Third-Ranking House Republican Acknowledges Speaking At White Supremacist Rally
[su_right_ad]Of course, it was okay because, Steve Scalise’s office says, he didn’t know that European-American Unity and Rights Organization was a white supremacist group founded by David Duke. Not that the name of the thing would give it away or anything.
In a statement, Scalise’s spokesperson Moira Bagley emphasized that the then-state lawmaker was unaware at the time of the group’s ideology and its association with racists and neo-Nazi activists.
Sure, why bother finding out what group you’re speaking to? We’re all Americans,right?
[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]Other Scalise allies, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, argued that Scalise was poorly staffed during the period, when he was busy touring the state promoting his efforts to curb state spending.
“Throughout his career in public service, Mr. Scalise has spoken to hundreds of different groups with a broad range of viewpoints,” Bagley said. “In every case, he was building support for his policies, not the other way around. In 2002, he made himself available to anyone who wanted to hear his proposal to eliminate slush funds that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars as well as his opposition to a proposed tax increase on middle-class families.”
She added, “He has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question. The hate-fueled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic.”
Scalise’s appearance at the event was first reported by blogger Lamar White Jr., who manages a Web site on Louisiana politics.
While Scalise didn’t know what group he was keynoting, local press knew exactly what was going on.
The Gambit Weekly, an alternative publication in New Orleans, wrote days before the conference that the hotel distanced itself from Duke’s group and expressed its discomfort.
“A contract to book this event was made some time ago, and it is our practice to fulfill our contractual obligations,” a company spokesperson told the publication. “Our company does not share the views of this organization.”
The Iowa Cubs, a minor-league baseball team, also told the Gambit Weekly that they were concerned about housing their players, which included several African-Americans, at that hotel while traveling to Louisiana.