Friday, December 28, 2007

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Accused of Profiling in Lawsuit

Man legally in U.S. who was detained is fighting crackdown

PHOENIX (By Judi Villa, Arizona Republic) December 13, 2007 — A Mexican citizen who is legally in the United States has filed the first lawsuit challenging Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's aggressive immigration-enforcement efforts, saying he was unlawfully detained and the Sheriff's Office is engaged in illegal racial-profiling.
The suit seeks, among other things, a declaratory judgment Arpaio's actions are unconstitutional, injunctions prohibiting the use of Arpaio's anti-immigration hotline and directing the Sheriff's Office to disband its Undocumented Immigration Interdiction unit.

"Our investigations show the Sheriff's Office has routinely exceeded their authority and shown a blatant disregard for the civil rights of individuals in Maricopa County," said Lou Moffa, a lead attorney in the case. "With this suit, we hope to demonstrate no matter how politically popular an issue is, the Sheriff's Office does not have the right to trounce haphazardly over an individual's rights."

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court, outlines several instances where Arpaio and sheriff's deputies are accused of overstepping their authority to conduct "immigration raids," targeting people solely based on race and detaining individuals who are undocumented in the country. Although only one plaintiff is identified, the lawsuit is a class-action suit filed on behalf of "all others similarly situated."

Arpaio on Wednesday called the lawsuit "frivolous" and said it is an attempt to intimidate him before his office begins enforcing the employer-sanctions law on Jan. 1.

The state law threatens suspension and revocation of business licenses if an employer is found to have knowingly hired an undocumented worker. Moffa also has challenged that law in court.

The lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office contends crackdowns in Cave Creek and Queen Creek and outside a Phoenix furniture store establish a pattern of "racial-profiling and abuse of authority."

It also says a Hispanic man who is a U.S. citizen was illegally detained this month when he was walking on a sidewalk.

But it hinges on what happened to the identified plaintiff, Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, when he was in a vehicle driven by a White man who was stopped by deputies on Sept. 26 in Cave Creek.

The lawsuit says the deputy told the driver he was being stopped for speeding but did not issue a citation.

Ortega, a retired teacher, then was asked to produce identification.

Ortega said he legally entered the United States on Sept. 6 and produced a U.S. visa, his Mexican federal voter-registration card and a copy of a permit from the Department of Homeland Security with a stamp showing his admission to the United States was valid through Nov. 1.

The lawsuit claims Ortega was detained for about eight hours before an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent verified his documents and set him free.

"To me, it appears there's racial-profiling going on," Moffa said. "That's what we want to stop. It is not enough to stop somebody because they look Hispanic or they don't speak English. People have rights."

But sheriff's Capt. Paul Chagolla said Ortega was "detained and transported appropriately" after he made statements about seeking employment when he was in the country with a visitor's visa that didn't allow him to work.

"There is no racial-profiling," Arpaio said. "I don't go around the street corner grabbing 10 people because they look like they're from Mexico."

The Sheriff's Office has been enforcing federal immigration laws since March 2006.

Arpaio's get-tough campaign against undocumented immigrants has targeted not only smugglers and violent criminals but also migrants who pay to be brought into the U.S. illegally and illegal day laborers.

About 160 deputies and jail officers have been specially trained to enforce federal immigration laws. Since 2006, ICE-trained deputies have arrested or deported more than 1,200 people.

And in July, Arpaio launched a controversial hotline to let the public report undocumented immigrants or smuggling activity.

Arpaio said his deputies have not overstepped their authority and have the power to enforce immigration violations if they encounter a person "in the course of their duties."

That would include traffic stops like the one involving Ortega.

"We're going to keep doing our job," Arpaio said. "We're going to keep arresting illegal immigrants."


White Supremacist Leader Insists Ron Paul Is Racist

Well, don't say we didn't warn you about Ron Paul's friends.

Here's American National Socialist Workers Party leader Bill White, coming out big for Paul on the far-right Vanguard News Network site on December 20:

I have kept quiet about the Ron Paul campaign for a while, because I didn't see any need to say anything that would cause any trouble. However, reading the latest release from his campaign spokesman, I am compelled to tell the truth about Ron Paul's extensive involvement in white nationalism.
Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays. This is part of a dinner that was originally organized by Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, and has since been mostly taken over by the Council of Conservative Citizens.
I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy.
For his spokesman to call white racialism a "small ideology" and claim white activists are "wasting their money" trying to influence Paul is ridiculous. Paul is a white nationalist of the Stormfront type who has always kept his racial views and his views about world Judaism quiet because of his political position.
I don't know that it is necessarily good for Paul to "expose" this. However, he really is someone with extensive ties to white nationalism and for him to deny that in the belief he will be more respectable by denying it is outrageous -- and I hate seeing people in the press who denounce racialism merely because they think it is not fashionable.
Bill White, Commander
American National Socialist Workers Party

Obviously, this isn't what Paul's supporters want to hear. (The reactions from the VNN commentors ranged from "Some one ban this piece of shit for the no outing rule" to "I know alot of white supremacist involved in the Ron Paul campaign. I wish he would not shun away from his true supporters. I will stick with him till the ened but he shouldn't act like a typical politiician" to "This motherfucker needs a special bullet." Yes, the unique spelling is all their very own; follow the link above and read the threads for more holiday joy in this vein.) While White is hardly the most reliable reporter on any subject, his testament to Paul's racist credentials does tend to corroborate what Dave and I have been telling you all along: Paul's got longstanding connections to the looniest loonies on the loony right. You may not be able to hear the dog-whistle code in his speeches, but they sure as hell hear it loud and clear.

We've also been telling you that it's not just that Paul shows up for their events: he also takes their money. There's an old saying in politics that ya gotta dance with them what brung ya -- and guys like Bill White are the ones that brung Paul to Congress in the first place. On December 19, the day before White's helpful VNN endoresment, the AP caught Paul in mid-tango, this time with founder Don Black:

Paul keeps donation from white supremacist
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist, and the Texas congressman doesn't plan to return it, an aide said Wednesday.
Don Black, of West Palm Beach, recently made the donation, according to campaign filings. He runs a Web site called Stormfront with the motto, "White Pride World Wide." The site welcomes postings to the "Stormfront White Nationalist Community."
"Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights. If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he's wasted his money," Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said. "Ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom."
"And that's $500 less that this guy has to do whatever it is that he does," Benton added.
Black said he supports Paul's stance on ending the war in Iraq, securing U.S. borders and his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants.
"We know that he's not a white nationalist. He says he isn't and we believe him, but on the issues, there's only one choice," Black said Wednesday. "We like his stand on tight borders and opposition to a police state," Black told The Palm Beach Post earlier.
On his Web site, Black says he has been involved in "the White patriot movement for 30 years."

Evidently, when it comes to Paul's status as a white nationalist, Mr. Black and Mr. White need to get their stories straight. But anyone on the left who continues to deny that Paul has maintained long, significant, and productive relationships with racists and anti-democratic "patriots" is, at this point, living in a denial zone worthy of Donald Rumsfeld.

An update, courtesy of Brad DeLong, for the benefit of visiting commenters who are even now tuning up for another chorus of "It's not like he's a racist or anything...":

Click for larger version

UPDATE II Ron Paul's campaign spokesperson has refuted White's claims. Read about it here.

Source: Alternet

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ron Paul: 95 Percent Of Black Men Are "Criminal"

Kos highlights a 1992 article from Ron Paul's self-published newsletter, The Ron Paul Political Report:

Indeed, it is shocking to consider the uniformity of opinion among blacks in this country. Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty, and the end of welfare and affirmative action.... Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the "criminal justice system," I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Minutemen confirm vigilante Minuteman shot Mexican

Neo-Nazi Leader Says Ron Paul is One of Them

I hope you're sitting down when you read this. Bill White, the leader of the neo-Nazi group American National Socialist Workers Party, has written on a white supremacist bulletin board that Ron Paul is secretly one of them but he has to keep that quiet to maintain his political viability. Full text of what he said below the fold:


I have kept quiet about the Ron Paul campaign for a while, because I didn't see any need to say anything that would cause any trouble. However, reading the latest release from his campaign spokesman, I am compelled to tell the truth about Ron Paul's extensive involvement in white nationalism.

Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays. This is part of a dinner that was originally organized by Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, and has since been mostly taken over by the Council of Conservative Citizens.

I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy.

For his spokesman to call white racialism a "small ideology" and claim white activists are "wasting their money" trying to influence Paul is ridiculous. Paul is a white nationalist of the Stormfront type who has always kept his racial views and his views about world Judaism quiet because of his political position.

I don't know that it is necessarily good for Paul to "expose" this. However, he really is someone with extensive ties to white nationalism and for him to deny that in the belief he will be more respectable by denying it is outrageous -- and I hate seeing people in the press who denounce racialism merely because they think it is not fashionable.

Bill White, Commander
American National Socialist Workers Party

White seems to be a controversial figure with the other racist nutjobs at the Vanguard site. Some condemned him for spilling the beans and therefore hurting Ron Paul's campaign. Others implied that White is really a marxist mole in the group. In a follow up post, White said:

As to why post it --

I post it because it annoys me to see politicians and their spokesmen deny racism.

Racism is okay. Racism is popular. Being racist doesn't hurt you except when you hem and haw Pat Buchanan style and try to hide it. So, let Ron Paul come clean and embrace his love for white people. Is that so bad? Will it cost him the election? Hardly.

Personally, I don't think Paul is 100% "racist". He's certainly not racist in the sense I'm racist, and doesn't think of Jews in the way I think of Jews, but he is someone aware of the race question and the Jewish problem. Differences? I believe that Jews and non-whites should, at the least, be deported from the country, and that whites who adhere to Jewish philosophies should be placed in camps and re-educated. Ron Paul would find that abhorrent, because he believes in the Constitution and rights and human equality and all that sort of nonsense.

Plus, I don't think its much of a secret he associates regularly with a large number of white activists. I mean, he goes to dinners where there are dozens of white activists in attendance, so you figure he can't exactly keep the lid on it forever. I won't name all of them here unless I have to, but his involvement in "soft" white activism -- Stormfront, American Renaissance, etc -- is well known.

This could get very interesting.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ron Paul poses with the Founders of

The above photo, left to right, is of Ron Paul, Don Black, and Derek Black.

The founders and proprietors of, a notorious neo-nazi White supremacist hate site that encourages violence against minorities, and, according to Wikipedia, “often discuss the possibility of a future race war” and the need to “take America back.” Evidently one of the ways the elder (a former KKK Grand Wizard by the way) is trying to “take America back” is by donating to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.

Source: TheDailyBackground

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Save Our State Member Arrested for Terrorism

From the Save Our State forums:

Save Our State Member arrested for “domestic terrorism.” Home raided yesterday. Computer confiscated. Rifles confiscated. Today arrest warrant was issued for weapons charges. The weapons were LEGAL. Rifles purchased at a public sports shop LEGALLY.

This all started with a post on the Save Our State forum. SOS site is apparently “monitored.”

Our member is stating “political prisoner.” Attorney stating bogus charges.

For now name will remain anonymous. Arraignment on Wednesday. We need donations ASAP for member’s defense fund.

Please note that the above quote originated from Save Our State, a known hate site that targets anyone with brown skin. The items stated in the above quote regarding the legality of the weapons should not be taken as factual until there is further information.

Update from

A long time good member of Save Our State (Mr. X) in L.A. County is being persecuted and we’re not sure why. His home was raided yesterday while he was at work and his computer and guns were taken. The copy of the search warrant left in his house said it was based on him being a “domestic terrorist” with no explanation.

He is a former Marine and has never broken the law in his life. Then he gets a call today from the local PD telling him he cannot fly home tonight for the holidays and to turn himself in to the local police. If he does try to fly home, he’ll be arrested at LAX. They told him to go to the police station tonight and he has an arraignment scheduled for Wednesday. Supposedly he will be charged with weapons violations even though his two guns are legal and registered.

S.F. must pay $1 million in attorneys' fees in discrimination suit

The city of San Francisco must pay about $1 million in attorneys' fees to a white man who filed a successful race-discrimination suit after he was passed up for a promotion at San Francisco International Airport, a state appeals court ruled Friday.

Allen Harmon won $30,300 in damages in a 2004 verdict by a San Mateo County jury that concluded he was rejected for a supervisor's job in 1998 at least in part because of his race. A minority candidate got the promotion, and Harmon's lawyer said he had to wait 16 months to get the same job through a race-neutral civil service promotion.

Harmon's suit, filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, claimed that the city had designed hiring and promotional policies at the airport to reflect the Bay Area's racial and ethnic makeup. The city denied having racial quotas or bias, saying most of the promotions awarded at the time went to white men, but later changed the policy that Harmon had challenged.

State and federal law entitled Harmon to legal fees for a successful civil rights suit against a government agency, and he was awarded more than $1.1 million by Superior Court Judge Thomas Smith.

City lawyers argued that the fee was far too high, noting that Harmon had originally sought $600,000 in damages and had been awarded only a small fraction of that amount. But the First District Court of Appeal upheld most of the fee Friday, ordering a reduction only for sums spent litigating one issue that was decided in the city's favor.

While the fee may seem excessive in a suit that was only partially successful, the court said, the trial judge examined it thoroughly and concluded that Harmon had succeeded in vindicating "important public interests" in a neutral promotional policy.

Source: SFGate

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ron Paul keeps donation from white supremacist

Aide: Candidate to take money and 'try to spread the message of freedom'
The Associated Press
updated 4:44 p.m. ET Dec. 19, 2007

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist, and the Texas congressman doesn't plan to return it, an aide said Wednesday.

Don Black, of West Palm Beach, recently made the donation, according to campaign filings. He runs a Web site called Stormfront with the motto, "White Pride World Wide." The site welcomes postings to the "Stormfront White Nationalist Community."

"Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights. If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he's wasted his money," Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said. "Ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom."

"And that's $500 less that this guy has to do whatever it is that he does," Benton added.

Black said he supports Paul's stance on ending the war in Iraq, securing U.S. borders and his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants.

"We know that he's not a white nationalist. He says he isn't and we believe him, but on the issues, there's only one choice," Black said Wednesday.

"We like his stand on tight borders and opposition to a police state," Black told The Palm Beach Post earlier.

On his Web site, Black says he has been involved in "the White patriot movement for 30 years."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: MSNBC

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Immigration debate swirls around furniture store

Protesters amassed Saturday across the street from a Phoenix furniture store for the seventh straight week in response to managers’ efforts to keep day laborers off their property.

M.D. Pruitt’s Home Furnishings at Thomas Road and 35th Street hired off-duty Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies to patrol the property, and that’s when the protests started. Immigration activists viewed the store’s decision as racist against Hispanics and a violation of people’s rights to assemble on public sidewalks.

Each week, the number of protesters has grown, reaching more than 100 Saturday.

And each week, the number of counter-protestors has also grown. More than 70 gathered Saturday across the street from the protesters, shouting support for Pruitt’s decision and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s crackdown on illegal immigrants.

It was clear the clash had more to do with immigration policy and Arpaio than with Pruitt’s furniture store.

Protesters focused on preservation of civil rights and proper use of tax dollars.

“I think it’s a shame that they’re using tax dollars on this instead of fighting crime,” said Rosie Smith, 41, of Phoenix.

Irene Chavez, 64, of Fountain Hills, equated the sheriff’s crackdown on undocumented workers to the targeting of Jews in Nazi Germany.

“I’m not going to wear a number,” Chavez said. “I’m not going to wear a star.”

She said putting a fence along the border dehumanizes Mexican-Americans because it cuts them off from their heritage.

Across 35th Street, counter-protesters waved American flags and sang “God Bless America.”
They said they were supportive of Arpaio and supportive of the law. But they also support immigration, as long as it’s legal.

“My forefathers were immigrants,” said Chuck Desario, 62, of Mesa. “But we have one set of laws to abide by in this country. You can’t pick and choose which laws to abide by.”

More than a dozen Phoenix police officers stood on 35th Street as crowd control between the two groups. About 20 sheriff’s deputies were in the area as well — four on off-duty patrol for Pruitt’s, and 16 from the department’s human smuggling unit.

Those deputies pulled over anyone violating any law. Deputies said 11 people stopped for traffic violations were taken into custody on suspicion of being in the country illegally.

Arpaio said that brings the arrest count in that area to 55 since the protests began. Arpaio said Saturday he thought it was “not the American way” to demonstrate in support of an illegal activity and to “destroy” business for a company during the holiday season.


More than 100 protesters lined the block of Thomas Road east of 35th Street shaking tin cans, holding signs and chanting. Signs carried a variety of messages, including: “Mayor Gordon: Don’t align yourself with Arpaio,” “Jesus was an immigrant: are you gonna ask him for a visa?” and “Do you want your children to grow up around all this hate?” Here is a sampling of what they said:

Irene Chavez, 64, of Fountain Hills

“Pruitt’s is not allowing people to walk the sidewalks to look for work -- that’s not a crime. (Sheriff Joe Arpaio) is wasting his time on people who can’t defend themselves, who don’t speak English and don’t know their rights.”

Chavez said she’s a Hispanic American, and the sheriff’s crackdown is affecting everyone who is Hispanic, regardless of whether they’re in the country legally. She noted that being undocumented is a civil offense, not a felony.

“Why isn’t Arpaio out stopping criminals?” Chavez asked. “The one thing I find really fascinating is the word ‘illegal’,” Chavez said. She said Adolf Hitler called the Jews “inferior” enough times that he convinced people that Jews truly were inferior. She’s afraid the same will happen to Hispanics in Arizona with the use of the word “illegal.”

Alex Gonzales, 23, of Phoenix

“Look at this,” she said, motioning across the street at the counter-protesters. “It’s kind of ludicrous. If they’re gonna fight, I’m gonna fight, too –- I’m not scared. Little do they know I have all the rights to hold that flag, too.”

Monica Sandschafer, 33, of Phoenix

“Immigrants bring prosperity to lots of small towns and communities around the country.”

Rosie Smith, 41, of Phoenix

“I’m a U.S. citizen. I think it’s a shame that they (law enforcement) are using tax dollars on this instead of fighting crime,” Smith said. “I myself have been a victim of verbal abuse.” Smith said people had threatened to report her to immigration officials and had accused her of being on welfare just because of her skin color. “This issue is just going to divide the city – divide it between white and brown. One day we’re going to wake up and realize this is getting too serious.”

Daniel Ortega, 56, of Phoenix

Ortega served as the legal and security point-person for the protesters. He said Sheriff Joe Arpaio came out on the illegal immigration issue as a ploy to promote himself.

“It’s important that those of us that believe in civil rights and human rights come out and call this for what it really is.” He added: “The police need to dedicate our resources to fighting crime.”


More than 70 counter-protesters splayed down Thomas Road west of 35th Street singing “God Bless America” and “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Them Goodbye” and waving American flags. Signs read: “Fire Grant Woods,” “No more sanctuary city,” “A nation at war closes its borders,” “Got border security?” and “Support job makers, not law breakers.” A man with a megaphone cried out to passing traffic, “Honk if you’re an American!” Here is a sampling of what they said:

Gordon Stoa, 77, of Phoenix

“I’ve lived here for 11 years – we didn’t understand the illegal immigration issue until we got here. We saw the illegal immigration issue develop. We are not against immigration – we are against illegal immigrants. If they can’t follow the rule of law, they shouldn’t be in the United States. We are not racists. You can’t blame someone for wanting to come here for a better life. But they have to come the right way.”

Stoa said a three-pronged immigration policy would stem the tide of illegal immigration: “Seal the borders, stop the anchor babies and punish the employers,” Stoa said.

Lynn Stevens, 64, of Phoenix

Stevens videotaped the protest for Riders U.S.A., a motorcycle group. She planned to post the video on

“We’re doing things to attract people’s attention to the fact that they’re being attacked by illegal alien invaders,” Stevens said.

Beth Henderson, 48, of Phoenix

“I came out to support America and to support Sheriff Joe. Illegals are coming – buying social security cards and driver’s licenses and taking American jobs.”

A.J. Kramer, 40, of Phoenix

“We came out to support our freedom. We’re here to support the laws. We’re here to support law enforcement who are trying to do their jobs, but their hands are tied by (a law) that won’t allow them to arrest illegals. We are not against immigration – we are against illegal immigrants. Everyone has the right to come here if they go through the proper channels.”

Anna Gaines of Phoenix

Gaines said she has lived in Phoenix since 1960.

“It’s not about racism -– it’s about the law," she said. "Look at me, I’m brown. Dual citizenship is not right. You’re either here or there.”

She held a sign that read, “Patriotism is not racism.” Gaines said she saw the illegal immigration issue develop in Phoenix in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She said all of her family lives in Mexico and often sends her letters to report about local criminals who have escaped to the United States.

“We are now being viewed with a bit of suspicion,” she said of Mexican Americans.

Source: EastValleyTribune

Long Beach Port Workers Protest Perceived Acts Of Racism

Demonstration Stems From Various Noose-Related Incidents

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- A group of port workers staged a protest to condemn what they said were five instances of nooses being displayed by fellow employees as threats against black employees.

"We got to kill this kind of bigotry right now," Long Beach longshoreman Eddie Jones said Friday.

The demonstrators said they saw nooses hanging from trucks and one printed on a white longshoreman's T-shirt between early October and late November at the adjoining Long Beach and Los Angeles ports.

They displayed a photograph of a noose hanging from the antenna of a foreman's truck on Halloween eve.

"He said it was a Halloween prank, but if it's a prank, what's the punchline?" said Floyd Mitchell, a port security guard.

Longshore worker Catherine Pace said she witnessed a Caucasian worker wearing a black shirt with a picture of a noose on the back.

Port supervisors were lackadaisical in responding to complaints about the overtly racist symbols, said longshore worker Hattie Simsulu. She said she believes the employer should have stepped in and taken action.

Long Beach police and a port spokesman said Friday that they had not heard about or received any complaints about the nooses.

"We are trying to resolve this with the employer first," said Jones, who heads a coalition of black port workers.

Grievances were filed in the noose cases with the Pacific Maritime Association, a group of terminal operators. Hearings are scheduled, association spokesman Steve Getzug said.

"Racial harassment and discrimination are against the law and will not be tolerated on the waterfront," the association said in a statement. "Where warranted and possible, disciplinary action already has been taken or is being pursued."

The association declined to discuss the specific actions but said employees who engage in harassment or discrimination could be reassigned or fired.

Source: KNBC

Colorado Councilwoman Resigns After Refusing to Remove Offensive Joke From Web Site

A city councilwoman in Dacono, Colo., has resigned from her post after the mayor of the town said a joke she posted to a community Web log was racist and asked her to remove it from the Web site, MyFoxColorado reported Friday.

The page-long joke, posted by councilwoman Sandra Tucker, described the tale of a white male who has a "nightmare" in which he wakes up to discover that he has "been turned" black, gay, Jewish and disabled. The joke uses terms such as "negro," "queer" and "fairy," and also pokes fun at orphans, Mexicans, Jews, HIV-positive patients, drug addicts and those with physical disabilities.

The punch line of the joke comes when the person having the nightmare also finds out he is a Democrat, a "fate worse" than all the rest.

Click here to read the joke (Warning: Contains Offensive Content).

Dacono Mayor Wade Carlson said the joke was offensive and asked Tucker to remove it from , a message board serving the community. Tucker refused, and instead resigned in protest.

Carlson told MyFoxColorado that he did not want Tucker to resign.

The forum moderator removed the post at the mayor's request, the television station reported.

Click here for a video report of this story at MyFoxColorado.

Source: FoxNews

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Immigration Backlash: Violence Engulfs Latinos

By Brentin Mock

There's no doubt that the tone of the raging national debate over immigration is growing uglier by the day. Once limited to hard-core white supremacists and a handful of border-state extremists, vicious public denunciations of undocumented brown-skinned immigrants are increasingly common among supposedly mainstream anti-immigration activists, radio hosts and politicians. While their dehumanizing rhetoric typically stops short of openly sanctioning bloodshed, much of it implicitly encourages or even endorses violence by characterizing immigrants from Mexico and Central America as "invaders," "criminal aliens" and "cockroaches."

The results are no less tragic for being predictable: Although hate crime statistics are highly unreliable, numbers that are available strongly suggest a marked upswing in racially motivated violence against all Latinos, regardless of immigration status. According to hate crime statistics published annually by the FBI, anti-Latino hate crimes rose by almost 35% between 2003 and 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available. In California, the state with the largest population of Latinos in the country, anti-Latino hate crimes almost doubled in the same period.

What follows is a representative sampling of some of the more egregious examples of physical and psychological violence waged against Latinos over the past two-and-a-half years. The perpetrators range from racist skinheads to rogue Border Patrol agents to otherwise everyday citizens who took it upon themselves to repel an "invader," terrorize a "criminal alien," or exterminate a "cockroach."

JAN. 9, 2004
Dateland, Ariz.
Pedro Corzo, a Cuban-born regional manager for Del Monte Fresh Produce, is gunned down by two Missouri residents — 16-year-old Joshua Aston and his 24-year-old cousin Justin Harrison — who traveled with Aston's younger brother, 15-year-old Nicholas Aston, to a remote section of southern Arizona with the specific intent of randomly killing Mexicans. The brothers shaved their heads before embarking on their odyssey. Corzo was ambushed after he stopped at a roadblock the group constructed from boulders. Joshua Aston, the ringleader, is later tried as an adult and receives two life sentences for the murder. Harrison also is sentenced to life. Charges are eventually dropped against the younger Aston brother.

DEC. 29, 2004
Redlands, Calif.
Two Latino men and a Latina woman are beaten and kicked in the parking lot of a strip club by a "gang of about 10 skinheads," as later reported by the San Bernardino County Sun. The neo-Nazi skinheads yell racial slurs at their victims, prompting the Redlands police chief to declare that hate crime charges will be pursued if and when the perpetrators are caught.

MAY 7, 2005
Maryville, Tenn.
A Mexican grocery store is vandalized by five white men who shatter windows, damage a refrigerator and spray-paint neo-Nazi symbols, causing over $17,000 in damage. Two men — Thomas Lovett and Jacob Reynolds — eventually plead guilty and are each sentenced to six months in prison.

FEB. 17, 2005
Fabens, Texas
Osvaldo Aldrete-Dávila, who is unarmed and fleeing apprehension on foot, is shot at 15 times by two U.S. Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. One bullet strikes Aldrete-Dávila in the buttocks, severs his urethra and lodges in his groin. Though seriously wounded, he manages to escape into Mexico.

Though the border patrol officers later find that the van driven by Aldrete-Dávila contained a shipment of marijuana, they are unaware of this fact when they open fire. Ramos and Compean attempt to cover up their actions by cleaning up the spent shell casings and failing to report the use of their firearms to their superiors, as required by Border Patrol regulations. The two agents also fail to report the shooting in their incident reports. El Paso Border Patrol Sector Chief Luis Barker later testifies that Compean told Barker that he and Ramos covered up the shooting because they "knew [they] were going to get in trouble."

After the shooting comes to light a month later, Ramos and Compean are arrested and eventually convicted by a federal jury of felony assault charges, discharging a firearm in a crime of violence, civil rights violations, and obstruction of justice. They're sentenced to 11 and 12 years in prison, respectively.

Ramos and Compean will eventually be transformed by a major right-wing misinformation campaign into high-profile martyrs of the anti-immigration movement. The agents, for their part, will remain unrepentant. Ramos tells a Texas Monthly writer in 2007 that Aldrete-Dávila "got what he deserved."

JULY 12, 2005
Patchogue, N.Y.
A 61-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant is badly beaten by three white men as he pushes a shopping cart through the streets collecting cans. Before the attack, the man was asked if he had a green card. "Then they started pummeling him," Suffolk County Hate Crimes Det. Robert Reecks tells reporters. The man, whose name is not made public, suffers a broken eye socket and facial bruises.

JULY 15, 2005
Keansburg, N.J.
Octavio Vivanco is riding his bike to his restaurant job when Joshua Ramgoolam and James Schmidtberg chase him down and punch him in the face. About 15 minutes later, Rosalino Novorrete is attacked by the same duo as he rides his bike to work, this time with a plastic baseball bat. According to Monmouth County Prosecutor Luís Valentín, Vivanco and Novorette were attacked "solely because of their Latino ethnicity." Ramgoolam later pleads guilty to second-degree bias intimidation, third-degree aggravated assault and third-degree weapons possession for unlawful purposes. Schmidtberg is found guilty of the same charges, plus fourth-degree weapons possession. Both are sentenced to five years in state prison.

SEPT. 30, 2005
Tifton, Ga.
Six Mexican immigrants — Mateo Gomez, his son José Luís Tías, Felipe Mauricio Esparza, Guadalupe Sanchez, Armando Perez Martínez and Mauricío Florindo — are murdered, and at least five others are badly injured, when a group of African-American robbers rampage through four trailer parks known for housing immigrant workers. The parks are also known for home invasions; over 20 homes there have been have been invaded in the months prior to the murders.

Three suspects — Jennifer Wilson, Stacy Sims and Jamie Underwood — are arrested and charged with six counts of murder each. Sims and Underwood are also charged with rape and aggravated assault. District Attorney Paul Bowden announces he will seek the death penalty.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Vernon Keenan tells CNN that the victims "are easy targets because they do not speak English. They're undocumented workers. They keep cash on their persons [and] in their homes. And they are reluctant to report crimes to law enforcement."

When Tifton's mayor Paul Johnson decides to display the Mexican flag over City Hall out of respect and sympathy for the victims, callers to a local radio station bristle with anger and resentment.

OCT. 16, 2005
Sacramento, Calif.
Six people are injured by three white men who crash a private party with the intent of "beating up Mexicans," according to police. One of the assailants uses brass knuckles after shouting racial epithets and "white pride."

MARCH 30, 2006
North Bergen, N.J.
After a series of pro-immigrant marches and demonstrations bring out hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters in cities across the country, an acerbic neo-Nazi radio host makes an appeal for people to carry out the mass murder of any "illegal aliens" sighted.

"All of you who think there's a peaceful solution to these invaders are wrong. We're going to have to start killing these people," Hal Turner writes on his website. "I advocate using extreme violence against illegal aliens. Clean your guns. Have plenty of ammunition. Find out where the largest gathering of illegal aliens will be near you. Go to the area well in advance, scope out several places to position yourself and then do what has to be done."

APRIL 3, 2006
Tucson, Ariz.
One of the founding members of the Minuteman movement, Laine Lawless, exhorts the leadership of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) to launch a campaign of violence and intimidation against Latino immigrants. "Steal the money from any illegal walking into a bank or check cashing place. … Discourage Spanish-speaking children from going to school," Lawless writes in a private E-mail to Mark Martin, "SS commander" of the NSM"s western Ohio chapter. "Be creative. … Create an anonymous propaganda campaign warning that any further illegal immigrants will be shot, maimed or seriously messed-up upon crossing the border."

The goal?

"Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status."

APRIL 22, 2006
Houston, Texas
David Ritcheson, 16, is attacked by racist skinheads at a house party after supposedly trying to kiss a white girl. David Henry Tuck breaks Ritcheson's jaw, knocking him unconscious, while screaming, "White power!" and calling Ritcheson a "spic" and "wetback." Keith Robert Turner joins in, and the two attackers burn Ritcheson with cigarettes, kick him with steel-toed boots, attempt to carve a swastika into his chest, pour bleach on him and finally violently sodomize him with a patio umbrella pole. It takes 30 surgeries before Ritcheson, confined to a wheelchair and wearing a colostomy bag, is able to return to school.

Tuck is later sentenced to life in prison. Turner gets 90 years.

A year after the attack, Ritcheson, who up to that point has not been identified in press accounts by name, goes public and speaks out to the U.S. House of Representative's Judiciary Committee. In wrenching testimony, the boy recalls the horrific experience for lawmakers deliberating over strengthening federal hate crime laws. "With my humiliation and emotional and physical scars came the ambition and strong sense of determination that brought out the natural fighter in me," Ritcheson testifies. "I am glad to tell you today that my best days still lay ahead of me."

Less than three months later, the teenager commits suicide, jumping from a cruise ship into the Gulf of Mexico. Before his death, he assisted the Anti-Defamation League in creating an anti-hate program at his alma mater, Klein Collins High School.

APRIL 28, 2006
Salt Lake City, Utah
A West High School student identified only as Felipe is attacked while walking to school by two white men who he says call him a "stupid wetback" and tell him, "Go back to your country, you don't belong here." He survives the jumping with a black eye, cut lip and head swelling, reports the Deseret Morning News. The boy is not a documented citizen, according to his mother, who tells reporters, "The fact that you're an immigrant here doesn't mean they get to do that."

APRIL 29, 2006
East Hampton, N.Y.
Three Latino teenagers are lured into a shed by a neo-Nazi skinhead (also a teenager) and then threatened and terrorized with a chainsaw and a machete. The victims are held for 90 minutes while the skinhead and his friends yell racial slurs, including "White power!" and "Heil Hitler!"

"This is how you run across the border," one of the skinheads shouts as he chases the Latino youths around with the running chainsaw. The skinhead is later charged as a juvenile with reckless endangerment and menacing.

MAY 4, 2006
Southampton Village, N.Y.
Jonathan Cedillo is having lunch near a 7-Eleven when cab driver Robert Rossetti slaps his sandwich from his hand and then begins calling him derogatory racial names. Rosetti then begins ramming into Cedillo, who has American Indian and Mexican ancestry, with his taxi. Cedillo's right knee is injured. "He was cursing at me, telling me I'm an immigrant and to get out of this country," Cedillo tells reporters. Rossetti is later convicted of misdemeanor aggravated harassment.

JUNE 12, 2006
Rocky Point, N.Y.
Two Mexican men fishing at a jetty are asked for their green cards, and then beaten and robbed by four teens — William Foley, Nicholas Provenzano, Daniel Sturgis and Jesse Ward — posing as federal agents. The teens rob money from the victims while accusing them of stealing jobs from U.S. citizens. All four are charged with felony robbery and assault as hate crimes. Sturgis eventually pleads guilty to third-degree assault as a hate crime and second-degree robbery and is sentenced to two years in state prison. Provenzano is convicted of charges related to the attack, but his sentencing is deferred. Foley and Ward are charged as juvenile offenders.

JUNE 15, 2006
Yonkers, N.Y.
Miguel Vega, a native of Peru, is walking down the street where he lives when he's attacked and murdered by five men who also steal his wallet. The killers — Abraham Ghaly, David Bendezu, Alexander Mitchell, Joel Lopez and Rodolfo Ponciano — are charged with murder and robbery. Bendezu, Mitchell, and Lopez have their murder charges upgraded to hate crimes after an investigation finds that they specifically sought a Mexican to rob that night. All five plead guilty and are sentenced to between five and 15 years.

JULY 20, 2006
Dayton, Tenn.
Gilberto Mejía, owner of the Mexican grocery store Carnicería Los Primos, is verbally assaulted by anti-immigration activist June Griffin, who barges into the store and tears down a Mexican flag. Griffin then allegedly harasses Mejía and leaves threatening phone messages, which Mejia saves for police.

"It was an act of war," says Griffin, who has unsuccessfully run for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican. Charged with civil rights intimidation, phone harassment, theft and vandalism, Griffin is released after witnesses fail to turn up at a court hearing.

"I'm not ashamed of anything I did," Griffin tells The Herald-News.

JULY 25, 2006
Albertville, Ala.
The windows of six businesses owned by Guatemalans or Mexicans are shot out early in the morning, while white-owned businesses on the same street in this northern Alabama town of 17,000 go untouched. A year later, the crime is still unsolved. Albertville police say the attack wasn't racially motivated, although many observers, pointing to which businesses were targeted, suspect otherwise. "We have sporadic, random incidences of windows shot out," says Chief Detective J.T. Cartee.

JULY 30, 2006
Bradenburg, Ky.
Jordan Gruver, a 16-year-old boy of Panamanian descent, is attacked by members of the Imperial Klans of America who are recruiting for the IKA at the Meade County Fairgrounds. Unprovoked, the Klansmen call the far smaller Gruver a "spic," then beat him severely, leaving Gruver with two cracked ribs, a broken left forearm and jaw injuries requiring extensive dental repair. Two Klansmen, Jarred R. Hensley, 24, and Andrew R. Watkins, 26, plead guilty to second-degree assault and are each sentenced to three years in prison. The Southern Poverty Law Center files a lawsuit against the attackers that is later amended to add IKA, its national leader Ron Edwards, and another high-ranking IKA official.

AUG. 20, 2006
Hahnville, La.
Two men, one from El Salvador and the other described by St. Charles Parish sheriff's deputies as "Hispanic," are shot in the legs by Mark Gautreau as they fish in a floodway near Lake Pontchartrain. Witnesses say Gautreau announced he was going to "shoot some Mexicans" before breaking into his own truck (he had locked himself out) to pull out a shotgun and fire at the anglers, who are 500 feet away. Gautreau is booked on two counts of first-degree attempted murder as a hate crime. The case is later dismissed when the victims and witnesses fail to appear for court.

Nelson Espinoza

SEPT. 9, 2006
Rockfield, Ky.
A cross is burned on the front lawn of Nelson Espinoza's house in this Louisville suburb next to a sign reading, "My country maybe, my neighborhood NO WAY!!!" Espinoza, a native of El Salvador, lives with his wife in the United States as part of a legal temporary worker program. Almost a year later, the investigation remains open. "We suspect it was probably just kids from the neighborhood," says Warren County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Alexander.

SEPT. 10, 2006
Hampton Bays, N.Y.
Carlos Rivera, a construction worker from Honduras, is stabbed multiple times outside a bar by Thomas Nicotra and Kenneth Porter, who yell racial epithets during the attack. Nicotra and Porter, who witnesses say also yelled racial slurs at other patrons a night earlier, are both charged with felony robbery and assault with hate crime enhancements. Porter is sentenced to one year in Suffolk County Jail for first-degree assault after testifying against Nicotra. Nicotra is sentenced to nine years in state prison after finally pleading guilty to first-degree assault and robbery.

SEPT. 17, 2006
Laguna Beach, Calif.
A truck driven by two men reportedly hits two Latino workers at a day labor center, and one of the workers is also assaulted. The men in the truck, Artem Soloviev and Dennis Katpilniy, came to the center offering work, but Soloviev ends up in a scuffle with the workers, apparently after they decline his terms. Although witnesses say Soloviev and Katpilniy shouted racial epithets at the workers during the fight, no charges are filed and Soloviev and Katpilniy are released. "We investigated it top to bottom, having collected third-party and the actual defendants' statements, but we did not have enough evidence to support the case," Susan Schroeder, of the Orange County's District Attorney's office, says later.

OCT. 23, 2006
Annapolis, Md.
Hose Aldana and Wilfredo Rodriguez are stabbed and called ethnic slurs by two white men in a pickup truck, according to police. But county police officer Sara Schriver tells local newspapers that since Latinos are technically classified as white, the attack wasn't racially motivated.

"That's crazy," retorts Angela Arboleda, director of criminal justice policy for the National Council of La Raza. "The [victims were] called names and slurs that were derogative to [their] race. That is the most clear-cut evidence that that crime was in fact a hate crime."

NOV. 18, 2006
San Diego, Calif.
Latino workers Estanislao Gonzales and Robert Peña are allegedly assaulted by San Diego Minuteman John Monti at the Rancho Peñasquitos day labor center during a Minuteman surveillance operation. Prosecutors say Monti started the fight after grabbing one of the laborers and chasing him into the street. But jurors later acquit Monti of three counts of battery and one count of filing a false police report.

JAN. 12, 2007
Naco, Ariz.
Javier Dominguez-Rivera, a construction worker from Mexico, is shot dead at close range while on his knees by Border Patrol agent Nicholas Corbett. Corbett claims he fired in self-defense from the front of his vehicle when Dominguez-Rivera picked up a rock, but surveillance footage shows Corbett confronting Dominguez-Rivera at the rear of his vehicle. In addition, autopsy reports show the bullet was fired from between three inches and 2 1/2 feet away, and that it entered below Dominguez-Rivera's armpit and traveled down through his heart, stomach and liver into his lower abdomen.

Dominguez-Rivera was crossing the border with his two brothers and sister-and-law when Corbett apprehended them. The group's eyewitness accounts match the results of the forensic investigation and medical examiner's conclusions. As a result, Corbett is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide. Cochise County Attorney Edward Rheinheimer tells reporters: "The evidence shows that at the time he was shot, Mr. Dominguez-Rivera presented no threat to Agent Corbett."

FEB. 7, 2007
Casper, Wyo.
Richard Serafin, who has identified himself as "commanding officer" of a unit of the "Central Wyoming Militia," is arrested after illegally selling a short-barreled AR-15 semiautomatic rifle to an undercover ATF agent. Earlier, he told the agent that he planned to travel to the Arizona border to harm immigrants and boasted that "there may be fewer illegal Mexicans" after his trip. Serafin pleads guilty to possessing two illegal firearms — two of the short-barrel AR-15s — and is later convicted in federal court of possessing firearms to further a crime of violence. He faces a minimum of five years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.

FEB. 23, 2007
Wright City, Mo.
A Latino immigrant is attacked and robbed by three men yelling, "Immigration enforcement!" who barge into his mobile home armed with a piece of lumber. The immigrant suffers injuries to his right eye and nose. Ryan Scott Harlan, 18, eventually pleads guilty to first-degree burglary and second-degree assault and is sentenced to 15 years in prison. Richard Bryant Lindaman, 17, pleads guilty to the same charges and is sentenced to eight years. The third suspect, Christopher Michael Skelton, is still awaiting trial at press time.

APRIL 18, 2007
Flagstaff, Ariz.
James Wesley Cheek submits a comment to the Arizona Daily Sun threatening to attack a Cinco de Mayo event in a manner similar to the Virginia Tech University rampage just a few days earlier that left 32 people dead. FBI agents arrest Cheek for sending a threatening interstate communication and find that Cheek possesses a collection of firearms and has distributed fliers for the Ku Klux Klan. If convicted, Cheek faces a maximum sentence of five years and up to a $250,000 fine.

MAY 1, 2007
Washington, D.C.
Tyler Froatz Jr., a member of the Herndon (Va.) Minutemen, is arrested after a physical confrontation with human rights activists at a rally. When apprehended by police, he has several knives, a flare gun and a stun gun, and police find a loaded rifle in his vehicle. Days later, investigators search Froatz's apartment and find an additional 15 guns, a Molotov cocktail, a grenade and large amounts of ammunition. Initially jailed on weapons and assault charges, Froatz, 24, is released to his parents in New Jersey a month later to await trial.

MAY 4, 2007
Gaithersburg, Md.
A long-established day-labor center for Latino immigrant workers is set on fire, causing about $2,000 in damage. The center is run by Casa de Maryland, an immigrant assistance organization that has been the subject of many protests and threats. Without any evidence or rationale to support his allegation, Brad Botwin, director of an anti-immigration group called Help Save Maryland, tells The Washington Post that the laborers may themselves have started the fire.

MAY 10, 2007
Dunlap, Tenn.
Frankie Bowman, who in 2005 launched an unsuccessful petition drive to prevent a Mexican nightclub from moving into his neighborhood, is arrested for offering an undercover Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent $2,500 to burn down Mexico de Noche. Bowan, 52, allegedly told the agent he didn't care whether the building was empty or occupied when the fire was set. He faces trial on charges of solicitation to commit aggravated arson.

Mountain Minuteman founder Robert Crooks E-mails a video to several prominent anti-immigration activists that appears to shows a Minuteman tracking a group of Mexicans through a gun's night vision scope. In the video, an unidentified man can be heard calling the Mexicans "cockroaches" and then firing off a shotgun. "This video shows how to keep a Home Depot parking lot empty," Crooks writes in his cover E-mail, snidely suggesting that recipients know how to "Talk the Talk" but not "Walk the Walk" of effectively fighting illegal immigration. A few days later, a very similar night-vision video surfaces, this one purporting to show a Minuteman hitting a lone Mexican with a sniper shot. Crooks, who initially denies making the videos but then admits it, later says the second video was faked. Although state and federal law enforcement officials look into the incident, no victims are found.

AUG. 8, 2007
Garden Grove, Calif.
Felipe Alvarado, an immigrant working as a janitor at a fast-food restaurant, is taunted with racist threats and then attacked by three men, one of whom is carrying a loaded gun. James Joseph Kelly, Justin Louis Mullins and Cheyne Danica Wilson are arrested and charged with felony assault with hate crime enhancements for allegedly beating Alvarado after yelling, among other things, "Go back to Mexico, you wetback!" Wilson is also charged with illegally possessing a handgun.

AUG. 12, 2007
West, Texas
A Latino man is struck in the face several times after getting into a hostile exchange of words outside a convenience store with a group of white men and women who later tell police that they are affiliated with Aryan Nations, a neo-Nazi hate group. The victim, who has not been identified publicly, fled but is attacked a second time later the same night by several assailants who beat, stomp and cut him. The alleged leader of the attacks, Stephen Ray Chapman, is arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The police continue to search for five other suspects.

AUG. 23, 2007
Montgomery County, Va.
Victor Hernandez, a Honduran immigrant dishwasher, is walking home from work when he is kicked into unconsciousness by teenagers who rob him of $160. The two teens arrested tell police they were "amigo shopping" — seeking vulnerable Hispanic workers to rob. The Washington Post reports "alarmingly common" anti-immigrant crimes in the area of Washington, D.C., and its Virginia suburbs. Police from Montgomery County, Va., and neighboring counties tell the newspaper that the majority of local robbery victims since 2006 have been Latino.

SEPT. 30, 2007
Avon Park, Fla.
José Gonzales returns home to find his car and garage destroyed by a fire set by an arsonist who also spray-painted "Fuck Puerto Rico" on the garage walls. Gonzales, a U.S. citizen and a mechanic, loses all of his tools in the fire. No arrests are made in the town, which is famous for its passage of harsh anti-immigrant laws.

OCT. 8, 2007
Omaha, Neb.
Eduardo Garcia wakes up to find his truck and his wife's car set ablaze. Two other cars are also vandalized and have the words "white power" and a swastika spray-painted on them. No one is immediately arrested.

Source: SPLCenter

Tom Tancredo Hired Illegal Laborers to Renovate His McMansion

Max Blumenthal, AlterNet

Anti-immigration zealot and GOP presidential candidate Tom Tancredo hired what he often refers to as "criminal aliens" to renovate his Colorado house.

When Republican Representative Tom Tancredo isn’t railing against the “scourge” of illegal immigration on the presidential campaign trail, he relaxes in the 1053 square foot basement recreation room of his Littleton, Colorado McMansion. There, he and his family can rack up a game of billiards on their tournament size pool table, play pinball, or enjoy their favorite movies in the terraced seating area of a home theater system. Tancredo, who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War by producing evidence that he suffered from mentally illnesses, especially likes entertaining his buddies with classic war movies.

“We have friends over and I have now shown Pearl Harbor about six times,” Tancredo boasted to the Rocky Mountain News about his 102-inch television. “But I mainly just show the attack scene because the sound is so good.”

When Tancredo hired a construction crew to transform his drab basement into a high-tech pleasure den in October 2001, however, he did not express concern that only two of its members spoke English. Nor did he bother to check the workers’ documentation to see if they were legal residents of the United States. Had Tancredo done so, he would have learned that most of the crew consisted of undocumented immigrants, or “criminal aliens” as he likes to call them. Instead, Tancredo paid the crew $60,000 for its labor and waited innocently for the completion of his elaborate entertainment complex.

During the renovation process, two illegal workers hired by Tancredo were alerted to his reputation for immigrant bashing. They went straight to the Denver Post to complain. Tancredo “doesn't want us here, but he'll take advantage of our sweat and our labor,” one of the workers complained to the Post on September 19, 2002. “It's just not right.”

The Post report momentarily threw Tancredo on the defensive. In a fiery speech soon after the story’s publication, Tancredo blamed his foibles on the INS. “I haven't the foggiest idea how many people I may have hired in the past as taxi drivers, as waiters, waitresses, home improvement people,” he boomed from the House floor. “I haven't the foggiest idea how many of those people may have been here illegally, and it is not my job to ask them.” Then defiance gave way to vitriol as the congressman dubbed undocumented immigrants, “the face of murder.”

Only days before the Post’s story appeared, Tancredo had personally reported an honor student profiled in the Denver Post to the INS because the 14-year-old was not a legal resident of the United States. The stunt forced the boy’s family to go into hiding. Fortunately for Tancredo, the ensuing revelations of his hiring of illegal labor fell below the radar of the national media, allowing his anti-immigrant crusade to proceed unabated.

Tancredo proceeded to organize over 90 anti-immigration House members into an informal but powerful caucus that has effectively prevented any non-enforcement related immigration legislation from reaching the President’s desk. His Team America PAC, which is chaired by right-wing pundit Bay Buchanan, has donated tens of thousands of dollars this election cycle to nativist candidates who hope to fill Tancredo’s caucus with new blood when he retires next year. Down on the border, Tancredo announced his support for the Minutemen, providing the anti-immigrant militia with a veneer of respectability while its pistol-packing members hunt for brown-skinned evildoers.

Tancredo has also played an instrumental role in shaping the way immigration is discussed in the media. Despite his third tier status in the presidential campaign, as of November 19 the congressman has appeared on Fox News more times during 2007 than any other presidential candidate. A former Tancredo staffer speaking on condition of anonymity told me recently that the congressman spends extensive time on the phone with top-rated CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, offering him tips and ideas for his daily “Broken Borders” segments.

Dobbs, in turn, has produced an unending string of specious “reports” painting undocumented immigrants from Latin America as disease-ridden criminals. In May, for example, Dobbs falsely claimed that illegal migrants from Mexico were responsible for 7000 new cases of leprosy in the United States. A wave of negative publicity forced Dobbs to acknowledge his source for the bogus story as Madeleine Cosman, a deceased white supremacist activist who often appeared at anti-immigrant rallies beside her pal Tancredo.

The success of Tancredo’s efforts to project his nativist politics onto the national stage were apparent during CNN’s November 26 Republican Youtube debate. In a heated exchange that highlighted press coverage of the debate, presidential frontrunners Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney competed with one another over who could appear the most draconian towards “illegals.” When Romney accused Giuliani of running a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants while serving as mayor of New York, Giuliani shot back that Romney had run a “sanctuary mansion” when he was governor of Massachusetts. Giuliani pointed to a lengthy Boston Globe report revealing that Romney paid a gardening service that employed illegal workers to tend the lawns of his mansion. Suddenly, the candidates with the most tolerant records on immigration issues sounded like Tancredo.

While the two rivals clashed, Tancredo stood at the far end of the stage smiling contentedly. The cause he championed for years with a band of ornery border vigilantes, white supremacists, and assorted dregs by his side had become a central theme in the race for the White House. Of all the major GOP candidates, only Sen. John McCain has countered Tancredo with big tent appeals to socially conservative Latinos. The other candidates have reliably parroted his talking points, parrying accusations of ideological impurity by accusing one another of being soft on illegal immigration. “All I've heard is people trying to out-Tancredo Tancredo,” Tancredo observed during the debate. “It is great.”

But there is one way the Republican candidates can never out-Tancredo Tancredo. The congressman lives in a “sanctuary mansion” built by the kind of people he has made a career out of demonizing. Tom Tancredo may have no hope of winning the Republican nomination, but in the cause of hypocrisy, he is the frontrunner.