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Attacking the Constitution: State Legislators for Legal Immigration & the Anti-Immigrant Movement

This report profiles a dozen leading members of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), an organization that specializes in mounting legislative attacks on immigrants in states around the country. SLLI is now working to end the 14th Amendment's promise of birthright citizenship.

Overview: Nativism & the States

Gay people are the "death knell" of America. The Confederacy fought for "individual liberties." One-world government, as predicted in the Book of Revelation, is around the corner. The federal government knew about the Oklahoma City bombing before it happened. President Obama is a secret Muslim and not an American citizen. The babies of undocumented immigrants are a "poison." State troopers should confine immigrants to special ghettoes. A federal agency has secretly built a series of concentration camps for patriotic Americans.

These are just some of the radical-right beliefs of a dozen leading members of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), a four-year-old organization that specializes in mounting legislative attacks on immigrants in states around the country. SLLI is now working feverishly to end the 14th Amendment's promise of birthright citizenship. Passed in the aftermath of the Civil War, the amendment guarantees that all persons born in this country and subject to its jurisdiction are citizens of the United States as well as the state in which they live.

This assault on the 14th Amendment is only the latest volley from an angry nativist movement that has been surging for about a decade. Populist anger over the issue of immigration has helped the number of hate groups expand by more than 65% since 2000 and also has fueled the appearance of hundreds of vigilante civilian border patrol groups. Now, SLLI is taking a leading role in fostering xenophobic intolerance in statehouses across the nation.

The group, founded in 2007, attributes to "illegal aliens" what it describes as "[i]ncreasingly documented incidences of homicide, identity theft, property theft, serious infectious diseases, drug running, gang violence, human trafficking, terrorism and growing cost to taxpayers." Its founder, Republican Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, writes on SLLI's website that "the personal and economic safety" of all Americans is threatened by "the ongoing invasion of illegal aliens" and compares the situation to that facing the settlers during the American Revolution.

There is nothing in SLLI's simpleminded materials that suggests any possible benefit from immigrants, despite widespread agreement among economists that they help grow the economy on behalf of all Americans. And there is nothing that even hints at any human cost to trying to throw some 11 million men, women and children out of the country. And there is no recognition of the fact that scholarly studies show clearly that immigrants are on average much less criminal than native-born Americans.

Metcalfe is a nativist hard-liner who has railed long and hard against "anchor babies," a pejorative term suggesting that undocumented parents have children in this country in order to later use them to secure citizenship for themselves. He has said that immigrant parents "live the life of a criminal" and should have their children taken away.

So it was no surprise when, in announcing their attack on the 14th Amendment at a press conference this January, SLLI officials said "hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are crossing U.S. borders to give birth or exploit their child" to obtain citizenship. But this incendiary allegation was clearly refuted by a contemporaneous Pew Hispanic Center study showing that the vast majority of children of undocumented parents were born at least a year after their parents arrived.

It also seems ridiculous on its face. The reality is that a baby born to undocumented parents here would have to wait until he or she was 21 to sponsor their parents for citizenship, and the parents would have to first return to their native country for 10 years in order to qualify. Confronted with the Pew study, Metcalfe stuck doggedly to his guns. "Whether it's thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands that are born here, it's still a major incentive," he told USA Today.

Metcalfe's right-wing vitriol isn't limited to immigrants. He has denounced his state's Domestic Violence Awareness Month as part of the "homosexual agenda," asserted that veterans who believe in global warming are leftist traitors, and cast doubt on President Obama's citizenship.

There's more. SLLI highlights the fact that it has a "working partnership" with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) since 2007 for its white nationalist agenda and ties to racist groups. FAIR has been working for some three decades to, in the words of its founder John Tanton, preserve "a European-American majority, and a clear one at that." FAIR President Dan Stein has made similar statements. In an oral history housed in a university library, Stein raged at the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended a 40-year-old racist quota system. In signing the law, President Lyndon B. Johnson had celebrated the idea that the national origins quota system "will never again shadow the gate to the American dream with …. prejudice." But Stein saw it differently, saying the new law was a "key mistake" in U.S. policy forced on the country by "revengists" who sought "to retaliate against Anglo-Saxon dominance."

SLLI members rely on FAIR to produce model legislation for them to use at the state level, as FAIR did in the case of Arizona's highly controversial S.B. 1070, the harshly anti-immigrant law that was passed last year and is now stalled in the courts, where its constitutionality has been challenged by the Obama Administration. In fact, FAIR lawyers Michael Hethmon and Kris Kobach (the principal author of the Arizona statute) joined this January's SLLI press conference. (An SPLC report published just this February — "When Mr. Kobach Comes to Town: Nativist Laws & the Communities They Damage" — detailed the financial, racial and economic wreckage caused by Kobach's laws in Arizona and elsewhere.)

The nativist descriptions of foreign "invaders" bearing all kinds of social ills that come from the likes of Daryl Metcalfe and FAIR are hardly new in America. Similar attacks on the disfavored groups of the moment have marked our history from the very beginning.

During the 1866 debate on the 14th Amendment, for example, Sen. Edgar Cowan of Metcalfe's home state of Pennsylvania raged against the idea of children of Chinese immigrants and Gypsies – the "anchor babies" of yesteryear – becoming citizens by virtue of being born here. He argued that citizenship should be preserved for "people of my own blood and lineage, people of the same religion, people of the same beliefs and traditions." He warned against "a flood of immigration of the Mongol race" and of the country being "invaded," not just by Gypsies — "trespassers" and "swindle[rs]," in Cowan's view — but by "people from Borneo, man-eaters or cannibals, if you please."

Sen. John Conness of California rose in defense of the amendment. He conceded that "it may be very good capital in an electioneering campaign to declaim against the Chinese." But he pointed out that they were an "industrious people … now passing from mining into other branches of industry," including farming and the "building [of] the Pacific railroad." Their children and those of Gypsies born in this country should be "regarded as citizens of the United States," he said. No person "claiming to have a high humanity," he argued, could take a contrary position.

Sen. Conness carried the day. Congress voted to propose the 14th Amendment with its birthright citizenship clause in summer of 1866, and the requisite number of states ratified it two years later. Xenophobic fears and the demonization of those who are different, however, have never been completely quelled. This time around, it isn't Gypsies who concern nativists like the lawmakers who make up SLLI. But it's still another verse of the same old song.

SLLI's members — some 65 men and women — come from 40 states. But they are hardly representative of the country's racial and ethnic mix. And though most may not sound as radical as Metcalfe and some of his colleagues, they all have signed on to an attempt to eviscerate a great constitutional guarantee, one forged in the aftermath of the nation's bloodiest war. In the words of well-known conservative Linda Chavez, the attempt amounts to "a fool's errand that will do great damage to the Republican Party."

What follows are short profiles of a dozen of SLLI's more outspoken members — men and women from Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, four of whom hold leadership positions in their legislatures — whose radicalism gives a sense of just how far from the mainstream the group's goals really are. None of the 12 lawmakers replied to requests for comment for this report.

The author of this report was Research Director Heidi Beirich, with extensive contributions by researchers Evelyn Schlatter and Janet Smith. It was edited by Intelligence Project Director Mark Potok and designed by Design Director Russell Estes.

The Legislators: The Dirty Dozen

What follows are short profiles of a dozen of State Legislators for Legal Immigration's more outspoken members — men and women from Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, four of whom hold leadership positions in their legislatures — whose radicalism gives a sense of just how far from the mainstream the group's goals really are. None of the 12 lawmakers replied to requests for comment for this report.

Georgia House of Representatives
R-District 68
Villa Rica, Ga.

Tim Bearden

Tim Bearden is a big fan of the Confederacy. He's a proud member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), a group that calls the Civil War the "Second American Revolution" and whose ranks are shot through with extremists. At a Confederate Day event in April 2010, Bearden told an SCV gathering, "The folks we are honoring understood individual liberties—they fought for that." Never mind that they fought to keep others in chains.

Bearden led the charge against changing the Georgia State Flag that flew from 1956 until 2001 and prominently included the image of the Confederate battle flag. That flag was raised, essentially, as a racist symbol of defiance against the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. For years after the flag was changed, Bearden continued to agitate for a vote to bring it back. "People used the Southern heritage groups for their votes, then turned their backs on them," Bearden lamented in 2005.

Bearden also is a believer in the conspiracy theory that a secretive North American Union is being planned by global elites that would open the borders between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada and essentially merge the countries. "I have been very aware for a very long time that a lot of the governmental and media elite have a goal of open borders," Bearden told a reporter in 2007 after he and veteran Georgia immigrant-basher D.A. King jointly condemned a Mexico-United States-Canadian meeting then being held in Quebec. (The meeting was one of a series held by the tri-national Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America to improve cooperation on security and economic issues.) Bearden has pushed several anti-immigrant bills in the Georgia legislature, including one that would have required driver's license tests to be given in English and another that would seize vehicles involved in "undocumented immigrant traffic violations."

Another of Bearden's passions is guns — lots of guns, in lots of places. In 2008, Bearden tried to force Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to allow concealed weapons. He pushed a bill, which later became law, that declared the airport a public place, which Bearden said meant it would be required to allow firearms. Daring airport officials to arrest him the day the law took effect, Bearden said: "I have a permit, and I have family I have to pick up at the airport tomorrow. I'll have one [concealed weapon] with me at all times." The airport's general manager replied to Bearden's posturing with a simple statement: "I can identify him, and I'll have him arrested."

Bearden ultimately backed down, but not on pro-gun legislation. The next year, Bearden sponsored a law that would allow people to carry weapons in state parks and restaurants that serve alcohol and on mass transit. In 2010, Bearden was back with a bill that would allow people to take firearms into hospitals, onto college campuses, and, specifically, into airports.

Bearden also has been embroiled in a political scandal. In 2009, it emerged that the City of Carrollton, Ga., had paid Bearden nearly $100,000 over four years to serve as a "consultant." City officials were asked and failed to produce anything to show what Bearden had done for them. Later, the officials said that Bearden helped with the annual Toys for Tots program, but an area organizer for the charity drive said there were no records of any work by Bearden. According to a report in theTimes-Georgian, "a plethora of problems" existed in Bearden's contract, including the fact that it was not in writing and "there are no verifiable job duties" required.

Texas House of Representatives
R-District 6
Tyler, Texas

Leo Berman

Leo Berman has a well-deserved reputation for harsh rhetoric and general nastiness. In a 2007 speech, for example, he falsely blamed undocumented immigrants for 70% of all births in Houston's public hospitals and for most of the criminal gangs in the state's major cities. According to the Daily Kos, Berman went on to say that illegal immigrants were bringing polio, the plague, leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, chagas disease and dengue fever to the United States "in alarming numbers." (Similar claims by former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs about leprosy and immigrants were completely debunked.)

Berman's attacks on immigrants didn't stop there. He has put forth bills to bar illegal immigrants from public universities and tax money orders sent between Texas and Mexico. And in 2007, Berman filed what may have been the first-ever bill to challenge the 14th Amendment's promise of birthright citizenship. H.B. 28 would have denied state benefits and any kind of license to any person born in Texas whose parents were not legal residents.

In 2009, Berman got into a shouting match with Chinese-American immigration lawyer Harry Joe over Berman's proposed legislation to create "sanctuary cities" in Texas. Normally, sanctuary cities are understood to mean places that do not actively try to move against undocumented immigrants. But in Berman's bill, the sanctuaries would instead use Texas state troopers to "restrict" undocumented immigrants to certain geographic areas — an idea reminiscent of the separate homelands created by the apartheid government in South Africa for black people. During their exchange, Berman told Harry Joe, an American citizen, to "go home," adding that Joe could "kiss [his] ass." House Speaker Joe Strauss, a fellow Republican, has characterized such diatribes as "Leo's vitriol."

Berman, who routinely disparages President Obama, is a "birther" — a man who does not believe the president was born in the United States despite all the evidence. At a rally in April 2010 in Tyler hosted by FOX News' Glenn Beck (himself no stranger to extremist rhetoric), Berman said, "I believe that Barack Obama is God's punishment on us today." In November, Berman introduced a bill that would require future presidential and vice-presidential candidates that file in Texas to produce their "original birth certificate" to Texas' secretary of state. "This bill is necessary because we have a president whom the American people don't know whether he was born in Kenya or some other place," he said. On the same day that Berman filed the birther bill, he also pre-filed seven anti-immigration bills.

Berman's latest crusade is against Shariah — Muslim religious law. In January, Berman introduced a bill that would mandate that "[a] court of this state may not enforce, consider, or apply any religious or cultural law" — a completely pointless suggestion, given that judges are prohibited by the Constitution from doing any such thing. The bill didn't specifically say Shariah, but Berman's statements make it pretty plain what he has in mind. "A lot of federal courts are referring to international courts and laws of other countries," he claimed recently. "We want to make sure our courts are not doing this, especially in regards to cultural laws. If that includes Sharia law, then so be it."

Arizona House of Representatives
R-District 4
Skull Valley, Ariz.

Judy Burges

Judy Burges flaunts her participation in the armed border-watch activities conducted by the anti-immigrant Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) vigilante group. When MCDC head Chris Simcoxchallenged Sen. John McCain in last year's GOP primary, Burges backed Simcox, an anti-immigrant conspiracist who has claimed to have personally witnessed Chinese Red Army troops maneuvering on the U.S.-Mexican border. Burges also is an original sponsor of S.B. 1070, Arizona's punishing anti-immigrant ordinance that is now caught up in the federal courts. Between 2006 and 2010, Burges voted yes on 15 anti-immigrant House bills.

Burges' latest cause célèbre is the "birther" bill she introduced this January. It would require all presidential candidates to show proof of citizenship, in the form of an affidavit from the candidate and "an original long form birth certificate that includes the date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and the attending physician and signatures of the witnesses in attendance." (Sadly for future candidates, many perfectly legal birth certificates list no witnesses.) Arizona's secretary of state would make the final call on whose names would grace the ballot. The bill, which is expected to pass, would take effect before the 2012 election.

Burges told the Arizona Daily Star that the measure is not necessarily about Obama — although she does doubt the president was born in Hawaii, as he claims. Burges has other problems with Obama, in particular his relationship to Muslims. "When someone bows to the king of Saudi Arabia and they apologize for our country around the world, I have a problem with that," she told a reporter. Her suspicions about Obama go beyond that well-publicized bow. "Obama has a book and it said … he would be on the Muslim side," Burges continued. "Doesn't that bother you just a little bit?"

Burges is no fan of gay rights — not by a long shot. In 1999, when Rep. Barbara Blewster came under attack for claiming that cultures that embrace gay people also celebrate such things as bestiality and human sacrifice, Burges wrote to her local paper in support of Blewster. Her fellow legislator, Burges wrote, was a picture of "impeccable moral character, integrity and honesty."

Rep. Blewster "was right about bestiality and cannibalism. You've been dining on her flesh almost daily," Burges complained. Burges' website adds that heterosexual marriage has been the "bedrock of civilization from the beginning of recorded history." "We should not allow intolerance by the few to pre-empt the settled moral judgment of civilization," it says.

Burges is also a committed gun enthusiast. Out of 17 bills listed on her website, a full quarter pertain to firearms. She is a firm believer in the right to carry concealed weapons.

Early this February, she introduced a bill that would make evidence collected during a 911 call to police inadmissible in court. (Statements made on 911 calls are frequently useful evidence in prosecutions.)

The reason? Burges' bill reportedly was the legislative answer to the conviction of Phoenix store owner Roger Garfield, who killed an unarmed homeless man and was later found guilty of manslaughter. Garfield claimed self-defense, but that was contradicted by statements he made in 911 calls.

Oklahoma House of Representatives
R-District 84
Oklahoma City, Okla.

Sally Kern

Sally Kern is one serious gay-basher. She thinks gays and lesbians are "the biggest threat" to the U.S., "even more than terrorism or Islam." In a particularly inflammatory talk she gave in 2008, she said: "If you got cancer or something in your little toe, do you say, well, you know, I'm just going to forget about it because the rest of me is fine? It spreads. OK? [Gay rights]…will destroy this nation." Kern argues that no society that has embraced gay rights has ever lasted more than a few decades and she constantly frets that gays are "going after our children, as young as two years of age."

In July 2009, Kern and other legislators signed her "Oklahoma Citizen's Proclamation for Morality." The document blamed the economic downturn on abortion, pornography, divorce and same sex marriage. It said nothing about Wall Street greed or regulatory failures, but it did condemn the president — who had declared June "Gay Pride Month" — for disregarding "the biblical admonitions to live clean and pure lives by proclaiming an entire month to an immoral behavior."

That's not all. Sally Kern also is against high-resolution driver's license photos, which she believes are a sign of the end times. The Oklahoman reported that Kern said the photos could enter a government database where "[y]ou wouldn't know that they are identifying you." Kern's concern is that the Book of Revelation mentions "a one-world government and everybody will be enrolled into a system and have to have a certain mark in order to buy, sell, and trade." The more detailed driver's licenses, apparently, would allow that to happen.

Kern sounds a little calmer when she talks about immigration — a little. She supports a bill requiring schools to get proof of citizenship from their students. When Latinos voiced concerns that the bill's real aim is to force the children's parents to leave the country — Supreme Court precedent establishes that undocumented children are entitled to attend public schools so the proposed law is basically pointless — she responded: "We just want to see how much money is being spent on people who are not citizens from Oklahoma."

Now, by joining State Legislators for Legal Immigration, she has signed on to the effort to end birthright citizenship, which has been recognized by the nation's courts for decades.

Oklahoma House of Representatives
R-District 90
Oklahoma City, Okla.

Charles Key

Charles Key is an antigovernment conspiracy theorist. He gained notoriety following the Oklahoma City bombing when he claimed that the federal government knew in advance about the attack that left 168 people dead and engaged in a "cover-up" afterward. Key even managed to get a county grand jury convened to look into his theory. When the grand jury reported in 1999 that it had found no evidence of government complicity or advance knowledge, Key's immediate response was to denounce the very grand jury that he'd created.

Key's views are popular on the antigovernment "Patriot" circuit, and he has appeared at many Patriot events. At a 2009 conference, he recommended repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments (authorizing the federal income tax and the direct popular election of senators, respectively) in order to curtail the reach of the federal government.

Key expanded on his antigovernment views in the 2010 film "Don't Tread on Me — the Rise of the Republic," which was produced by antigovernment conspiracist Gary Franchi and claims to offer "sound solutions to take back rights stolen by our out-of-control, despotic federal government." In the film, Key says the U.S. now has "a tyrannical government, a government that's violating the rights of the citizens and violating the law." Key has also appeared repeatedly on the Austin, Texas-based radio show of Alex Jones, a major Patriot icon and one of the nation's leading conspiracy theorists.

In April 2010, Key and another legislator met with J.W. Berry, leader of the Tulsa-based Tea Party, to discuss legislation to form a state-run militia. Berry is infamous for his online rants about Obama; he reportedly calls him "the Muslim president" and a "reincarnation of Pol Pot" who is trying to imprison Americans for resisting healthcare. One of Berry's postings said that his militia should launch 1,000 guerrilla attacks "on the plans that these people have to ruin us and our country." None of this prevented Key from soliciting Berry's advice, although he did retreat on the proposed legislation after it was criticized across the nation. In the end, he said he wasn't sure if the bill would be introduced this year after all.

Key also supports fellow Oklahoma lawmaker Randy Terrill's recently passed (and completely unnecessary) ban on using Shariah law in state courts. He regularly sponsors and votes for anti-immigration and English-as-official-state-language laws.

Last June, Key spoke at an event in Topeka, Kan., put on by the hard-line nativist group, Federal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Coalition. There, Key touted the State Legislators for Legal Immigration's efforts to "eliminate the misapplication of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as it has been utilized to secure citizenship for the children of illegal aliens and their families."

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
R-District 12
Cranberry Township, Pa.

Daryl Metcalfe

Daryl Metcalfe is the founder and driving force behind State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), which he launched in 2007 with the help of the anti-immigrant hate group, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). He regularly describes immigrants as "invaders." At an SLLI press conference Metcalfe held this January regarding the group's 14th Amendment "reform" efforts, Metcalfe said, "We want to bring an end to the illegal alien invasion that is having such a negative impact in our states."

Metcalfe routinely demonizes immigrants as criminals despite studies that clearly show that they are, on average, much less so than American natives. "You hear story after story about the murders, rapes, and threats," he said at a press conference this past May. "It's one crime after another committed by people who should not be here." He is particularly incensed about what he derisively calls "anchor babies" — children born to undocumented immigrants who get citizenship as a result of being born here — and suggests that their parents are guilty of child abuse. "If an American citizen were to do the things to a baby that these people do to have 'anchor baby' status, you would probably be charged with child abuse," Metcalfe said last October. "We do not let Americans who live the life of a criminal keep their children."

Early in 2008, Metcalfe held up voting on a routine Pennsylvania House proclamation honoring the 60th annual convention in Harrisburg of a Muslim group, saying that he wouldn't vote for the measure because Muslims "do not recognize Jesus Christ as God." Similarly, in September 2009, Metcalfe held up a resolution declaring October "Domestic Violence Awareness Month." This time, he improbably claimed that the effort was part of the "homosexual agenda" because it included men as possible victims of domestic violence.

The same year, Metcalfe refused an invitation to speak to Operation Free, a veterans group concerned that dependence on foreign energy sources and climate change threaten national security. As a matter of fact, he sent an E-mail to every member of the Pennsylvania House saying: "As a veteran, I believe that any veteran lending their name, to promote the leftist propaganda of global warming and climate change … is a traitor to the oath he or she took [to] defend the Constitution of our great nation!" He added, "Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda."

Not surprisingly, Daryl Metcalfe is a birther. In an interview with the far-right "news" site World Net Daily in November, Metcalfe said he would soon propose legislation "that would require presidential candidates to prove their natural born citizenship before they are allowed to file petitions to have their name on the state ballot."

Missouri Senate
R-District 26
Washington, Mo.

Brian Nieves

Although he is of Puerto Rican descent, Brian Nieves, a newly elected state senator and the former majority whip of Missouri's House of Representatives, reacted angrily in 2008 after President Obama suggested that American children learn Spanish in addition to English. The president, Nieves said, had "belittle[d] the feelings of the majority of Americans."

This January, Nieves threw what the Kansas City alternative newspaperThe Pitch called "his first tantrum of the year" on the floor of the state Senate when he learned that Missouri's Democratic attorney general had built a Spanish-language website for that office in 2009. Nieves claimed it broke the state's "English-only" law.

A self-described "Patriot candidate," Nieves says he is part of a "Patriot uprising" and even named his talk radio show The Patriot Enclave. Nieves also is a major star of the film, "Don't Tread on Me—the Rise of the Republic," which was produced by Patriot conspiracist Gary Franchi. In the film, Nieves says that "with the election of President Barack Hussein Obama … I think people finally realized, 'Hey, this is our government; this is our nation, and we're going to take it back.' I think that's what gave birth to the Patriot uprising."

Nieves appears a dozen times in the film discussing state sovereignty alongside such hard-core members of the antigovernment movement as Alex Jones, a conspiracy-monger who believes the federal government was involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, and Richard Mack, the former Arizona sheriff who preaches that county sheriffs don't have to obey the federal government.

During a 2009 "Boot Camp" put on by the Show Me Patriots, Nieves warned darkly: "Sooner or later there's going to have to be a showdown. So be encouraged, be motivated … because 30 years from now, somebody's going to ask you what you did during the Patriot uprising. … And it's my prayer that you'll be able to say you were right in the middle of it and that you had a piece of this fight."

Nieves, who once described the torture technique of waterboarding as putting "a little water in the face," was allegedly in a real fight last year. The Kansas City Star reported on Aug. 9, 2010, that Nieves was at the center of a complaint made to police by a campaign worker for Nieves' opponent in the state Senate primary, Dick Stratman. When the staffer, Shawn Bell, stopped by Nieves' headquarters to congratulate the winner, Nieves allegedly threw Bell against a wall and then drew a gun on him. Bell alleged that Nieves then berated him, threatened to kill him, and asked him if he was wearing a "wire." Nieves then allegedly head-butted and slapped Bell, pulled him into an office where Nieves looked through Bell's phone, made him take off his shirt, and made Bell call his wife to apologize to her for things that happened during the campaign. No criminal charges were ever filed in the case.

In a rambling E-mail Nieves sent to supporters after the incident, he wrote: "We did something The Machine did not want done and for that the Nieves family is indeed being punished and made an example of!"

Arizona State Senate
R-District 18
Mesa, Ariz.

Russell Pearce

If there were a Hall of Fame for immigrant-hating legislators, Russell Pearce, the new president of the Arizona State Senate, would be unanimously voted in. The author of dozens of anti-immigrant bills over the last decade, Pearce is obsessed with the issue. "I will not back off until we solve the problem of this illegal invasion," the state senator said in 2008. "Invaders, that's what they are."

Pearce rose to the heights of Arizona state politics from inauspicious beginnings. He was fired in 1999 from his position as head of the Arizona Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division. So a woman could avoid a mandatory one-year diver's license suspension, Pearce and two other men were reportedly involved in changing her driving record, which included two convictions in 10 months of driving under the influence.

Pearce is known for a mean streak a mile wide. In a divorce filing (the pair have since reconciled), his wife said he has "a violent temper, and has from time to time hit and shoved" her. She said Pearce once "grabbed [her] by the throat and threw her down." Last year, when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, facing a budget crisis, refused to appropriate monies for people needing organ transplants, Pearce told ABC News, "Most of those will die anyway."

This past January, following the mass shooting in Tucson in which Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was severely wounded and six others were killed, the Arizona House adjourned for two days of mourning. But the Senate, at Pearce's direction, stayed open for business. "We have a constitutional obligation to wrap up business in 100 days," Pearce told The Arizona Republic.

In 2006, Pearce made news by forwarding to his friends an article written by the neo-Nazi National Alliance that contained virulently racist and anti-Semitic material. After the E-mail became public, Pearce denounced what he had sent but said that its first few paragraphs on media bias had appealed to him. That's not Pearce's only apparent dalliance with neo-Nazism. Pearce has supported politically and been photographed with his arm around J.T. Ready, one of Arizona's leading neo-Nazis. Although he has denied knowing Ready's views until after he was widely criticized for this association, an Arizona official of the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-racist Jewish group, said he warned Pearce of Ready's neo-Nazi views and membership in the National Socialist Movement in a private conversation long before. The Phoenix New Times reported that Pearce even ordained Ready as an elder in the Mormon Church, an action typically reserved for family members.

But with Pearce, it always seems to come back to immigrants. He has falsely claimed that "illegal aliens kill more people on an annual basis than we probably lost in the Iraq war to date." Last year, Pearce pushed through Arizona's anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 law, which he co-wrote with Kris Kobachof the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform. The most punishing state level anti-immigrant law in memory, the law made the failure of non-citizens to carry immigration documents a crime and obligated police to check the immigration status of those people they come into lawful contact with if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are undocumented. Pearce also helped lead the charge to pass what amounted to an ethnic studies ban in public schools, claiming that teaching Indian or Mexican history is anti-Anglo. In his own proposed amendments to the law, which bans any classes that "promote resentment toward a race or class of people," Pearce sought to outlaw any courses that "overtly encourage dissent" or "denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization." He also singled out a book used in many ethnic studies programs, the winner of the Gustavus Myers Award for Outstanding Book on Race Relations in North America, and said it amounted to "sedition."

Pearce also has a serious beef with the federal government, partly due to the fact that S.B. 1070 is caught up in the federal courts. Pearce claims President Obama is waging a "jihad" against Arizona by challenging the law's constitutionality in court. Obama is often Pearce's target. "Obama may not be visiting Arizona because we require papers," he joked last year. Then, this January, Pearce proposed a law that would allow his state to refuse to obey any federal law or regulation it cared to — an obviously unconstitutional proposal, but one he was glad to make anyway.

Later that month, a recall effort against Pearce was launched that was still pending at press time. Pearce's birthright citizenship bill failed in one Senate committee in early February, but he vowed to find another committee to pass the bill.

South Carolina House of Representatives
R-District 14
Laurens, S.C.

Like many on the radical right, Mike Pitts is so obsessed with gold that he's known as a "goldbug." Last year, Pitts pushed a bill that would have banned the use of anything other than gold and silver as payment for debt in South Carolina. Pitts justified the bill by drawing a parallel with the Weimar Republic in pre-World War II Germany and the Russian Revolution. "The Germans felt their system wouldn't collapse, but it took a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread in the 1930s," he told CBS News last year. "The Soviet Union didn't think their system would collapse, but it did. Ours is capable of collapsing also."

Pitts' fight for gold has endeared him to neo-Confederates in his state. The Southern National Congress, a group that believes the South has been an occupied nation since the end of what it calls "the War Between the States," held an economic summit in early February "to educate both legislators and Patriots" on Pitts' "sound money efforts." "A special thanks for the courageous efforts of … Representative Mike Pitts for championing Sound Money in South Carolina," reads their website.

Pitts introduced a harsher version of Arizona's S.B. 1070 law this January in the South Carolina House, where it is being examined by the Judiciary Committee. If enacted, the law would require employers to verify immigration status of all employees. Most outrageously — because it directly contradicts prior Supreme Court decisions — Pitts' bill would deny public education to undocumented children. The bill would also make it a felony trespass crime for anyone not legally in the U.S. to set foot in the state of South Carolina, even anyone whose tourist or business visa had lapsed by a day. That crime would be punishable by a minimum of three years incarceration or a $10,000 dollar fine. The proposed law could subject all of that person's property to seizure by the state.

The list of what Pitts is against is even longer than what's been described and includes same-sex unions, affirmative action, and the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in South Carolina's anti-discrimination laws. Pitts does not support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns, nor does he support requiring background checks on gun sales at gun shows. And he is now sponsoring a resolution that declares the U.S. Department of Education "an unconstitutional entity totally devoid of any rightful authority."

Washington State House of Representatives
R-District 4, Position 2
Spokane Valley, Wash.

Michael Pitts

Second-term state Rep. Matt Shea, who is the assistant minority floor leader, seems to have never met an antigovernment conspiracy he didn't like. This February, he was interviewed on the radio show of Alex Jones, a conspiracy-monger who believes that the federal government had a hand in the Oklahoma City and 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jones asked Shea if he was concerned about the supposed planned takeover of the country by a "secret army" run by President Obama. "It is very sinister," Shea replied, adding that Obama also had a master plan to confiscate firearms from Americans. Troops might end up shooting people without jobs, Shea said in a video of the interview posted on the website of theSeattle Weekly.

Shea also seconded Jones' conviction — a belief almost universal in the world of antigovernment "Patriot" groups, including armed militias — that the federal government plans to round up Americans and put them into concentration camps supposedly run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "I'm aware of the FEMA camps," said Shea, adding that he was particularly concerned that religious figures would be used to round people up. "This is eerily similar to using pastors to pacify people, as was done in Nazi Germany," he fretted.

Shea told Jones that his supporters in the Spokane area were very concerned about the coming roundup and were making preparations to counter the federal government's plans. They are "voting with their pocketbooks and their feet and going to the sports stores and taking ammunition in boxes as they can. And I think that underscores a concern of a lot of the general public on some of these very socialistic programs that are coming down." Indeed, for Shea, what's "coming down" amounts to full-fledged Marxism. "And I would actually start to use the word 'communism' because it really is what it is," he said.

It doesn't end there. Shea sees concerns about climate change — a phenomenon that nearly all serious scientists agree is occurring — as part of a government plot to impose control over citizens: "It really isn't about the environment. It's not about anything more than control." People, Shea later told Jones' listeners, need "to wake up. ... [T]hey need to let their legislators know that they've had enough. This is looking too much like the precursor to Nazi Germany and communist Russia."

To combat such dastardly plans, Shea this year introduced a whole host of bills aimed at the federal government. One requires "express legislative authorization" for a greenhouse gas program or motor vehicle fuel economy program. Another asserts "the right to constitutional government," whatever that may mean.

Shea has yet to sponsor any anti-immigration legislation — but he is active in the anti-gay movement. He is co-founder of the Washington Family Foundation, which is now part of the Family Policy Institute of Washington. The group's "allies" include the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, both listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center this year as anti-gay hate groups. Shea also is an "allied attorney" at the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which trains lawyers to "battle the radical homosexual legal agenda." ADF has sent out hysterical missives ("Don't let Christianity become a crime") warning that gay rights, particularly in terms of hate crimes protections, will lead to the banning of religion.

Oklahoma House of Representatives
R-District 53
Moore, Okla.

Matt Shea

Randy Terrill

Randy Terrill, the assistant majority floor leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, has made a political career out of drafting harsh anti-immigrant legislation. His latest move was to co-sponsor the successful bill to outlaw the use of Shariah, or Islamic religious law, in Oklahoma courts.

Terrill put his first immigration bill up for consideration in 2006, but it was considered too harsh and rejected. His luck changed the following year when he put forward Oklahoma's H.B. 1804, one of the harshest state level anti-immigrant bills to become law. The law subjects employers to penalties for discrimination if they fire a legal resident, but retain an undocumented worker in a similar position.

Terrill told the Tulsa World that the law also makes it a felony for a spouse or employer to take an undocumented immigrant to work (transporting such a person to church, school or the hospital would not be penalized). Furthermore, a landlord renting to someone they know, or should have known, is undocumented also would become a felony.

An appeals court in early 2010 ruled that Oklahoma cannot enforce certain parts of the law.

Terrill has pushed bills to make English the state's official language and to allow property to be seized from businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers. Terrill's other anti-immigrant measures include one bill to end Spanish-language drivers' tests and another that would add a $5 charge to any overseas money wire transfer. Terrill told The Wall Street Journal: "My idea is to slowly but surely roll down the welcome mat for illegals." Latin Americans, he complained, will not assimilate like previous waves of immigrants.

Terrill works closely with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as a hate group since 2007. In fact, he describes Michael Hethmon, the chief of FAIR's legal arm, as the "wizard behind the curtain," that is, the man who helped Terrill draw up H.B. 1804. In 2008, Terrill was awarded FAIR's "We the People" award.

Recently, Terrill has run into some apparently serious legal problems. He was charged last December with bribery. The case includes a felony count accusing him of offering State Sen. Debbe Leftwich (who was also charged) a bribe — an $80,000-a-year state job — to withdraw from running for re-election to the senate. Terrill allegedly wanted Leftwich to drop out so that his friend, Rep. Mike Christian (R-Oklahoma City), could have the seat. Witnesses have identified Terrill as the legislator who added language to a reform bill to create the job of transition coordinator at the medical examiner's office, allegedly for Leftwich.

South Carolina Senate
R-District 9
Laurens, S.C.

Danny Verdin

Danny Verdin, the majority whip of the South Carolina Senate, compares the battle against immigration to what he pictures as the heroic struggle of Southern Confederates against the Yankees. "South Carolina may have been out front leading 150 years ago at Fort Sumter," where the Civil War's first shots were fired, he said at a press conference this January. "We are happy to work collaboratively on this to cure a malady."

In fact, Verdin had the harshest words for the undocumented of any of those who spoke at the press conference, which was held to announce State Legislators for Legal Immigration's (SLLI) efforts to gut the 14th Amendment. "In any malady, something may be considered benign in its beginning," Verdin told those at the National Press Club event. "It's just to be poisoned over time or to be sick over a long period of time or to have a sudden lethal dose of poison or something that brings on a calamity. In this case the malady can be cured. It's not too late."

In addition to immigration, Verdin is obsessed with the Confederacy — in fact, he often tells people that a Yankee bit off his great-great-grandfather's ear in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864. Verdin was the South Carolina chapter head for the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), a group that throughout the last decade has been roiled by leadership challenges from members of hate groups. Verdin's signature crusade, fought with the help of his fellow SCV members, was to keep the Confederate battle flag flying above South Carolina's Statehouse. Raised in 1961 to protest desegregation efforts, it was only removed, after a long, nasty fight, in July 2000.

In 2000, Verdin was one of the main speakers at a huge "Heritage Celebration" held in Columbia, S.C., to defend the flag. He reportedly also helped to organize the rally, with the SCV kicking in $100,000. Verdin shared the podium with several prominent neo-Confederate hate group leaders as well as white supremacist Kirk Lyons (a man who was married at the Idaho headquarters of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations). More that 6,000 people attended, many in period dress. Activists also unfurled on the Statehouse steps what is said to be the largest Confederate battle flag in existence — a huge piece of cloth owned by the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as "a retrograde species of humanity." The main coordinator for the event was Jerry Creech, a longtime local leader for the CCC.

In an interview for a videotape commemorating the event, Verdin said: "The Sons of Confederate Veterans has been moving to the vanguard position of the promotion of our Southern heritage and making sure we are on the front lines of its defense." He added that the SCV, which describes the Civil War as the "Second American Revolution," was there to "see the true history of the South presented to future generations."

Verdin's chummy relations with neo-Confederates has been a campaign issue for him. In the fall of 2000, his opponent accused him of a being a member in the League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group that believes slavery is "God-ordained" and egalitarianism a "Jacobin heresy." And, in fact, Verdin was a speaker at a pro-battle flag rally held by the league in Montgomery, Ala., in March 2000. But Verdin denied membership in the group, saying the league had erroneously reported him a member and that his name came up frequently on their website because "they appreciated my work on behalf" of the SCV and the battle flag.

The Partner: Behind the Legislators

State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) works hand-in-glove with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has listed as a hate group since 2007. SLLI founder Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican state representative in Pennsylvania, regularly says his group has a "working partnership" with FAIR, and its members have introduced anti-immigrant legislation written by FAIR at both the state and local level. Most notable was the punishing anti-immigrant law, S.B. 1070, passed last year in Arizona and now held up in the federal courts. The law, versions of which several SLLI members plan to introduce in their own states, was pushed by SLLI member Russell Pearce, who now heads the Arizona State Senate, and was written by FAIR lawyers.

FAIR, for its part, says it "work[s] closely" with SLLI "to develop state laws and to generate grassroots support for state enforcement efforts." Functioning almost as SLLI's staff, FAIR's legal arm draws up "model" legislation for the group and has created an "online model legislation clearing house" that the group's members can make use of. Two particular FAIR lawyers — Michael Hethmon and Kris Kobach of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, FAIR's legal arm — serve as the legal minds behind SLLI's legislative efforts. Both played a role in drawing up S.B. 1070 and both were on hand at the National Press Club this past January when Metcalfe announced SLLI's plan to "reform" birthright citizenship. Kobach spoke strongly at the press conference in favor of SLLI's proposals, expressing the hope that they would "restore the original meaning of the 14th Amendment."

Generally, SPLC lists FAIR as a hate group because the organization has probably done more to inject fear and bigotry into the national immigration debate than any other. FAIR's demonizing propaganda, aimed primarily at Latinos and often Catholics; its ties to other hate groups and hiring of their members; and its push for laws promoting racial discord all have been instrumental in fostering the anti-immigrant backlash that the nation is currently suffering through.

Here is a more detailed look at why SPLC lists FAIR as a hate group:

Views of FAIR's president. Dan Stein, today FAIR's president and before that its executive director, has repeatedly attacked the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which was aimed at reforming a racist quota system that basically restricted immigration to Northern Europeans. (President Johnson, in signing the act, said that "for over four decades the immigration policy of the United States has been twisted and has been distorted by the harsh injustice of the national origins quota system," which was "un-American in the highest sense.") Using an argument common in white nationalist circles, Stein has characterized the act as a disaster for Western civilization and Anglo-Saxon dominance. In a 1994 oral history housed at George Washington University's Gelman Library, Stein told his interviewer that those who supported the 1965 reform wanted to "retaliate against Anglo-Saxon dominance" and that this "revengism" against whites had created a policy that is causing "chaos and will continue to create chaos." In an earlier, 1991 memo entitled "The Defenders of American Culture Rise to the Call to Arms," Stein said he hoped that mounting criticism of multiculturalism would eventually lead to attacks on the 1965 Act, which he called "a key mistake in national policy" and a "source of error."

Stein also takes a dim view of today's immigrants. He has warned that immigrants are engaged in "competitive breeding" aimed at diminishing white power and that "[m]any of them hate America, hate everything the United States stands for." Stein led FAIR's efforts to win funding from the racist Pioneer Fund, saying in 1993 that his "job [was] to get every dime of Pioneer's money." Stein also served as editorial adviser to The Social Contract, a nativist hate journal published by FAIR founder John Tanton, when it ran a particularly virulent special issue that was entitled, "Europhobia: The Hostility Toward European-Descended Americans." The lead article of the issue argued that multiculturalism was replacing "successful Euro-American culture" with "dysfunctional Third World cultures."

Mainstreaming hate: federation for immigration reform (fair) President Dan stein (left) and fair founder John Tanton have both suggested that america is better off under “Anglo-Saxon dominance.”

Taking money from racists. FAIR solicited and accepted a total of $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund, a notorious organization set up by Nazi sympathizers in 1937 and run to this day by white nationalists to fund studies of eugenics (selective breeding of humans to produce a "better" race) and race and intelligence. Saying it didn't know about the fund's background, FAIR stopped publicly seeking Pioneer money in 1994 after a barrage of embarrassing publicity. But that didn't stop three FAIR board members from meeting privately three years later with the Pioneer Fund's then-chairman, Harry Weyher, to discuss fundraising. Nor did it stop FAIR from taking money from members of Pioneer's board for several years thereafter. Today, FAIR has lost its reticence about the fund, devoting two pages of its website to defending the foundation. When Stein was asked in 1997 about the late FAIR board member Garrett Hardin's belief that only "intelligent people" should breed, he responded, "Yeah, so what? What is your problem with that?"

The racism of FAIR's founder. John Tanton, who founded FAIR in 1979 and remains a central player on its board today, has a decades-long history of making racist statements and enthusing about eugenics (he once asked Michigan officials if forced sterilization was illegal, citing the case of "a local pair of sisters who have nine illegitimate children between them"). Tanton has said that unless U.S. borders are sealed, America will be overrun by people "defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs." He has warned of a "Latin onslaught," complained of Latinos' allegedly low "educability," and said they "bring with them the tradition of the mordida [bribe]." He has a lengthy record of friendly correspondence with Holocaust deniers, a former Klan lawyer and leading white nationalist thinkers, including Jared Taylor (who wrote in 2005, "When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears").

Tanton even proposed to his colleagues at FAIR and to several well-known white nationalists, including Jared Taylor and the late Sam Francis, that they create together a group called the League for European-American Defense, Education and Research (LEADER). The idea was to defend "ourselves and our tradition against attacks," counter "the denigration of Western culture" that Tanton said was "under siege," and stop the "reduction of the European-American demographic and cultural majority to minority status." On another occasion, he wrote a major FAIR funder to suggest she read the work of a radical anti-Semitic professor — to "give you a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life" — and suggested that the entire FAIR board discuss the man's theories about the Jews. At one point, Tanton wrote that "for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that." In a letter to FAIR board member Donald Collins, Tanton enthused over the work of John Trevor Sr. — a key architect of the bluntly racist Immigration Act of 1924 and a man who distributed pro-Nazi propaganda and warned shrilly of "diabolical Jewish control" of America — and said it should serve FAIR as "a guidepost to what we must follow again this time." Despite this track record, Stein has shrunk from any criticism of FAIR's founder; on the contrary, Stein in 2009 characterized John Tanton as a "Renaissance man."

Leading FAIR officials' participation in racist groups. Rick Oltman, FAIR's long-time western regional coordinator, spoke as part of a 1997 immigration panel put on by the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group that has described black people as a "retrograde species of humanity." Council publications at the time listed Oltman as a member. The FAIR official who followed Oltman in his position, Joseph Turner, who earlier ran an anti-immigrant hate group, was on record before joining FAIR as saying that being a white separatist did not imply a person was racist. Jim Staudenraus, FAIR's eastern regional coordinator, participated in an anti-immigration conference in 2002 with Jared Taylor. In 2007, a senior FAIR official met with leaders of Vlaams Belang, a Belgian political party that officials in that country outlawed in a previous incarnation (Vlaams Blok) as a "criminal organization" because of its racist anti-immigrant views.

Bigotry on the board. FAIR board member Donald Collins writes frequently for, a nativist website named after Virginia Dare, said to have been the first English child born in the New World. (VDARE is dedicated to bashing immigrants and has published the work of many white nationalists and anti-Semites.) Collins' articles have focused on attacking the Catholic Church for its liberal stance on immigration. One accused Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony of selling out his country "in exchange for more temporal power and glory." Another claimed bishops were "infiltrating and manipulating the American political process" to dismantle the separation of church and state — the classic calumny directed at American Catholics for decades by the Klan and others. Another person linked to VDARE is Joe Guzzardi, a member of FAIR's board of advisors who has worked as an editor of the site. Other members of FAIR's board of directors have offered similar sentiments. Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm once said that "new cultures" in America were "diluting what we are and who we are." The late Garrett Hardin said the developing world was full of "breeders" who needed to be stopped.

FAIR programming. FAIR produced television programming under the title "Borderline" that featured interviews with prominent white nationalists, including the late Sam Francis, who later became the top editor of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens; and Jared Taylor, who edits American Renaissance, a newsletter that claims blacks and Latinos are intellectually inferior to whites. The program, which opened with footage of immigrants crossing the border or arriving in the U.S. in broken-down flotillas, often demonized immigrants.

In 1996, for instance, Francis called immigration an act of "political warfare" and an attempt by Mexico to create a "political bludgeon against the United States." At other times, "Borderline" advanced ideas popular in white nationalist circles. One that was particularly popular was the warning that immigrants are ruining U.S. culture or displacing Western civilization with degenerate, Third World ways. In 1996, white nationalist Lawrence Auster argued on the show that because of the immigrant "invasion," "America is in the process of dissolving as a nation" and faces the prospect of losing "the historic European Anglo American culture." Host Dan Stein certainly seemed to agree with his guest's worries. "How can we preserve America if it becomes 50% Latin American?" he asked Auster.

On its website, FAIR has pushed racist conspiracy theories about Mexico's purported secret designs on the American Southwest and also an alternative theory alleging secret plans by national elites to merge the United States, Mexico and Canada. It has also run extremely controversial political advertisements, including one in 2000 in Iowa that was rejected by a TV station as "borderline racist." That same year, Sen. Alan Simpson resigned from FAIR over ads it ran comparing then-Senate candidate Spencer Abraham, an Arab American, to Osama bin Laden.

Appendix: SLLI Members

State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) claims that it has 65 state legislators in 40 states. Sixteen members hold leadership positions in their legislative bodies, which are indicated here below their names. This list was compiled from SLLI’s webpage and its Facebook page.

Cam Ward
R - District 14

Greg Wren
House of Representatives
R – District 75

Judy Burges
House of Representatives
R - District 4

Russell Pearce
Senate President
R - District 18

Jon Woods
House of Representatives
R -District 93

Tim Donnelly
State Assembly
R - District 59

Michael Kopp
Minority Leader
R – District 22

Kent Lambert
House of Representatives
R - District 14

B. J. Nikkel
Majority Whip
House of Representatives
R - District 49

Scott Renfroe
Minority Whip
R - District 13

Vincent Candelora
Deputy Republican Leader
State Assembly
R - District 86

Deborah Hudson
House of Representatives
R - District 12

Gayle Harrell
House of Representatives
R - District 81

Ray Pilon
House of Representatives
R - District 69

William Snyder
House of Representatives
R - District 82

Timothy Bearden
House of Representatives
R - District 68

Steven Thayn
House of Representatives
R - District 11

Joan Wood
House of Representatives
R - District 35

Chris Lauzen
R-District 25

Eric Koch
House of Representatives
R - District 65

Timothy Neese
House of Representatives
R - District 48

Paul McKinley
Minority Leader
R - District 36

Ray Merrick
Majority Leader
House of Representatives
R - District 27

Stan Lee
House of Representatives
R-District 45

Doug Thomas
R - District 27

Nicholaus Kipke
House of Delegates
R - District 31

Patrick McDonough
House of Delegates
R - District 7

Robert L. Hedlund
Assistant Minority Leader
R – Plymouth and Norfolk District

Dave Agema
Majority Caucus Chair
House of Representatives
R - District 74

Steve Drazkowski
House of Representatives
R - District 28B

Becky Currie
House of Representatives
R - District 92

Sue Allen
Majority Caucus Secretary
House of Representatives
R – District 92

David Day
House of Representatives
R - District 148

Brian Nieves
R - District 26

Cary Smith
Majority Whip
House of Representatives
R - District 55

Wendy Warburton
Majority Whip
House of Representatives
R - District 34

Tony Fulton
R - District 29

Charlie Janssen
R - District 15

Laurence Rappaport
House of Representatives
R - District 1

Jordan Ulery
House of Representatives
R - District 27

Moe Villeneuve
House of Representatives
R - District 18

Alison Littell McHose
State Assembly
R - District 24

Gregory Ball
R - District 40

Dale Folwell
House of Representatives
R - District 74

Courtney Combs
Dean of Ohio House
House of Representatives
R - District 54

Sally Kern
House of Representatives
R - District 84

Charles Key
House of Representatives
R - District 90

Ron Peters
House of Representatives
R - District 70

Randy Terrill
Assistant Majority Floor Leader
House of Representatives
R - District 53

Kim Thatcher
House of Representatives
R - District 25

Daryl Metcalfe
House of Representatives
R - District 12

Michael Pitts
House of Representatives
R - District 14

Manford “Manny” Steele
House of Representatives
R - District 12

Joe Carr
House of Representatives
R - District 48

Leo Berman
House of Representatives
R - District 6

Dan Flynn
House of Representatives
R - District 2

Stephen Sandstrom
House of Representatives
R - District 58

David Albo
House of Delegates
R - District 42

Jim McCune
House of Representatives
R - District 2, Position 1

Matt Shea
Assistant Minority Floor Leader
House of Representatives
R - District 4, Position 2

Walter Duke
House of Delegates
R - District 54

Carol Miller
Assistant Minority Whip
House of Delegates
R - District 15

John Overington
House of Delegates
R - District 55

Kelli Sobonya
House of Delegates
R - District 16

Linda Sumner
House of Delegates
R - District 27