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N.C. Candidate Quits After Racist Postings Exposed

City council hopeful Doug Hanks told said he was merely "playing" a racist as part of research for a novel."

Doug Hanks, one-time Republican candidate for the City Council of Charlotte, N.C., says he's no racist.

True, he did post some 4,000 messages to Stormfront, the most popular neo-Nazi forum on the World Wide Web.

True, he did describe blacks there as "rabid beasts."

And true, he recruited people on Stormfront to join in his protests against the city's removal of a Confederate battle flag in a local cemetery — and even made the papers in January, when he climbed a flagpole to reattach that flag.

But don't let that fool you. Even though Hanks quit his council race on Aug. 4, right after the local Rhinoceros Times broke the story of his Stormfront postings, it actually was all an elaborate act. Hanks told The Charlotte Observer that he was merely "playing" a racist as part of research for a novel. "I'm an author," Hanks said, "and an author is nothing but an actor that acts through the pen."

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the leader of the brand-new White People's Party, which intends to run candidates in 2006, didn't bother to deny his racism. Michael O'Sullivan, a real estate broker, filed paperwork in July starting the party, whose constitution says all policies will be decided strictly based on what's good for "non-Jewish people of wholly European descent." O'Sullivan is also state leader for National Vanguard (see The Wannabe), a national neo-Nazi group.

That frankness apparently has come with a price tag. Nevada authorities are now considering an investigation of the three halfway houses O'Sullivan owns in Clark County. The homes, which provide housing to recovering alcoholics, are, by O'Sullivan's description, "full of minorities." But unlike the party he is working to create, O'Sullivan says his businesses do not discriminate against anyone.