to move him out of leadership”-signal so David Duke doesn’t flip out and start naming names.

    Sure, GOP, it’s not that you’re embarrassed about being directly associated with David Duke (as opposed to the normal vague philosophically alignment with those sympathetic to Duke’s views). You’re not scared of David Duke. It’s the elite donors that are forcing you to get rid of Scalise. Uh huh.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 5, 2015, 11:26 pm
  10. The GOP sure is lucky it doesn’t ever have to actually deal with its white supremacy infestation:

    TPM Livewire
    Va. GOP Chair Urging Party To Boot Dave Agema Over Latest Racist Post

    By Caitlin MacNeal
    Published January 13, 2015, 3:15 PM EST

    The Virginia GOP chair is working to expel Michigan Committeeman Dave Agema from the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting after Agema stirred yet another controversy with a racist Facebook post.

    Chairman Pat Mullins is circulating a letter urging his fellow Republicans to keep Agema out of the San Diego meeting and to boot him from the RNC for good, National Journalreported on Tuesday.

    Agema on New Year’s Eve reposted an essay from American Renaissance, a white supremacist magazine. He has since deleted the post, but MLive.com captured a screengrab.

    “However, my experience has also taught me that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike,” the essay’s author, who claimed to be a public defender, said.

    Agema called the article “enlightening for anyone who is concerned about crime in America.”

    He then defended his Facebook post in a new post to his page on Tuesday and said that he saw the article in a newsletter by former Rep. Allen West (R-FL).

    “I make no accusation that I agree with the statements supporting the author he posted. I do support Col West’s commentary concerning the authors article and not the content of the article itself,” Agema said. “It’s sad that politically correctness has so taken over our society and is determined by those who desire to move our culture according to their agenda.”

    Following the initial post, RNC chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) both condemned Agema’s comments. The Michigan state senate Republican caucus plans to send the RNC a letter urging the committee to expel Agema from the national meeting, according to The Detroit News.

    Multiple RNC members and Michigan Republicans have already called on Agema to step down over previous remarks, but Agema refused to resign.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 13, 2015, 1:14 pm
  11. Remember when GOP staffers were floating the idea that Steve Scalise might have to step down if it impacted his ability to raise funds from big donors. Yeah, that’s not going to be a problem:

    Politico
    Nearly 300 K Streeters flock to meet Steve Scalise

    The embattled House Republican introduced them to his political operation and new fundraising team.

    By Anna Palmer

    1/13/15 6:19 PM EST

    Updated 1/14/15 10:51 AM EST

    Steve Scalise may be on the defensive on Capitol Hill, but he’s still in good standing with K Street donors.

    The No. 3 House Republican met with nearly 300 lobbyists, consultants and political operatives Tuesday afternoon to introduce his political operation and new fundraising team.

    Potential donors crowded into the third floor of the Capitol Hill Club to hear from the Louisiana Republican, who welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support. His chief of staff, Lynnel Ruckert, and his political staff followed, laying out his new fundraising program. Several Scalise staffers were on hand, including his policy director Bill Hughes, member services director Eric Zulkosky and personal office chief of staff Charles Henry.

    One of the attendees described it as a “locker room” style rally and related that staff said they were “looking forward to a good year.”

    Dozens of K Streeters were at the event, including Sam Lancaster of Comcast, Adam Peterson of T-Mobile, Jay Cranford of Clark Geduldig Cranford & Nielsen, Cliff Riccio of NTCA, Mike Ference of the S-3 Group, Megan Bell of NOIA and Mike Wascom of American Airlines.

    No one brought up or addressed the continuing fallout from a 2002 speech Scalise gave to a white supremacist group.

    More race-related news came out Tuesday when The Hill reported that Scalise voted against a resolution apologizing for slavery when he was in the statehouse.

    Political director Tyler Daniel said last week that Scalise’s fundraising had not been affected by the news reports.

    “We have continued to move forward with our first-quarter plans,” Daniel said. “We look forward to a successful quarter and a successful cycle and doing all we can do to keep and expand our majority.”

    “We have continued to move forward with our first-quarter plans…We look forward to a successful quarter and a successful cycle and doing all we can do to keep and expand our majority.” Have fun expanding that majority.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 15, 2015, 3:33 pm
  12. Birds of a feather…

    Slate
    White Supremacists to Hold Confab at the National Press Club the Weekend of CPAC
    By Betsy Woodruff

    If you’re in D.C. for CPAC weekend and interested in rubbing shoulders with white supremacists, the National Press Club has you covered. On the evening of Feb. 27, the Press Club will provide space in its downtown D.C. building for an event called “Beyond Conservatism,” hosted by the National Policy Institute. The Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes the National Policy Institute as one of the “most important” think tanks in academic racism. Its website says it is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of European people in the United States and around the world,” and its tagline is, “For our people. Our culture. Our future.”

    An Evite invitation for the event says it will feature speakers Peter Brimelow, Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor. Brimelow, as SPLC details, has said America faces “unprecedented demographic mutation” and that 9/11 was due to immigration. The Anti-Defamation League describes Spencer as “a symbol of a new generation of intellectual white supremacists.” Taylor has said that “[w]hen blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” The SPLC has more on him as well.

    The event coincides with the CPAC, which is the largest and most important annual assembly of grassroots conservative and libertarian activists in the country. The two events are totally unaffiliated, but it’s clear that NPI hopes the name of its event will appeal to the conservatives in town who want to go, you know, beyond.

    Brimelow, Spencer, Taylor, and their ideological allies often have trouble finding venues venues to host their anti-black, anti-Hispanic, and anti-immigrant events. Providing a platform for white supremacists, as it turns out, isn’t great for hotel #brands. But the National Press Club has no regrets about providing space for the event. Executive Director Bill McCarren told me that the press club didn’t invite the group to speak, and that they make space for all sorts of presenters.

    “It’s an open public forum,” he said. Early bird tickets for the NPI event are already sold out.

    “Brimelow, Spencer, Taylor, and their ideological allies often have trouble finding venues venues to host their anti-black, anti-Hispanic, and anti-immigrant events. Providing a platform for white supremacists, as it turns out, isn’t great for hotel #brands”.

    While hosting White Nationalist gatherings might be a challenge for some hotels, sharing their views at the CPAC conference doesn’t seem to be a very big challenge for the White Nationalists.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 5, 2015, 9:47 am
  13. With Donald Trump’s continued domination of the GOP’s 2016 field still going strong, the question of “how long before he implodes?” is steadily getting replaced with “can anyone stop him?” But those aren’t the only questions being asked. In particular, there’s still the pesky question of whether or not he’ll make an independent bid if he doesn’t get the nomination and feels treated poorly by the GOP. It’s a very reasonable and relevant question given the number of times Donald Trump has threatened to do just that. And it just got a lot more reasonable and relevant:

    TPM Livewire
    Fox Boss Demands Donald Trump Apologize For Attacking Megyn Kelly

    By Catherine Thompson
    Published August 25, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT

    Fox News chairman Roger Ailes said Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has gone too far in criticizing Megyn Kelly and needs to apologize to the network’s star.

    Ailes’ statement came after Trump went on a Monday night tweetstorm upon Kelly’s return to the air from vacation.

    In a statement provided to TPM, Ailes said:

    Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise. I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer. Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.

    Yes, Roger Ailes demands an apology from Donald Trump. Good luck with that!

    So now that Donald Trump and Fox News are settling into frenemy status, the question of that third-party run just got a lot more interesting! Especially because there are some deadlines involved and they’re fast approaching. For instance, South Carolina’s GOP has a rule: if you want to run in that state’s primary, you had better sign a GOP loyalty oath that promises you won’t do an independent bid. You better sign it by the end of September. And now other states are considering following suit.

    So if Trump’s tiff with Fox keeps flaring up over the next few weeks, we could be looking at a situation where Trump has to pledge his loyalty to a political party with flagship TV station that’s basically declared war on Trump. Yowza!

    Strange times. But let’s not forget, they could always get stranger. For instance, let’s not forget about another threat recently made by one of the GOP’s frenemies if he wasn’t treated fairly. It was one of those fun episodes that the GOP would most assuredly like us to never remember, but is just really hard to forget:

    Salon
    David Duke threatens to run against “sellout” GOP congressman Steve Scalise
    Former KKK grand wizard condemns third-ranking House Republican as a turncoat VIDEO

    Luke Brinker
    Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 02:08 PM CDT

    Ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke on Wednesday threatened run against the “sellout” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who came under scrutiny last month when it was revealed that he had spoken before a Duke-founded white supremacist group in 2002.

    Louisiana political blogger Lamar White Jr. reported in late December that Scalise spoke at a conference hosted by Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO). Scalise, who as House Majority Whip is the third-ranking Republican in the chamber, issued a statement apologizing for his appearance, calling it a “mistake I regret” and condemning “the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold.”

    When news of Scalise’s speech broke, Duke defended the embattled congressman, calling Scalise a “nice guy” and asking, “What politician would ever pass up an opportunity to talk to his constituents?”

    But in an interview with Louisiana radio host Jim Engster yesterday, Duke indicated that he had soured on Scalise.

    “Steve Scalise, let me tell you something, this is the way I view it now: I mean this guy is a sellout. I mean he’s a sellout. He’s not David. He used to say that he was David Duke of course without the baggage, whatever that means,” Duke said, referring to comments reportedly made made to a local political reporter two decades ago.

    Duke took particular umbrage at Scalise’s apology for speaking at the EURO conference.

    “What he’s basically saying is that 60 percent of his district, the same people by the way who voted for him that they’re just nothing but a bunch of racists. You know, I’ve said nothing at that conference any different that I ran for office on. It wasn’t a Klan meeting,” Duke said. “It wasn’t any sort of a radical meeting, it was a meeting that said there was European American rights, right? So he is a sellout, right? Because, you know he can’t meet with members of his own district who have opinions like I have but he meets with radical blacks who have total opposite political positions than him.”

    Duke said he expected Scalise to ride out the controversy surrounding his EURO appearance, but nevertheless maintained that the congressman should resign due to his apology. That marks a sharp turnaround from one month ago, when Duke told the Washington Post that Scalise should remain in Congress.

    Meanwhile, Duke said he’s considering an electoral challenge to Scalise.

    “I am not registered to vote right now. I have legally been able to vote for years but I haven’t registered right now and I’d be able to vote for, but I might just register,” he said. “Just so, I might have to run against Steve Scalise because you know, I really might. I mean, I’m definitely going to consider it because its so disgusting to me to see…he got elected on false pretenses.”

    Duke added that “the Republican Party’s issues are my issues,” but said “the difference with me in the Republican Party is that I didn’t betray them when I got elected.”

    As a Republican state representative in 1991, Duke shocked observers around the world when he made a surprisingly strong showing in the Louisiana gubernatorial race. Duke finished a close second to former Democratic Gov. Edwin Edwards in the first round of voting, garnering 32 percent of the vote to Edwards’ 34 percent and edging incumbent GOP Gov. Buddy Roemer, who received 27 percent. Edwards defeated Duke by a 61 to 39 percent margin in the runoff election.

    “The Republican Party’s issues are my issues…the difference with me in the Republican Party is that I didn’t betray them when I got elected.”

    Yes, back in January, David Duke was so miffed with the GOP that he was threatening to run against the House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise, after Scalise’s sleazy dismissals and disses of Dukes’ “European-American Unity and Rights Organization” even though Scalise was courting those very same voters basically using David Duke’s electoral strategy for years! Even if you can’t understand Duke’s worldview, it’s not hard to understand his frustration.

    But that was back in January, and a whole lot has changed since then. Changed in ways that should make folks like David Duke look far more kindly on the GOP than they may have in January:

    BuzzFeed
    David Duke On Trump: He’s “Certainly The Best Of The Lot” Running For President

    “I think he understands the real sentiment of America.”
    posted on Aug. 25, 2015, at 10:07 a.m.

    Andrew Kaczynski
    BuzzFeed News Reporter

    David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and self-described “racial realist,” says Donald Trump is the best Republican candidate for president because he “understands the real sentiment of America.”

    Duke, who unsuccessfully ran for president as a Democrat in 1988 and later served in the Louisiana House of Representatives, noted Trump’s experience as a salesman and his “great sense” of what people want to buy.

    “I praise the fact that he’s come out on the immigration issue. I’m beginning to get the idea that he’s a good salesman. That he’s an entrepreneur and he has a good sense of what people want to hear what they want to buy,” said Duke on his radio program last week after noting that he had previously been critical of Trump’s run.

    “And I think he realizes that his path to popularity toward power in the Republican Party is talking about the immigration issue. And he has really said some incredibly great things recently. So whatever his motivation, I don’t give a damn. I really like the fact that he’s speaking out on this greatest immediate threat to the American people.”

    After going on a rant about “Jewish domination” of the media, Duke said Trump is saying things few other Republicans say about immigration

    “Trump, he’s really going all out. He’s saying what no other Republicans have said, few conservatives say. And he’s also gone to point where he says it’s not just illegal immigration, it’s legal immigration,” Duke said, adding Trump has also talked about companies are taking advantage of the H1B visa program. Duke added that he felt the big technology companies were headed by “Zios.”

    Duke said The Donald, while untrustworthy, was “the best of the lot” running.

    “So this is a great opportunity,” Duke said. “So although we can’t trust him to do what he says, the other Republican candidates won’t even say what he says. So he’s certainly the best of the lot. And he’s certainly somebody that we should get behind in terms, ya know, raising the image of this thing.”

    “So this is a great opportunity…So although we can’t trust him to do what he says, the other Republican candidates won’t even say what he says. So he’s certainly the best of the lot. And he’s certainly somebody that we should get behind in terms, ya know, raising the image of this thing.
    It sure sounds like David Duke has found his candidate for 2016! But as we just saw, the rest of the GOP establishment is basically trying to take down Duke’s new candidate of choice. And this less than a year after the GOP publicly unfriended Duke in a round of epic ass-covering.

    All that leaves some obvious questions: Will Trump actually stick with the GOP despite the fact that its trying to take his candidacy down? And what about David Duke and his threat to run for Scalise’s House seat? Duke threatened to run in January and, lo and behold, the presidential candidate that’s running on the kind of platform we would probably expect from a Duke candidacy is dominating the GOP field. Doesn’t Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, deserve a primary challenge at this point given the GOP’s War on Trump? It seems like something Duke should be considering right now.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 25, 2015, 6:07 pm
  14. Donald Trump responded to questions about his response to David Duke’s quasi-endorsement: Of course Duke prefers Trump over all the other candidates. Everyone likes Trump! Also, Trump doesn’t actually know anything about Duke but, sure, he’ll repudiate Duke…if that makes everyone happy:

    Trump Responds To Praise From White Supremacists: ‘Everyone Likes Me’

    ByCaitlin Cruz
    Published August 27, 2015, 7:40 AM EDT

    Real estate mogul Donald Trump responded to reports that his message is resonating with white supremacists during a Wednesday night interview on Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect,” saying, “Everyone likes me.”

    Longtime white nationalist David Duke praised Trump, specifically the former reality television star’s immigration plan, on his radio show last week.

    “So whatever his motivation, I don’t give a damn,” Duke said. “I really like the fact that he’s speaking out on this greatest immediate threat to the American people.”

    Despite Duke’s high praises, Trump said he had no idea who the former Ku Klux Klan leader was.

    “I don’t need his endorsement. I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement. I don’t need anyone’s endorsement,” Trump told Bloomberg.

    Reporter John Heilemann asked if Trump “repudiated” the endorsement.

    “Sure,” Trump replied, “if that would make you feel better. I would certainly repudiate. I don’t know anything about him.”

    When asked how he felt about people like Duke backing him, Trump responded by saying that “everyone” likes him.

    “People like me across the board. Everybody likes me,” Trump said, citing the poll from Public Policy Polling released Tuesday. He led the Republican contest in New Hampshire with 35 percent among usual Republican primary voters.

    Trump also proposed both lowering and raising taxes.

    “I want to lower taxes for the middle class. I want to lower taxes for people that are making a lot of money who need incentives,” Trump said.

    So the only White Nationalist that could possibly be upset about that entire non-repudiation ‘repudiation’ is David Duke since Trump allegedly doesn’t know who he is (which probably stung a bit, all things considered).

    Will the growing list of antics like this impact Trump’s chances of actually getting the GOP nomination? Probably, although not necessarily negatively.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 27, 2015, 7:56 pm
  15. “I did give him a book about Hitler….But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting.”:

    Hullaballoo

    Influencers

    by digby
    8/28/2015 09:30:00 AM

    You may or may not have seen this 1990 profile of Trump but this is certainly interesting in light of … a lot of things, not least of which is his huge popularity among white supremacists:

    Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

    “Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.

    Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”

    “I don’t remember,” I said.

    “Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.”

    “I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”

    Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”

    Uh huh.

    “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”
    Huh. He must be a natural (that was probably a poor choice of words).

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 28, 2015, 10:59 am
  16. What’s that high-pitch, inaccurate, and highly racist whistling sound coming from Donald Trump’s twitter feed? Is he blowing that dog-whistle again?

    Oh. According to various media reports, Donald Trump was just blowing a ‘controversial crime statistics’-whistle (that he just happened to get from a neo-Nazi):

    Think Progress
    Trump Tweeted Fabricated Murder Stats From A Neo-Nazi And This Is How The Media Reported It

    by Judd Legum Nov 23, 2015 9:14am

    Yesterday, Donald Trump tweeted a series of inaccurate murder statistics from the “Crime Statistics Bureau — San Francisco.” The bureau doesn’t exist and the statistics were fabricated. It appears the numbers were manipulated to perpetuate racism against African Americans. For example, the graphic claims that 81% of whites are killed by blacks. The actual percentage, based on the latest data from the FBI, is 14 percent.

    The image began spreading on Twitter when it was posted by a neo-Nazi who uses a swastika as his avatar. The account almost exclusively tweets racist memes.

    Some media outlets, however, took a very charitable approach to covering Trump’s tweet. The Hill, for example, wrote that Trump took “heat for a controversial tweet about black murder rates.”

    That is not actually true. There is no controversy about Trump’s tweet. It is false and bigoted.

    The Hill’s article is actually worse. Reporter Cory Bennet writes that “the percentages do, in some ways, align with Department of Justice (DOJ) findings from several years ago.” This is also not true. The percentages do not reflect the DOJ’s findings in a meaningful way and have been almost certainly purposely manipulated to perpetuate racist stereotypes.

    CNN reported that Trump tweeted “racially charged crime data.”

    What he tweeted was not data. It was a racist meme.

    Other outlets, however, were more direct. The Washington Post described Trump’s tweet as “very wrong.” The Daily Beast said that Trump used “false statistics to make a racist point.” And New York Magazine noted that Trump made a “racist point with [a] wildly incorrect tweet.”

    Still Trump seems to be benefiting from coverage of his antics as “controversial,” rather than false. In a recent poll of Iowa voters by CBS News, Trump supporters said their favorite quality about his was that he “says things others are afraid to say.”

    The poll found Trump leading the field by nine points.

    “The image began spreading on Twitter when it was posted by a neo-Nazi who uses a swastika as his avatar. The account almost exclusively tweets racist memes.”
    Wow. We sure have come a long way…on the treadmill of bigotry

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 23, 2015, 6:12 pm
  17. There are reports that a Trump supporter yelled “Sieg heil” during a Trump rally last night as a protester was getting violently dragged out by security. Sadly, we can reasonably predict a lot more stories like this in coming months…based on all the stories like this from prior months:

    TPM News
    From ‘White Power’ To Nazi Salutes: How Toxic Can Trump Rallies Get?

    By Caitlin Cruz
    Published December 15, 2015, 2:50 PM EST

    Real estate magnate Donald Trump, who was largely dismissed by political pundits when he announced his presidential campaign with a rambling speech that referred to Mexicans as “rapists,” has been bringing supporters out to his campaign events in droves while vaulting to the top of the GOP field. But alongside those masses of supporters, a small but vocal contingent of protesters has been dogging Trump rallies.

    Racist and bigoted language has become commonplace at the rallies, both from Trump supporters and the candidate himself. But so has violence and degradation against protesters who dare to disagree with the GOP’s heir apparent. The toxicity seemed to peak Monday night in Las Vegas, where Trump supporters reportedly yelled a Nazi salute and called for a protester to be set on fire.

    Here’s a timeline to bring you up to speed on how tensions between Trump supporters and protesters reached that fever pitch.

    Aug. 21: Mobile, Alabama

    One attendee at a Trump rally in Alabama could be heard yelling out "White power!" on camera. Trumps campaign said it wasn’t aware of that one particular individual in a crowd of “30-plus thousand people” who were “receptive” to Trump’s message.

    Oct. 14: Richmond, Virginia

    Supporters here got into physical confrontations with about 20 immigration activists, who were eventually escorted out by police and security. One attendee spit in the face of a protester. There was mutual shoving. But Trump remained unconcerned about the protest because he said “it’s a very, very small group.”

    Oct. 23: Miami, Florida

    A man, identified as Ariel Rojas by a NBC affiliate, was dragged out of a Trump campaign rally at the Trump National Miami Doral Resort and kicked by at least one rally attendee. At least three groups were “chanting pro-immigration messages,” according to reports.

    Nov. 18: Worcester, Massachusetts

    Trump mocked a protester who he considered “seriously overweight” as the protester was expelled from the rally.

    “You know, it’s amazing, I mention food stamps, and that guy who’s seriously overweight went crazy – amazing. Amazing,” Trump said to cheers. “That’s an amazing sight.”

    Here’s video of the comments, from ABC News:

    Nov. 21: Birmingham, Alabama

    A Black Lives matter protester was kicked and pushed as he was forcibly removed from a Trump rally in Birmingham. Trump yelled from the stage “Get him the hell out of here.”

    Here’s video of the incident:

    A campaign spokeswoman told CNN that the campaign “does not condone” the behavior. Trump then told “Fox News Sunday” that the protester was “absolutely disgusting” and “maybe he should have been roughed up.”

    Dec. 4: Raleigh, North Carolina

    Trump’s 50-minute speech in North Carolina was interrupted at least five times when protesters in Raleigh yelled "Black Lives Matter!" at the GOP frontrunner. The crowd erupted in boos and security guards forcibly escorted the protesters from the packed event. “Isn’t it a shame? Thousands of people are pouring in and we have to get rid of one person,” Trump said. “He’s wasting our time.”

    Here’s video of that incident.

    Dec. 11: New York City

    Protesters, some of whom door crashed and some of whom actually paid to get into the fundraiser, were forcibly escorted from the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Associated Press reporters were also forced out of the hotel’s lobby.

    Here’s video of some of the protesters being thrown to the ground:

    Dec. 14: Las Vegas

    On the eve of the final Republican presidential debate of 2015, Trump hosted a rally in Sin City that devolved into supporters yelling racial slurs, calling for a protester to be set on fire and even shouting a Nazi salute. A protester identified as Ender Austin III interrupted the rally and yelled for gun control about 10 minutes into Trump’s rally.

    One attendee yelled “Sieg heil,” a Nazi salute, as the protester was removed, according to NBC News.

    “The toxicity seemed to peak Monday night in Las Vegas, where Trump supporters reportedly yelled a Nazi salute and called for a protester to be set on fire.”
    Well, let’s hope we’ve seen peak violence from the Trump’s brownshirts. Probably not, but let’s hope so. You have to imagine the GOP’s leaders are kind of hoping it’s peaked too.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 15, 2015, 3:39 pm
  18. Maine’s GOP governor Paul Le Page had an interesting explanation for why he shouldn’t apologize for saying that heroin dealers from New York City were coming to Maine and often “impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.” There’s no need to apologized because he meant to say “Maine women” and just accidentally said “white women”. Also, Maine is 95% white. So it was an accident that’s also 95% accurate so it’s all good. That’s his explanation:

    TPM Livewire

    LePage: I Never Said ‘Black’ Drug Dealers Knock Up Maine’s White Girls!

    By Caitlin Cruz
    Published January 8, 2016, 11:10 AM EST

    Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said during a Friday morning news conference that he never mentioned race when he said New York City heroin dealers often "impregnate" white women in his state.

    LePage said at one of his regular town hall meetings on Thursday that “guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie” and “Shifty” who sell heroin in Maine often “impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.”

    In Friday’s news conference, he said that he didn’t know the race of “D-Money” and other offenders.

    “I get a report, and they’re saying his street name ‘D-Money,’ street name ‘Smoothie.’ I don’t know where they’re from,” LePage said. “I know where they’re from, I don’t know if they’re white, black, Asian, I don’t know.”

    “If you want to make it racist, go right ahead and do what you want,” he added.

    LePage said reporters must “get your heads out of the sands” and accused them of being in the “back pockets of Maine bloggers.” His original comments were reported by a blog that LePage called adversarial and were later picked up by the state’s largest newspaper, the Portland Press Herald.

    LePage opened the news conference by paraphrasing the iconic movie character Rocky Balboa. He then said he wouldn’t apologize, instead offering that “my brain was slower than my mouth.”

    “Instead of ‘Maine women,’ I said ‘white women’ and I’m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine, you’ll see that we’re essentially 95 percent white,” he said..

    Later in the conference, he briefly changed his tune. “So if I slipped up and used the wrong word, I apologize to Maine women,” he said.

    “Instead of ‘Maine women,’ I said ‘white women’ and I’m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine, you’ll see that we’re essentially 95 percent white.”
    Well that’s all cleared up. What’s next for the GOP’s never-ending forays into white nationalist politics? How about a foray of white nationalists into the GOP’s politics:

    TPM Muckraker
    White Nationalist PAC Blankets Iowa With Robocalls For Trump

    By Allegra Kirkland
    Published January 9, 2016, 3:46 PM EST

    Some registered voters in Iowa received robocalls Saturday from a white nationalist super PAC that urged them to support Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

    “I urge you to vote for Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America,” Jared Taylor said on the robocall, paid for by the American National Super PAC. “We don’t need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.”

    Taylor is the founder of the white supremacist magazine American Renaissance. The robocall included two more endorsements from a conservative Christian talk show host and the head of the white nationalist American Freedom Party.

    Reverend Donald Tan, a Filipino-American minister and host of Christian talk show program “For God and Country,” encouraged Iowans to vote for Trump by citing scripture.

    “First Corinthians states ‘God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise and God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong,’” he says on the call. “For the Iowa caucuses please support Donald Trump.”

    The robocall was closed out by American Freedom Party chairman William Johnson, who identified himself only as “a farmer and white nationalist.” Johnson, who founded the PAC that paid for the robocall, notes that Trump did not authorize it.

    The American Freedom Party had issued a press release Friday announcing the launch of the robocall campaign, calling Trump its “Great White Hope.”

    Jared Taylor also serves as a spokesman for the Council of Conservative Citizens, which was cited in the manifesto written by Charleston shooter Dylann Roof as the group that opened his eyes to what he saw as the scourge of black-on-white crime in America. Roof went on a shooting rampage at a historically black church in June, killing nine parishioners.

    Iowa resident Dave Dwyer, who sent TPM a recording of the call, said over the phone, “I’ve lived in Iowa a long time and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

    Trump is polling neck-and-neck with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) among likely Iowa Republican voters just a few weeks before the Feb. 1 caucuses.

    Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    “I urge you to vote for Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America…We don’t need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.”
    One of the fascinating things about the Trump phenomena is that getting associated with a stunt like this probably won’t hurt Trump’s campaign directly because white nationalist dog-whistling is a central theme of his whole campaign. He’s clearly very comfortable with his fellow travelers. But you have to wonder how the growing open embrace of Trump by the white nationalists in 2016 will have on the GOP’s generic party brand in 2016 and beyond because the Trump campaign sort of doubles as free advertising for an array of white nationalist organizations and that’s why this is probably just the start of neo-Nazi’s openly robo-calling people in support of a GOP candidate in 2016. The Trump phenomena is just too big an opportunity for these groups to pass up.

    It’s a dynamic that has to be keeping GOP strategists up at night. Maybe not super late.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 11, 2016, 9:35 am
  19. Maine’s governor, Paul Le Page, really, really, really wants everyone to know that just because he insists on publicly asserting that the state’s heroin epidemic – which appears to largely be a predictable side-effect of the state imposing tighter restrictions on prescription opioid painkillers – is primarily a consequence of out of state black and Hispanic drug dealers (who then proceed to impregnate a white girl before they leave, according to Le Page), despite the evidence showing most of Maine’s dealers are white people from Connecticut. He’s “totally not racist” at all and has a desire to shoot anyone would suggests otherwise:

    The Atlantic

    Maine’s Governor Insists the Problem Isn’t His Racism—It’s Being Called a Racist

    Paul LePage suggested he might resign amidst an uproar that began when he blamed blacks and Hispanics for his state’s heroin epidemic and endorsed racial profiling.

    David A. Graham
    Aug 30, 2016

    For years, it seemed like no outrageous remark was too far for Paul LePage. That is, there was practically nothing he would not say; and there was no indication that his ever more erratic remarks carried a political cost. But now the Maine governor may have pushed his luck too far.

    During a radio interview Tuesday morning, LePage implied that he might resign. “I’m looking at all options,” he said. “I think some things I’ve been asked to do are beyond my ability. I’m not going to say that I’m not going to finish it. I’m not saying that I am going to finish it.”

    It’s a remarkable moment for the Republican, who has made his reputation by offering up outlandish and often plainly offensive comments. The story began in January, when LePage complained that “guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty … come from Connecticut and New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.”

    At the time, LePage insisted—despite the explicit invocation of race—that he didn’t mean to focus on race. But when a citizen asked him about it at a town hall last week, he had changed his mind.

    “Let me tell you this, explain to you, I made the comment that black people are trafficking in our state, now ever since I said that comment I’ve been collecting every single drug dealer who has been arrested in our state,” LePage said. “I don’t ask them to come to Maine and sell their poison, but they come and I will tell you that 90-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ringed binder, are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.”

    Asked to share the supposed binders in which he had these images, LePage refused. (The ACLU has filed a public-records request for them.) Other than the alleged binders, there is, as I noted in January, no public evidence to support LePage’s claim that the heroic epidemic is being fed by men of color from Connecticut and New York. Victims of the heroin epidemic in Maine are, like the state’s overall population, overwhelmingly white. Historically, heroin in Maine has come not from minorities from those states, but via Caucasian dealers from Massachusetts. When asked to back up his statements, LePage has refused or (literally) stomped away in anger.

    The next day, Drew Gattine, a Democratic state legislator, criticized LePage and said his comments did nothing to help fight heroin. LePage responded by leaving Gattine a voicemail saying he was not a racist, calling Gattine a “socialist cocksucker” and “son of a bitch,” and daring the Democrat to release the voicemail, which Gattine did. Elsewhere, he said he wished that dueling was legal so that he could challenge Gattine and “point it right between his eyes.”

    It’s that message that has proved to be LePage’s big problem. On Friday, he initially offered a non-apology, saying, “Legislators like Gattine would rather be politically correct and protect ruthless drug dealers than work with me to stop this crisis that is killing five Mainers a week.” That evening, he backed up his opposition to “political correctness” with more inflammatory comments.

    “Look, the bad guy is the bad guy, I don’t care what color he is,” LePage said. “When you go to war, if you know the enemy and the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, then you shoot at red…. You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy and the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”

    The problem with LePage’s comments is not that they are politically incorrect. It is that based on the available evidence, they are factually incorrect. LePage is pointing his finger at blacks and Hispanics, but he refuses to offer any proof to back it up.

    The irony is that LePage is horrified by the idea of being called a racist. Like many people confronted with their own racist comments, he views the idea of being called a racist as at least as bad as, and perhaps worse than, actually committing racism.

    When questioned at the town hall on Wednesday, LePage said, “Nobody wants to give you the real story, but the fact of the matter is, sir, I am not a racist.” (As the man who had asked him the question noted, “I didn’t call you a racist.”) LePage also blamed his fury at being called a racist for his voicemail to Gattine. Gattine, too, said he had not called LePage a racist.

    LePage floated the remarkable notion that calling out racism is equivalent to using racist and sexist slurs during his radio interview Tuesday, saying that being called racist is “like calling a black man the ‘N’ word or a woman the ‘C’ word. It just absolutely knocked me off my feet.”

    The governor isn’t a stranger to accusations of racism by now, given that he’s been making racist comments for years. He previously said that Barack Obama “hates white people.” In 2010, he refused to attended a Martin Luther King Day celebration because it was sponsored by the NAACP, which he called a special interest. Questioned about that decision, LePage replied, “Tell ’em to kiss my butt,” and said he couldn’t be racist because he has a Jamaican adopted son.

    LePage, who governs the nation’s whitest state, has made other offensive comments too, including likening the IRS to the Gestapo, saying a Democratic legislator likes “to give it to the people without providing Vaseline,” and hoping for the Portland Press Herald’s building to blow up. He also admitted to pressuring a non-profit into withdrawing a job for a Democratic legislator, by threatening to withhold state money. Democrats tried to impeach LePage over that, but they didn’t have the votes to move forward.

    One important difference this time is that Republicans are turning on LePage. State Republican leaders said that the governor needed to take “corrective action” and met with him to press that reality, as he acknowledged:

    LePage said he met with Republican House and Senate leaders Monday night at the Blaine House but said he plans to talk with his staff before deciding his next move.

    He said his impression from Monday’s meeting was that House Republicans want to “salvage what we can and move forward.” Senate Republicans, he said, are “making demands.”

    Other Republicans have suggested they would support official censure and have mused on whether LePage is struggling with “substance abuse, mental illness or just ignorance.” The state’s moderate Republican senator, Susan Collins, harshly criticized Donald Trump earlier this month, announcing she would not vote for him. Collins wrote in a column, “Rejecting the conventions of political correctness is different from showing complete disregard for common decency.” Although she has not spoken on LePage, the comment would seem to be apply to him as well.

    In fact, LePage—who endorsed Trump in February—might be something of a cautionary tale for the Republican presidential nominee. Like Trump, LePage has made his name in politics by railing against political correctness, and often by scapegoating minorities for a polity’s troubles (alleged black drug dealers in Maine; job-stealing immigrants and homophobic Muslims nationwide). Like LePage, Trump seemed to be immune to the rules of political gravity, floating along despite each new outrage. But both men are encountering what might be the limits of such an appeal. Trump has found that his support among Republicans is weaker than Clinton’s among Democrats, and his electoral coalition is at the moment too small to bring him to victory—but his past comments will make it tougher for him to expand it. LePage, meanwhile, is now forced to reckon with the reality that even members of his own party are close to fed up, a turn of events that could force him from office.

    “The next day, Drew Gattine, a Democratic state legislator, criticized LePage and said his comments did nothing to help fight heroin. LePage responded by leaving Gattine a voicemail saying he was not a racist, calling Gattine a “socialist cocksucker” and “son of a bitch,” and daring the Democrat to release the voicemail, which Gattine did. Elsewhere, he said he wished that dueling was legal so that he could challenge Gattine and “point it right between his eyes.”

    As we can see, Paul LePage really, really, really doesn’t like anyone even insinuating that he’s a racist. He also really, really, really seems to want to see heroin dealers shot. Specifically all the black and Hispanic ones:


    “Look, the bad guy is the bad guy, I don’t care what color he is,” LePage said. “When you go to war, if you know the enemy and the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, then you shoot at red…. You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy and the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”

    Yes, Governor LePage has identified the enemy to the people of Maine: people of color. But this is totally not a racist assertion because he has evidence that they really are “the enemy” in terms of disproportionately trafficking heroin into the state. He just happens to be the only person to possess that evidence and curiously refuses to share it:

    “Let me tell you this, explain to you, I made the comment that black people are trafficking in our state, now ever since I said that comment I’ve been collecting every single drug dealer who has been arrested in our state,” LePage said. “I don’t ask them to come to Maine and sell their poison, but they come and I will tell you that 90-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ringed binder, are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.”

    Asked to share the supposed binders in which he had these images, LePage refused. (The ACLU has filed a public-records request for them.) Other than the alleged binders, there is, as I noted in January, no public evidence to support LePage’s claim that the heroic epidemic is being fed by men of color from Connecticut and New York. Victims of the heroin epidemic in Maine are, like the state’s overall population, overwhelmingly white. Historically, heroin in Maine has come not from minorities from those states, but via Caucasian dealers from Massachusetts. When asked to back up his statements, LePage has refused or (literally) stomped away in anger.

    So now we know: don’t call Paul LePage a racist. Also, if you’re black or hispanic, you are the enemy of the people of Maine. Of this, Paul LePage is extremely confident. If that seems racist to you, you’re the bigot:


    LePage floated the remarkable notion that calling out racism is equivalent to using racist and sexist slurs during his radio interview Tuesday, saying that being called racist is “like calling a black man the ‘N’ word or a woman the ‘C’ word. It just absolutely knocked me off my feet.”

    And now you know why he’s referred to as Maine’s mini-Trump. So what can we expect to hear next from Maine’s mini-Trump? Well, based on today’s press conference, not much. Ever again. Or, more likely, an explanation from LePage for why he’s once again speaking with reporters since he just declared he’s never speaking to the press ever again because he’s sick of these racist ‘gotcha’ moments. Also, he’s totally not mentally ill:

    Politico

    LePage demands apology from reporter, vows to never speak to press again

    By Nolan D. McCaskill

    08/31/16 10:46 AM EDT

    Updated 08/31/16 03:30 PM EDT

    Maine Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday blamed a reporter in part for his fiery outburst to a state lawmaker last week and vowed never to speak with the press again.

    LePage last Thursday left an obscenity-laced voicemail on Democratic state Rep. Drew Gattine’s phone after he was told by a reporter that Gattine had called the governor a racist. He ordered Gattine to “prove that I’m a racist” and warned “I am after you.”

    Speaking to reporters later that day, LePage expressed his desire to challenge the “snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook” to a duel in which he would point a firearm “right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this Legislature to help move the state forward.”

    LePage met with Gattine on Wednesday morning and apologized to the state legislator and Maine, but he also suggested that he isn’t the only person who has a reason to be sorry.

    “After speaking with Representative Gattine, I think that the reporter who put the mic in my face owes the people of Maine an apology as well, because [Gattine] never called me racist,” LePage told reporters. “He said I made racially [charged] comments. Maybe, in my mind, it is semantics. But in his mind, after talking to him, it was clear that there was a real difference. Fine.”

    LePage conceded that he may have responded the same way had Gattine’s comment been portrayed accurately “because race bothers me, because I try to help minorities.”

    “And I will say this: The biggest discrimination in the United States of America is not race. It’s poverty,” he added. “And we need to educate people out of poverty and not by throwing money at them, and that’s another area that’s very, very dear to my heart.”

    Maine Democrats, who control the state House, have called for LePage’s resignation. And although some Senate Republicans have said they want to see “corrective action,” the House GOP on Tuesday chose not to take any action against the governor after meeting privately for more than two hours about his inflammatory rhetoric.

    “The House, I believe, is very supportive. I believe the Senate would like me to leave,” LePage said. “That’s the truth. I’m brutally honest.”

    Despite telling a local radio station on Tuesday that he may or may not resign and acknowledging “maybe it’s time to move on,” his position was firm Wednesday.

    “I may not supposed to be that sensitive to these things, but I am. I lose sleep over this, and it’s frustrating when you hear people talk about cheap political stunts to hurt their opponent and not do the right thing,” he said. “Being called a racist was a horrible thing for me. It was enormously hurtful. It hurt my family. I will not resign, though.”

    What he said he will do, however, is stop speaking to the media.

    “I will no longer speak to the press ever again after today,” LePage said, prompting laughter from reporters. “And I’m serious. Everything will be put in writing. I am tired of being caught — the gotcha moments.”

    “You folks live in a seven-second fiction world,” he continued. “I live in 24-hour reality.”

    LePage accepted responsibility for what he characterized as taking the reporter’s “bait.”

    “Frankly, it’s been going on, and after six years I should have caught on, but that was a cheap shot, and he got my goat,” he said. “And I don’t know if he researched and knows that I am very sensitive to helping black people in some of the Caribbean islands, but it’s very, very sensitive, and he hit a wrong button. He hit the wrong nerve.”

    LePage said he will seek “spiritual guidance” from his family and dismissed speculation that he’s a victim of alcohol abuse, drug addiction or mental illness.

    “To whomever it was, I’m not an alcoholic and I’m not a drug addict and I don’t have mental issues,” he said. “What I have is a backbone, and I wanna move Maine forward and, you know, in this politics, it’s very hard to be a one-man show.”

    LePage, who called black and Hispanic people “the enemy” last week after remarking that most drug dealers in Maine are minorities, denied making any “racially charged” comments.

    “I apologized for what I did. You need to either not print any more articles about drug trafficking because every single thing I did came out of newspapers, and it’s right here,” he said. “I’m sorry, but I look at newspapers. Let’s put it this way, human beings are coming to Maine and killing Mainers, and, frankly, I call that murder because they know people will die when they sell that poison. Now let’s leave the ethnicity out of it. Some of my friends have kids who are dying.”

    “I will no longer speak to the press ever again after today…And I’m serious. Everything will be put in writing. I am tired of being caught — the gotcha moments.”

    Aww…no more self-inflicted gotcha moments for Maine’s mini-Trump. Hopefully this means LePage can refocus during his remaining days in office and actually address an area that’s very, very dear to his heart: the discrimination that comes with poverty:


    “And I will say this: The biggest discrimination in the United States of America is not race. It’s poverty,” he added. “And we need to educate people out of poverty and not by throwing money at them, and that’s another area that’s very, very dear to my heart.”

    Ok, if Maine’s mini-Trump wants to show how caring he is tackling poverty is a pretty good start. Poverty certainly is a pervasive form of discrimination.

    That said, the issue of poverty may not have been the best topic to use to deflect from his blatant bigotry. Just be sure not to mention this to him. We don’t need anyone getting shot.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 31, 2016, 3:00 pm

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