Kevin DeAnna has stepped down as president of Youth for Western Civilization, the ultraconservative student group he founded in 2006 and has run ever since.
“Comrades, I’m extremely proud of everything YWC has accomplished over the last few years,” the 28-year-old wrote in a letter posted on the group’s website Feb. 17. But, “for various personal (namely, I’m old) and professional reasons, I will no longer be in charge of YWC. For those of you who know me, I’ll still be working in the conservative movement but I’ll be doing different things and won’t be associated with what YWC will be doing after this.”
Those “different things” appear to already be happening. Recently, DeAnna changed his Twitter profile to describe himself as “marketing coordinator” for WorldNetDaily (WND), a far-right online publication best known for its anti-Obama “birther” propaganda. Apparently, he’ll also be serving as a reporter: His first item, a fawning interview with white nationalist pundit Pat Buchanan, appeared Sunday on WND.
He is also still employed as a regional field director for the Leadership Institute, a well-funded organization that claims to have trained close to 100,000 “future conservative leaders” – including Karl Rove and Ralph Reed.
DeAnna in his letter outlined plans to change YWC, splitting the blog and “institutional elements” of the organization, redesigning the webpage, and creating new “resources, information, and opportunities for YWC members and other patriotic activists.” Noting that the group has been “somewhat coy” about the number of chapters it has, he explained that some students have had trouble starting official chapters and claimed to “have active groups and members at a far larger number of campuses than we’ve said.”
“We want every single person who believes in our mission to have a way to be involved at whatever level they choose,” he wrote.
The letter contains little indication of who will oversee the planned changes. The group’s vice president, Taylor Rose, is currently living in Romania, and, according to DeAnna, unnamed “others” will be running the website and group administration in his absence.
“We ask the patience of our members and donors as we facilitate this transition,” DeAnna wrote. “YWC 2.0 will be able to build on our foundation to recruit more members, create more activism, and launch more careers in the conservative movement under this new direction. … With your support, YWC and the West can win this thing.”