From the main stage at CPAC today, far-Right conservative firebrand Ann Coulter cited the writings of white nationalist Steve Sailer while discussing immigration policy. Sailer is the founder of the “neo-eugenicist” Human Biodiversity Institute and a regular contributor to the white nationalist website VDARE.com. Coulter described Sailer as a “friend” while noting his writings that claim there is lack of cleanliness in immigrant neighborhoods. Coulter’s remarks on immigration continued throughout her time on stage and she repeated the talking points employed by the anti-immigrant movement as well as a disingenuous Eagle Forum report recently drafted to convince conservatives to adopt anti-immigrant positions. Coulter ended her remarks fantasizing about the extermination of immigration reform proponents by calling for the organization of “death squads for the people who wrecked America.”
it’s still not enough
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) denounced the Conservative Political Action Conference for what he says is a “pro-amnesty” bias on immigration issues.
“For the second year in a row, CPAC has featured a panel where all but one speaker supports the agenda of liberal Democrats and the liberal national media,” Smith said. “‘Truth-in-advertising’ would require CPAC to drop the word ‘conservative.’”
Smith’s concerns of a lack of anti-immigrant opinion at CPAC came despite the time given to Mickey Kaus and Ann Coulter, who discussed virtually nothing but immigration from the conference’s main stage.
Smith is not alone his opinion. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) told Newsmax that “immigration skeptics” like himself had been “pushed out” of the conference’s limelight. And Smith’s sentiments are being echoed across conservative media platforms.
Members of the anti-immigrant movement may claim to be ostracized, but their ideas were as present as ever at this year’s conservative conference. Based on their diminishing reputations, it is unlikely representatives from anti-immigrant organizations will ever have an official presence at the annual CPAC again. However, official participants like Coulter and Kaus will usually be present to parrot nativist talking points whenever opportunity strikes. Furthermore, outside the halls of CPAC, the anti-immigrant movement remains a prominent influence – specifically in the offices of Congress.
For more than 20 years, the anti-immigrant movement has held sway in Congress and kept close ties to representatives and senators who support the movement’s nativist agenda. Over the years, representatives from anti-immigrant organizations including Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), CIS, and NumbersUSA have testified myriad times before congressional committees on numerous issues at the invitation of such members of Congress. These elected officials, like Rep. Smith and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), have consistently been the anti-immigrant movement’s voice in Congress. This relationship is oftentimes plainly visible such as last summer when CIS’ Janice Kephart served as special counsel to Sen. Sessions while he attempted to derail immigration reform legislation in Senate Judiciary Committee.
It seems largely moot for anti-immigrant activists to lament not having large presences at conferences like CPAC when they continue to have the ear of lawmakers in Washington.
That said, the agenda of the anti-immigrant movement was still readily accessible to any CPAC attendee that wanted it. The aforementioned Coulter and Kaus panel as well as remarks by the likes of Tea Party Patriots’ Jenny Beth Martin, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) used talking points that could have come right from the websites of FAIR or NumbersUSA. Additionally, the anti-immigrant organization ProEnglish did have an official presence via a booth on CPAC’s exhibition floor. CPAC attendees could also learn more about the anti-immigrant movement’s views by reading one of the many issues of The Social Contract – a white nationalist publication founded by the anti-immigrant movement’s architect John Tanton — that ProEnglish executive director Robert Vandervoort placed on numerous tables and benches throughout the convention center’s halls.
While members of the anti-immigrant movement may deride conferences like CPAC for not inviting them, they still have the resources and willing supporters to ensure that its fringe nativist agenda can be heard. Still, the growing trend of exclusion facing the anti-immigrant movement indicates that those on all sides of the political spectrum are rejecting this agenda. Let’s make sure that trend continues.
One thing clear at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is that the conservative movement is sharply divided. The three prominent wings of the movement — fiscal, social, and national security conservatives — have become more autonomous in recent years. These divisions today are much more pronounced than in the years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency that most conservatives laud.
Currently, many forces are attempting to reunify these three conservative factions. All the while, the anti-immigrant movement is doing its best to influence the conversation. After decidedly unsuccessful attempts to mobilize liberals against immigration through population alarmism and front groups like Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), the anti-immigrant movement now seems to focus virtually all of its efforts on influencing conservatives. In doing so, they have created messaging campaigns – and research to bolster them – that are tailor-made for each of the three prominent divisions of today’s conservative movement.
The presence of anti-immigrant organizations at yesterday’s “National Security Action Summit” was a blatant attempt to court national security conservatives. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA both spoke during a summit panel on immigration. Panel moderator and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney asserted that immigration policy directly affects national security issues. Jenks and Krikorian have had plenty of time to rehearse this dialogue on immigration and national security as regular guests on Gaffney’s radio program.
The anti-immigrant movement also attempts to garner support from social conservatives with papers such as CIS fellow James Edwards Jr.’s 2009 “A Biblical Perspective on Immigration Reform”. Since then, Edwards has continued to write on the subject of immigration and religion – both elaborating on and updating arguments present in his original paper. Just last month, NumbersUSA attempted to discredit religious leaders who support immigration reforms by commissioning a poll to show evangelicals do not share the support for reform that their leaders do. The poll complements the messaging of a group Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration that both NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) have promoted in the past.
To draw more support from fiscal conservatives, both FAIR and CIS specifically also frequently release research showing the supposed costs of immigration. Just this week, FAIR released such a report focusing specifically on North Carolina. One of the biggest controversies the anti-immigrant movement faced last year stemmed from when it upheld a misleading and widely criticized report by the Heritage Foundation that claimed immigration reform would cost taxpayers trillions of dollars. Despite the controversy surrounding the report’s methodology and the racist background of co-author Jason Richwine, CIS Director of Research Steven Camarota heralded the report as “most detailed and exhaustive ever done on this topic.”
Media Research Council Founder and President Brent Bozell ended a panel yesterday calling for a return to America’s first principles and ending the practice of so-called “big tent” conservatism that, according to him, threatens “our very survival.” While a concerted effort to make their movement less inclusive will likely not bode well, conservatives should resist appeals from the organized anti-immigrant movement and ensure it does not come under the proverbial tent – no matter what size it may become.
By John Hudak, via www.brookings.edu
Thursday afternoon, CPAC hosted a panel on GOP outreach into minority communities. The panel included Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and a panel of Republican political strategists: Jason Roe, Elroy Sailor, and Robert Woodson. The panel delivered a remarkably pointed review of GOP voter outreach (largely its failures) and explained, in very straightforward terms, how the party can (and must) do better. However, the most revealing part of the experience was not what happened on stage, but what happened off stage, and reflects the national electoral struggles Republicans are facing.
About ten minutes into the panel, I snapped a photo (shown at the right) of a largely empty ballroom. The lack of attendance for the panel is a huge loss and missed opportunity for participants. CPAC brings together some of the Republican Party’s most passionate, engaged, and eager members. The people who attend the meetings run campaigns, volunteer for issue-based efforts and candidates’ campaigns. They are leadership in an army of grassroots conservatism. The panel of Gillespie, Roe, Sailor and Woodson was there to address a basic question: how do we grow our ranks in areas where we traditionally underperform?
The advice was solid. Woodson explained that one problem is that “we don’t have a ground game” particularly in minority neighborhoods. Sailor eloquently noted a key to Republican success: “We don’t have to abandon our existing friends to make new ones.” The message was simple. Republicans don’t necessarily have to change their values. They have to change how they talk about the issues and who they talk to. That takeaway is not a tall order, but something doable, something digestible. And, most notably, there are people in the party who know how to do it.
Yet, for some time, the message didn’t just fall on deaf ears—there were few sets of ears in the room. Suddenly, that changed. In fact, as I tweeted the above photo, I had a response from someone who snapped a picture of a much fuller room. That picture was accurate and so was mine. That picture showed a nearly full ballroom, while my picture showed an empty one. So what was the difference?
The difference was that the diversity panel ran over its time. People began filling in—in droves. Why the change of heart? The diversity panel ran late and into the time slot for NRA executive Wayne LaPierre to address CPAC in the same room. LaPierre went on to give a rousing speech that generated some of the loudest enthusiasm of the day from the crowd. Yet, therein lies the problem. Speaking to gun rights supporters is not the path to Republican success at the national level. Most ardent supporters of the 2nd Amendment find Democrats to be a threat and reliably vote Republican. Wayne LaPierre doesn’t change minds. He doesn’t necessarily grow the party, as people have very polarized views about him and the topic for which he very successfully and eloquently advocates.
TFC leadership said it “agrees 100%” with a Warner’s new strategy,” which aims expose the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Islamic countries. Based on Warner’s record, this is just another attempt to drive a wedge between communities of different faiths and vilify the U.S.’s Muslim minority. Warner is urging activists to interrupt interfaith dialogue events and pass out brochures with his campaign’s information on it, making a point to avoid specific references to “Islam” or “Muslim” — or even his own track record — to shield himself from charges of bigotry.
The group is co-sponsoring a “Voice for the Voiceless” event on March 14 alonside ACT! for America’s Middle Tennessee chapter, the Tennessee Eagle Forum, 912 Project Tennessee, among others. The event features Julie Aftab, whose tragic story continues to be exploited by anti-Muslim activists.
Nativists have organized off-site and will be nearby for this week’s convention
Conservatives across the country are getting ready today for the first day of the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Noting the lack of white nationalist and anti-Muslim speakers this year, The Daily Beast’s Dean Obeidallah asked, “Is CPAC Getting Less Crazy?” While many of the “crazy” names will not appear on any official CPAC agenda, far-Right extremists have organized off-site events nearby and continue to have a presence at the nation’s largest conservative gathering.
These events and gatherings make evident that, while nativists, conspiracy theorists, and white nationalists have become increasingly ostracized by CPAC organizers and other mainstream political circles, they are still committed to influencing conservatives in America.
The most prominent of these events will be the “National Security Action Summit” co-sponsored by EMPact America and Breitbart News. Also being billed as “The Uninvited II,” the one-day summit is the natural progression of a similar “uninvited” panel at CPAC last year. The summit will occur today in a nearby hotel and will feature fringe activists on the far-Right that CPAC organizers have wisely attempted to distance themselves from in recent years. Anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney will moderate the event and those participating in summit’s panels include anti-Muslim activists Andrew McCarthy, former Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Notably absent are anti-Muslim firebrands Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer who are preparing for the Stop Islamization of Nations symposium in Australia this weekend.
While those panelists will discuss a litany of topics and conspiracies that serve as a launch pad for anti-Muslim demagoguery, representatives of the anti-immigrant movement will also have a panel to espouse the nativist views that are part and parcel of their agenda. NumbersUSA Director of Government Affairs Rosemary Jenks and Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Executive Director Mark Krikorian will participate on a panel called “Amnesty and Open Borders: The End of America – and the GOP” with Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly. Given the panel’s title, a discussion — likely rife with racial anxiety — of the Eagle Forum’s latest report suggesting Republicans should commit more resources to increasing white voter turnout instead of minority outreach is virtually guaranteed.
Committed white nationalists will be holding their own off-site events. The National Policy Institute (NPI) announced will be holding an “Unconference” tomorrow at an undisclosed venue near the CPAC hotel. After CPAC 2012 included a panel hosted by the white nationalist student group Youth for Western Civilization, white nationalists have become increasingly excluded from CPAC events. That, however, was not enough to prevent white nationalists Matthew Heimbach and Scott Terry from disrupting a presentation on minority outreach with a favorable assessment of slavery in the Confederate South.
This year, NPI and other like-minded individuals will gather for a dinner featuring white nationalist stalwart Jared Taylor. “This is a chance for our movement to have a real presence at a major forum for ideas (and perhaps mug a few conservatives with reality),” NPI President Richard Spencer wrote. “And more important, it’s a chance for us to network and talk about our future.”
Both white nationalist and nativist activists have attempted to influence conservatives over the years with varying degrees of the success. John Derbyshire, the white nationalist who was fired from the conservative National Review and now writes regularly for VDARE.com recently told The Washington Times Communities that he is skeptical of outreach efforts and predicted, “the future of the conservative movement is as a home for white ethnocentrism.”
As conservatives across the country gather at CPAC this weekend, they must increasingly resist these efforts from the far-Right to influence their movement. If not, their movement will devolve into little more than a haven for extremists motivated by bigotry.
The Southern Poverty Law Center recently released their “Year in Hate and Extremism” report for 2013. The report was met with criticism from anti-Muslim activists who found themselves listed in the document, the most vocal being blogger Robert Spencer who felt undeserving to be included in such a list.
Spencer took issue that the organizations he belongs to have been designated as hate groups. He became even more agitated after learning an Ohio chapter of the Nation of Islam had not made the list. Spencer’s website along with the groups American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of Nations (SION), which he co-runs with Pamela Geller, were all included. He claimed this to be part of SPLC’s agenda to stifle free speech.
Spencer invoked free speech, deploying the increasingly common tactic used by those in the organized anti-Muslim movement, a thinly veiled attempt to distance themselves from other hate groups and avoid accusations of bigotry. Spencer continually tries to vindicate himself by claiming his fight is about defending Constitutional rights, rather than being rooted in anti-Muslim paranoia. He also refuses to take responsibility for what stems from this type of rhetoric.
“The very label ‘hate group’ conjures up images of KKK members in robes,” he wrote at FrontPage Magazine, “Not columnists, commentators, and human rights activists dedicated to defending the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the principle of the equality of rights of all people before the law.”
To prove his point, Spencer highlighted that his colleague, the “mild-mannered” Daniel Greenfield, has also been a victim of SPLC’s smear campaign. Mild-mannered is one way to describe Greenfield, who has referred to Islam as a “gang religion” and warned of Somali refugees bringing their “Islam-induced mental illness” into the country.
However, Spencer spent all of last year trying to deny others the very rights he claims to advocate for based on their religion. Below are just some of Spencer’s recent actions making him deserving of SPLC’s list:
AFDI continued their efforts to fundraise for and run anti-Muslim advertisements on public transit vehicles in cities across the nation.
AFDI came out with an 18-point platform advocating for ongoing profiling and surveillance of Muslims in places such as mosques and airports. The organization also called for an “immediate halt of immigration by Muslims into nations that do not currently have a Muslim majority population.”
Writing for Jihad Watch, Spencer mocked the Department of Justice’s expansion of its definition of racial profiling to include religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation. He also claimed the need for the ongoing surveillance of Muslims in the name of counter-terrorism.
AFDI mobilized its supporters to oppose legislation that would help end persecution of the minority Muslim population in Burma.
SION announced an international anti-Islam symposium where prominent anti-Muslim activists will convene in Australia to express their opinions of the religion.
Spencer and Geller turned an event in Tennessee aimed at building bridges between local Muslims and the greater community into a unruly shouting match. Their efforts to rile up protesters immediately before the event resulted in aggressive interruptions on numerous occasions as well as cheers when the arson of a mosque was mentioned.
Spencer’s attempt to justify why he shouldn’t be on SPLC’s list is nothing short of absurd. His ongoing efforts to marginalize Muslims in the name of free speech proves he is more than deserving and shows hate-mongers are not only those wearing white hoods and robes.
After months of inactivity, it appears the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA) is gearing up for a new event which bears a striking resemblance to last year’s “DC March for Jobs.” This time BALA’s anti-immigrant revelry will be moving south for the “AGA Miami March for Jobs” on May 3.
Utilizing messaging and marketing materials decidedly similar to that of last summer’s D.C. march, BALA is now collecting donations for the Miami event and attempting to once again pit communities of color against each other by deriding immigrants as the source of the country’s economic issues – specifically unemployment.
BALA slipped into relative obscurity last October after it attempted to follow last year’s D.C. march with the ill-fated “We Are America Tour” events — which were mostly poorly attended and, in one case, marred by participants assaulting a local videographer. Signs indicating BALA’s new efforts first appeared several weeks ago when Facebook and Twitter accounts were created to promote the Miami event. Anti-immigrant groups including the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) promoted the accounts, and the event’s following online has increased modestly in recent weeks.
The AGA Miami March for Jobs’ web presence is largely the work of Tea Party activist Tim Selaty Sr. Selaty is the registered administrative contact for the Miami march’s website and his company, Political Innovations LLC, is credited with building the site. Political Innovations also built websites for both BALA and the DC March for Jobs last summer. The involvement of anti-immigrant front group Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), of which BALA founder Leah Durant is the executive director, doesn’t seem too far off. Several of the initial 20 people to “Like” the Miami March for Jobs’ Facebook page appear to be associates of Durant’s. Additionally, a friend of PFIR Communications Specialist Phillip Mike curiously posted “test” on the Miami event’s Facebook page shortly after it was created.
More troublesome than the predictable involvement of established anti-immigrant groups with the Miami march is that of another apparent organizer and“black conservative” named Maurice Woodside. Beginning in the 1980s, Woodside was a follower of Yahweh ben Yahweh — a Florida cult leader who was indicted and later convicted of conspiring to murder 14 people. Woodside was also indicted in connection to murders carried out by the Yahweh cult, but avoided conviction.
In the early 2000s Woodside began making a name for himself in conservative circles by broadcasting his political rants via a pirate radio station at his home and making outrageous public displays like disrupting an Obama 2008 campaign stop with chants and signs reading, “Obama endorsed by the KKK.” Woodside also asserted Democrats are “slave masters” and “Nazis” at a Rick Santorum campaign event in 2012.
“The Democrats, they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the black man. They’re the slave masters,” he told the crowd at the Santorum event. “Let’s get back to our original roots: the Republican party, the freers of the black man.”
In January, Woodside posted a bizarre video online featuring clips of himself with many of the performing artists announcing their intent to appear at the Miami event. Most of the artists also appear on the event’s official website confirming their participation. Woodside posted the video on a website of his advertising the “American Gala Awards 2014 March for Jobs” – which has ostensibly been renamed “AGA Miami March for Jobs” as it appears elsewhere on the Internet. Since then, Woodside has been regularly hosting “jet ski parties” at his Miami property where he gives away cash prizes and chances to perform at the upcoming March for Jobs.
In 2010, a similar waterfront event resulted in Woodside’s son being charged with shooting at two teenagers with an AK-47.
This is not BALA’s first appeal to far-Right activists. While it certainly hindered any semblance of meaningful bipartisanship within BALA’s anti-immigrant coalition, it was a necessity for BALA to appeal to Tea Party groups in order for last summer’s D.C. march to be even marginally successful. Last year that resulted in nativist remarks from Ken Crow’s praising the crowd’s “incredible DNA” from the event stage. With far-Right firebrand Woodside’s involvement in the upcoming Miami event, similar instances are sure to occur.
The anti-immigrant movement’s efforts to divide communities with groups like BALA and “march for jobs”-style events do little more than unfairly blame immigrants for the country’s economic problems and foment community tensions. Tea Party activists and far-Right extremists have increasingly become the only parties receptive to this nativist agenda. By catering to these interests to create the appearance of broad populist support, the anti-immigrant movement only further exposes its own lack of credibility.
By Alexander Zaitchik, Media Matters
PHOENIX – The demographic death spiral of the conservative movement has a laugh track. It was recorded live in Barry Goldwater’s hometown on Saturday night, in front of a 1,000-person ballroom audience, during a banquet roast of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the gala conclusion to the annual Western Conservative Conference, known until last year as Western CPAC.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne laid down the basic comic framework for his fellow roasters, totaling a dozen conservative dignitaries of local and national reputation. “Apologies to the Civic Center,” said Horne, “but half of the kitchen staff was arrested tonight upon arrival of Joe and his deputies. Because of a budget crunch, the sheriff’s cutting way back. No more green baloney for prisoners — just an extra beating at suppertime. Over the years, Joe’s touched many people. We know because many are now pressing charges.”
Chuckling throughout Horne’s routine on stage next to Arpaio was Russell Pearce, a recalled state senator with a documented fondness for neo-Nazi websites, and the primary architect of Arizona’s controversial immigration bill S.B. 1070. Pearce smiled as his one-time ally in the 1070 fight, Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh, began his set asking, “How many Hispanics did you pull over on the way over here, Arpaio?” He later added, “All these years I figured he was rounding up Hispanics because you had a grudge from [fighting in] the Spanish-American War. But if you were in the Korean War, how come you’re not rounding up Asians?” Kavanagh was doing a bit about the difficulties of dining out with Arpaio – ”When we go into a restaurant, most of the wait staff and cooks dive out the back window” – when he spotted a passing waiter holding a platter of stuffed chickens, and screamed, “There’s a brave one! Get him! Sic ‘em!”
The crowd roared; the waiter turned red. Thus did a day of strategy sessions on how to reclaim the White House and build a new conservative majority end with national movement leaders affectionately teasing a divisive deport-’em-all drug-war dinosaur, whose roast material revolved entirely around the three facts of his being old, sadistic, and having a bit of a brown-person problem.
Of his home state, Secretary of State Kris Kobach once said, “Ideally, Kansas can become a place where conservative ideas of government are tried and exported to other states.” Through the years, Kobach has made good on his dim ideal, which, like most nightmares, is deeply disconnected from reality: there, he has disenfranchised and suppressed the rights of thousands of (already registered) voters, fought against the wishes of young people seeking college educations, offered up a law that could pit ordinary citizens in gun battles with federal agencies, and so on.
Kobach’s chairmanship of the shadowy Secure States Initiative (SSI) sprouts unhealthily like a poisonous mushroom from that same disconnect. Worryingly, his work with SSI, its national advisory committee, and its faceless backers has received less attention. With far-Right money-lenders (like the newly formed SOS for SoS PAC) lining up this election season to support secretaries of state nationwide who themselves are campaigning on the promise to push voter suppression bills in their respective states, such a lack of attention will allow SSI a dangerous amount of political tranquility from which to coordinate its efforts.
Codified in digestible language on SSI’s website, Kobach and the group’s mission is a belief in old-school states rights, one drawn from the veins of secessionist outrage. His belief translates to a strategy that plays out like this: transfer legislative power to states in order to “export” authority and dominion away from the federal government. Ultimately, Kobach’s views are so extreme – and stand in stark contrast to many other conservatives – that he must actively subvert the federal government to accomplish them.
We have seen such subversion play out through his touring of other states, toiling side-by-side with other extremist elected officials to pass constitutionally unstable anti-immigrant state bills or local ordinances in Arizona, Alabama, Texas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania. In all such cases, he has worked as an attorney drafting bills on behalf the oldest and one of the most powerful anti-immigrant groups in the United States, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and its legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute.
Through its quiet work to pass laughably unwarranted voter suppression laws, to broadly restrict voting access for working-class people, and to outlaw rights democratically mandated by the people, Kobach and Secure States Initiative (SSI) codified “ideas of government” are that of promotions of bigotry and of nullification, a Constitutional doctrine concocted by far-Right extremists.
Alongside him on its national advisory committee, SSI has gathered five fellow believers:
- Scott Beason, State Senator (Alabama): introduced the abhorrent anti-immigrant HB 56, which was drafted by Kobach, was once caught on an FBI wire-tap he himself was wearing calling African-Americans “aborigines,” and has advocated for shooting undocumented immigrants;
- Scott Gessler, Secretary of State and 2014 Republican primary candidate for Governor (Colorado): has introduced a version of his Kansas counter-part’s Cross-Check Program to purge voter rolls, and has spoken on a Heritage Foundation panel about such measures alongside the voter-harassing and Tea Party darlings, True the Vote, and Kobach, who he is quite close to;
- Charlie Janssen, State Senator (Nebraska): sat alongside Kobach in a Nebraska court-room, supporting the latter’s lawsuit to fight in-state tuition for young immigrants, firmly backed the anti-immigrant ordinance that the latter wrote for the town of Freemont, and even sought to introduce an Alabama/Arizona style anti-immigrant bill in his own state;
- Mark Martin, Secretary of State (Arkansas): oversaw the passage of a voter suppression law in his state’s 75 counties without allocating even a penny for public education regarding it, helped override Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of that law, and has signed a letter along with Kobach, Gessler, and Jason Gant (below) and three other secretaries of state lambasting First Lady Michelle Obama after she criticized voter suppression laws in the 2012 election cycle;
- Jason Gant, Secretary of State (South Dakota): in addition to signing the aforementioned letter, he also introduced a bill specifically suppressing the voting rights of American Indians.
Donations for SSI are accepted via a PO Box in Marshall, VA. That box as well as SSI’s website are registered to James R. “Jeb” Carney.
Carney maintains SSI’s web presence as a project under an umbrella 501(c)3 non-profit he operates, Citizen Guardian, Inc (CGI). According to its 2012 tax documents, Carney also operates the websites DecideAmerica.com and CitizenGuardian.org. With nearly 2.4 million in total revenue flowing into CGI, Carney is primarily targeting Congress with petition drives supporting voter suppression and fighting Obamacare, delivering 156,911 petitions in 2012. Carney is also chairman of the Community Institute for Preparedness, Response and Recovery (which is operated from the same PO Box as SSI and is a sponsor of the National Congress of Secure Communities), President of National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, and a former director of the Defense Forum Foundation.
Add voter suppression to Mr. Carney’s list of interests, because with his support of SSI and its national advisory committee, he is helping Kris Kobach export his bigoted nightmare to purge “undesirable” voters of their right to vote. This disconnecting of the democratic process from the people must not go unchallenged across the coming election year and beyond.
Just ask 12,000 registered voters in Kansas—it could be your vote that disappears next.