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The Minuteman Political Action Committee proclaims on its website that it’s furiously advancing “2008 Project PushBack,” a supposedly full-scale effort to help reelect members of Congress who’ve pledged to crack down on immigrants who are in the country illegally. “Minuteman PAC has quickly become THE ONE Political Action Committee that the open-borders, pro-amnesty lobby fears most,” writes the committee’s executive director, Brett Farley. “And fear us they should!”
Despite all the brash rhetoric, however, the committee appears to be concentrating more on raising money than affecting the political process. Although the Minuteman PAC has spent nearly $1.3 million so far in the 2007-08 election cycle, less than 2% of that money has gone directly to candidates running for office, according to the latest data released by the Federal Election Commission and compiled by OpenSecrets.org. Instead, the vast majority has been spent on operating expenses, mostly direct mail fundraisers, Internet services and accounting work.
Political action committees, known as PACs, are private groups that raise money to elect political candidates. They’re subject to strict reporting guidelines.
The Minuteman PAC was established in December 2005 as the political action arm of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), a nativist extremist group whose members have conducted armed patrols of the border. MCDC’s embattled leader, Chris Simcox, has for the past two years faced a barrage of criticism (here and here) from within the anti-immigration movement concerning allegations of financial mismanagement and questionable fundraising practices. ( continue to full post… )
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Robert L. Duecaster helps lead a nativist extremist group and regularly makes defamatory comments about Catholics, Muslims and undocumented immigrants, calling the latter in an October 2007 blog post “an invasion of parasites set on reducing this country to the levels of their own.”
But all that didn’t stop the Prince William (Va.) Board of County Supervisors from appointing him to a committee that will influence county decision making on human services policy and budget priorities. After a closed-door discussion, the board voted 5-3 on Sept. 16 to approve Duecaster’s nomination to the Human Services Strategic Goals Task Force, which will develop a roadmap for the next four years of human services planning.
Duecaster is secretary of Help Save Manassas, an anti-immigration group that has spawned other “Help Save” chapters in Virginia and Maryland. In 2007, he helped author a local ordinance aimed at denying county services to undocumented immigrants and empowering local police to enforce federal immigration law. County officials later softened the ordinance because of concerns that it could lead to racial profiling.
Duecaster is known for his inflammatory remarks. “This country is being invaded no less than if hordes of armed people came across its borders,” he said during an October 2007 county supervisors meeting. “This invasion is not armed, but they’ve got weapons. The weapons that they use are their anchor babies. … This invasion is being funded by foreign governments.” He offered another dire warning to the supervisors in April 2008: “You’re at an historic crossroad today. You can fund and continue to enforce the rule of law resolution or you can let it go by the wayside and watch this county and the rest of this region degenerate into a third world slum.” ( continue to full post… )
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FIRE IN THE HOLE: The double-wide mobile home of imprisoned Klan leader Charles Barefoot, who was recently declared incompetent to stand trial for allegedly arranging the murder of a fellow Klansman, burned to the ground on Tuesday in Dunn, N.C. “When I got home, ammunition was exploding everywhere and flames were shooting through the roof of his house,” one neighbor told the local newspaper, The Daily Record. “There were bullets going off, shotgun shells exploding and popping everywhere.” Barefoot’s Klan group and its many alleged crimes were detailed in a 2007 article in the Intelligence Report. Barefoot is being held indefinitely until his competency is restored. Local authorities say their investigation into the cause of the fire at his home is ongoing.
THE POOP ON POOP: Janis Dzelme, an assistant to a Latvian member of parliament, has been convicted of throwing a “stinking substance” at the car of a gay-rights demonstrator in July 2006 in Riga, the Latvian capital. And what was that stinking substance? That same month in 2006, members of Watchmen on the Walls, a U.S.- and Latvia-based virulently anti-gay outfit, gathered in Riga to “protect the city from a homosexual invasion.” As the Intelligence Report has noted, gay rights supporters at that rally were met by “a gauntlet of ultranationalists, neo-Nazi skinheads, elderly women and youths wearing ‘I Love New Generation’ T-shirts. They were pelted with eggs, rotten tomatoes and plastic bags full of feces.” Alexey Ledyaev, leader of the Riga-based New Generation Church and co-founder of the Watchmen on the Walls, attended Dzelme’s sentencing. Dzelme, along with his boss, parliamentary deputy Dainis Turlais, are members of Ledyaev’s New Generation Church. Dzelme was sentenced to 100 hours of “compulsory labor,” which is widely seen in Latvia as a more severe punishment than the alternative of paying a $3,400 fine.
SECOND THOUGHTS ON HIGHWAY OF HATE: Earlier this week, Hatewatch reported that the San Diego Minutemen (SDMM), a nativist extremist group, had been allowed to “adopt” a stretch of I-5 for cleanup that included the Border Patrol’s busy San Clemente checkpoint. No way, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) says now, following a rash of negative publicity. Instead, officials say the SDMM will be offered a stretch of State Route 52, more than 30 miles north of the border checkpoint. Caltrans District Director Pedro Orso-Delgado told The San Diego Union-Tribune that he was concerned about public safety, not about the appearance of having favored the Minutemen by giving them that particular stretch of I-5 to keep clean. “It basically creates a lightning rod. … Really, we don’t need that kind of issue on a freeway where we have so many cars traveling and there’s potential for having an accident or getting into a safety issue,” he explained. Howard Kaloogian, a former state assemblyman who is legal counsel for the SDMM, called the decision political and vowed to challenge CalTrans in court.
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California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has approved an application by the in-your-face San Diego Minutemen (SDMM) group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a “nativist extremist” group, to “adopt” a stretch of highway for cleanup on I-5. That might not be so extraordinary — if it weren’t for the fact that the section the group was awarded responsibility for includes the Border Patrol’s San Clemente checkpoint, an area where undocumented immigrants have been killed crossing the freeway to avoid being detained. El Grupo, a coalition of several civil rights organizations including the North County chapter of the NAACP and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, is protesting the decision.
Jeff Schwilk (right), the SDMM’s leader, was thrilled about the stretch of highway his group was awarded. In a gloating message to his members, he put it like this: “How great is that!” ( continue to full post… )
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What’s in a highway? It depends, it turns out, on who you’re listening to.
For years, nativist fearmongers and assorted conspiracy theorists have asserted that Interstate 35 — the highway that traverses the U.S. in a 1,568-mile path from Laredo, Texas, to Duluth, Minn. — is a part of a secret government plan that spells national ruin and an invasion of illegal immigrants. In the words of Jerome Corsi, the architect of the Swift boat attacks on John Kerry and a general conspiracy nut, the Bush Administration and various evil allies are “quietly but systematically” moving forward on “this key piece of the coming ‘North American Union’.” I-35, groups like the conspiracy-minded John Birch Society add, will soon be transformed into a 10-lane corridor designed expressly to bring in workers and products that will destroy American workers’ livelihoods and bring the much-feared union of Mexico, the United States and Canada one grim step closer to reality.
But wait! Now comes a whole new set of people with their own unusual ideas, and they say that I-35 isn’t evil after all — on the contrary, it’s the “Highway of Holiness,” the very same one prophesied in Isaiah 35:8: “And a highway will be there; it will be called the way of holiness.” This amazing news comes courtesy of CBN’s “The 700 Club,” the Christian Right television show hosted by Pat Robertson, who once blamed 9/11 on gays, feminists, abortionists and sundry liberals.
As recounted by 700 Club “reporter” Paul Strand (a tip of the hat to the folks at Pam’s House Blend for capturing this), a group of Texas-based Christian Right churches, “because of recent prophesies, dreams and visions,” are staging “purity sieges” up and down the highway at gay bars, abortion clinics, strip clubs and adult bookstores. Cindy Jacobs, one of the pastors behind the sieges, said she had received instructions from God to “[g]o to these cities and cry out for holiness and purity, and [then] I’ll come down and I’ll invade.” ( continue to full post… )
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Movie director Ronald Maxwell (below, right) — the writer, director and producer of the god-awful 2003 movie “Gods and Generals,” a wildly pro-Confederate and ahistorical take on the Civil War — has adopted a new cause: the threat allegedly posed to right-thinking Americans by undocumented Mexican immigrants. In a Sept. 17 interview with Jeff Mellott of the Daily News Record of Harrisonburg, Va., Maxwell declared that Mexican immigrants’ ultimate goal was “outright annexation” of the Southwestern United States. Adopting the so-called reconquista conspiracy theory widely touted by the radical right, Maxwell explained to Mellot that “they [Mexican politicians and intellectuals] see it as a re-conquering.” “The American people are funding their own suicide,” Maxwell said. “If we stop paying taxes, this craziness stops.”
Maxwell also last month stumped for anti-immigrant hard-liners running for Republican offices in Virginia. The Washington Post reported on Sept. 23 that Maxwell wrote in to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, which covers the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., to ask: “Why on earth would we want to create the conditions in the American Southwest, or for that matter all across America, for future civil strife, or in a worst case scenario, civil war?” Similarly, in an open letter to President Bush last year, Maxwell referred to immigration as an “invasion masquerading as immigration.” He told Bush that his legacy would be described “as the President who saved (or lost) the South-West of the United States.” ( continue to full post… )
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Scott Suchman, an accomplished photographer hired by the Intelligence Report to photograph a press conference put on Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., by the hate group The Social Contract Press, was thrown out of the event by its organizers. The Press Club is considered the “sanctum sanctorum of American journalists” and is dedicated to “the promotion of free expression.”
When Suchman arrived at the Club’s Lisagor Room with camera in hand, he was questioned about who he was free-lancing for. He was told by Diana Hull, head of the press conference’s co-sponsor Californians for Population Stabilization, that because he was shooting photographs for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which publishes the Report, he could not attend.
Club House Manager David King told Hatewatch that the Club doesn’t censor or discriminate against those who rent their facilities. “Those crazy folks have the full right to say that they don’t want a [particular] photographer in their event,” he explained. The press conference’s organizer, Fran Griffin of Griffin Communications, held another event that featured speeches by several hate group members at the Club in March. One speech, by “radical traditionalist Catholic” E. Michael Jones, consisted of an anti-Semitic rant about the evil “revolutionary Jew,” which was so rabid it caused C-SPAN to cancel its planned coverage of the event.
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The Social Contract Press, which has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2001 for publishing articles by white supremacists and promoting the idea that America should be populated by white people, is co-hosting a news conference at the National Press Club today. The topic is “How Many Illegal Aliens are in the United States?” and it will dispute official government data that shows approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants residing in the US.
The Social Contract Press is one of several programs that make up U.S. Inc., a foundation run for decades by John Tanton (right), the architect of much of the modern anti-immigration movement and the co-founder of the country’s largest immigration restriction outfit, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR has its own ties to white supremacists, having accepted more than $1 million from the Pioneer Fund, a hate group that funds controversial studies on race and intelligence.
Tanton has a history of bigotry. Perhaps most famous were the remarks he penned on immigrants in internal 1986 memos to his FAIR colleagues. In them, Tanton questioned the “educability” of Latinos compared to others and wondered whether “those with their pants up [whites] are going to get caught by those with their pants down [Latinos]” in what he characterized as a race to procreate. Tanton’s Social Contract Press also has republished and given a full-throated endorsement to a racist novel called The Camp of the Saints. The book depicts a future invasion of France by starving hordes of Indian emigrants, who are characterized as sexually voracious beasts determined to wreck Western civilization. ( continue to full post… )
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The Washington Times, which has a long history of shoddy journalism and extremism, has recently endured a spate of staff departures, including that of Washington insider Tony Blankley. Blankley, the newspaper’s editorial page editor and former press secretary for then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), joined the PR firm Edelman on Sept. 18 as its executive vice president for global public affairs. Following him out the Times’ door in October will be Cathy Gainor, the business news editor. Earlier this year, two of the Times’ top advertising salesmen, Michael McGrath and Aaron Finely, bolted as well.
These resignations come after an onslaught of press accounts revealing white supremacist thinking by Managing Editor Francis Coombs (pictured right, see Coombs’ blog here), whose wife Marian has direct ties to white supremacists (as revealed in 2005 by the Intelligence Report). One of Coombs’ favored editors, Robert Stacy McCain, is an ardent foe of interracial marriage and a former member of the white supremacist League of the South. Most damaging to Coombs have been recent revelations of the Coombses’ alleged associations with neo-Nazi leader Bill White. White, the leader of the American National Socialist Workers party, is currently being probed by the FBI after suggesting that the “Jena 6” should be lynched and listing the home addresses and phone numbers of five of the teenagers on his website.
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“J.T.” Ready, a prominent Minuteman Civil Defense Corps volunteer and anti-immigration activist based in Phoenix, has been flitting around the edges of the neo-Nazi movement for more than a year now, quietly creating a profile on the racist social networking website New Saxon and attending a private gathering organized by the neo-Nazi organization National Vanguard.
But when the National Socialist Movement held an anti-immigration rally in Omaha, Neb., on Sept. 1, the leader of the Americans First nativist extremist group was making his public debut as a full-blown neo-Nazi. Photographs (above) captured a grinning Ready, clad in a grey business suit, standing side-by-side with NSM members who wore brown-shirt uniforms with swastika armbands. Any doubt that Ready was an open white supremacist, as well as a hard-line nativist, evaporated at that point. ( continue to full post… )