When the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center launched its political blog last month, newly hired chief executive Lance Dutson predicted in an editorial that “we’ll no doubt have kinks to work out along the way.”
Well, a big kink developed this week when other Maine bloggers pointed out that one of the center’s newly hired writers, Leif Parsell, has a long history of espousing white superiority and may even have ties to neo-Nazi organizations.
Those revelations led to Parsell’s firing on Tuesday, Dutson confirmed today to Hatewatch. “Though these comments were made prior to his employment with our organization, the rift between our value system and those expressed in this pattern of online behavior is significant enough to require an end to our employment of this individual,” Dutson said in a statement.
Dutson likely is kicking himself for not doing a simple, pre-employment search on Parsell, whose racist leanings are easily spotted on the Internet.
“Cultural diversity combines with our increasing racial and ethnic diversity to degrade our society,” Parsell recently wrote, recommending a video with white supremacist themes. In the video, “Is Diversity a Strength?” white nationalist Jared Taylor says diversity “is not just dangerous but unfortunate to whites, the people who built and established this nation.” Elsewhere, Taylor has written, “When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.”
Parsell also is tied to a Facebook group that claims the United States needs a dictator like Rome’s first emperior, Augustus, to protect “American and the rest of Western Civilization” from ethnic decline. “Europeans and European Americans must unite in an effort to survive falling birthrates, heavy immigration and a tide of multiculturalism which seeks to end political and cultural diversity,” the group’s Facebook page says.
“It’s about survival as a culture and a society,” Parsell wrote, saying racist aviator Charles Lindbergh was right. “I'd rather have a country that had fallen behind India or China, then one that sold its soul to non-European immigrants and lost its culture, just to keep its GDP [Gross National Product] rising.”
Parsell’s comments were divulged this week on another new blog, “The State of Maine,” and also by blogger Mike Tipping, who works for the Maine People’s Alliance and writes “The Tipping Point” blog.
“Parsell's name and college e-mail also appear in a database recently released by an offshoot of the hacker collective Anonymous called ‘Nazi Leaks’ or ‘Operation Blitzkreig,’ which hacked a series of neo-nazi affiliated sites to retrieve their membership rolls,” Tipping wrote Tuesday in a blog posting. Parsell's information also appears on a list of individuals who purchased clothing or apparel from a German retailer with neo-Nazi ties, Tipping wrote.
Parsell, who has declined comment to other media outlets, couldn’t be reached.
Asked his reaction to Parsell’s firing, Tipping today said: “I think Parsell's statements are abhorrent and far outside the bounds of normal political discourse. I'm glad that the conservative group that hired him acted quickly to end his employment, but it's important to note that they wouldn't have been in the situation in the first place if they had been hiring a reporter based on their skills and vetted journalistic background rather than ideological disposition.”