Conservative Political Action Conference

Industry-Funded CPAC Panelists: Climate Change A 'Silly' 'Scam,' 'Modern Witchcraft'

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this morning hosted a panel titled, “What’s The Deal With Global Warming?,” the answer to which was apparently that it’s a “silly debate,” a “scam” and “modern witchcraft.”

The panel was moderated by Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute, a leading climate-change denial group funded in large part by major corporations, and included Steve Milloy, a longtime climate change denier who is now working for the coal company Murray Energy; Marc Morano of the oil-industry funded Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a Heartland Institute “expert” and former a staffer for climate skeptic Sen. Jim Inhofe; Marlo Lewis of the anti-regulation Competitive Enterprise Institute; George Landrith of Fronteirs of Freedom, another oil-industry funded climate change denial group; and for “balance,” Shannon Smith, who runs an energy efficiency financing group.

Throughout the hour-long discussion, the panelists were cracking each other up with jabs at climate science.

One of the biggest laugh lines came from Morano, who mocked Rep. Barbara Lee’s warning that the effects of climate change in the developing world could force women into poverty and prostitution. “So now, everyone in the audience worried that your mom’s sister or daughter is going to become a hooker, had better start to get behind a carbon tax or cap and trade,” he joked.

He then made fun of a UN report that many African countries will be especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. “They’re now saying because of weird weather in Africa and other places, families are desperate and so their daughters are turning to prostitution,” he said. “They’re trying everything and anything.”

Later in the talk, Morano called the idea that climate change makes storms more severe “modern witchcraft.”

Milloy for his part insisted that this “is really sort of a silly discussion,” adding, “I reject the notion that we need to cut back on fossil fuels because we’re worried about the weather possibly being inclement in 30 years or 40 years.”

The panelists also presented various conspiracy theories about U.S. policies meant to combat climate change.

Lewis said that state renewable portfolio standards reminded him of Stalinist production quotas, while Milloy claimed that the climate change “scam” is the “perfect vehicle” for progressives to gain “control of our lives.”

Landrith then chimed in with a bizarre comparison of environmental regulations to allied bombings of German cities in World War II: “If you want to bring the other side to its knees, you bomb their ball bearing factories, you bomb their refineries, okay? If you want to get control of the economy, then you regulate such things.”

CPAC Once Again Shuts Out Gay & Atheist Groups, Welcomes White Nationalists

The Institute For Research & Education on Human Rights points out today that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is once again welcoming a white nationalist group, even while shunning organizations that represent LGBT and atheist conservatives.

IREHR reports that ProEnglish is sponsoring a booth at this week’s CPAC, which costs exhibitors $4,000 in exchange for official recognition and promotion from conference organizers. ProEnglish is an anti-immigrant “English only” group led by Bob Vandervoort,  who previously headed a white nationalist group and who has fretted about the “cultural and racial dispossession of the West’s historic people” and the coming of a “post-Western America.” Vandervoort has also written about supposed “racial differences” in “intelligence and temperament.”

ProEnglish is part of the network of anti-immigrant groups connected to white nationalist John Tanton. The Center for New Community explains:

ProEnglish was established in 1994 with the oversight of its founding chairman, the white nationalist John Tanton. In fact, it is Tanton’s second English language interest group, formed after he left the first, U.S. English, after a racially charged memo that surfaced in 1988.

While Vandervoort’s group was apparently not too controversial for the conference, two other groups were. Late last month, the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, abruptly canceled the exhibition booth of the group American Atheists after an outcry from Religious Right groups. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said of the planned inclusion of the atheist group, "Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."

CPAC’s organizers also prevented the gay conservative group GOPround from sponsoring a booth, although they magnanimously allowed GOProud’s leaders to “attend as guests,” causing a cofounder of the group to resign.

Similar dramas have played out in each of the last few years. In 2012, CPAC banned GOProud but allowed two white nationalists, including Vandervoort, to appear on an anti-multiculturalism panel. Last year, GOProud was banned once again but ProEnglish was allowed to host a booth.

Interestingly, one of CPAC’s “participating sponsors” this year is Facebook, which has been working to push GOP toward immigration reform. We wonder how they feel about sponsoring a conference that welcomes the participation of an anti-immigrant white nationalist group?

Rick Santorum Just Had Dinner with White Nationalist Bob Vandervoort

Bob Vandervoort’s group, ProEnglish, just tweeted:
You’ll recall that Vandervoort, the executive director of Pro-English, was previously the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. He is scheduled to appear at a panel tomorrow morning at CPAC along with two Republican members of Congress and the Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.
 
Kobach, an outspoken immigration opponent, distanced himself from Vandervoort and ProEnglish this morning:
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he “had no idea who was going to be on my panel” when he agreed to appear Saturday on an immigration panel at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington, D.C. […]
 
Kobach said he does not recall ever meeting Vandervoort. He also said organizers usually try to put people with differing views on panels to make it interesting.
 
The two split on bilingual ballots, mandated by federal voting law. Kobach said he thinks bilingual ballots are “reasonable,” so voters will clearly understand the ballot.
Around noon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh, who is also scheduled for tomorrow’s panel, tweeted that Vandervoort appears to be a racist.
 
And the organizers of CPAC even distanced themselves from Vandervoort and another white nationalist speaking at the conference:
The American Conservative Union, CPAC’s organizer, is keeping its distance.
 
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.” 
Despite all of this, Rick Santorum just had dinner with Vandervoort. We can hope that Santorum did not yet know Vandervoort’s full background. Now that he does, will he denounce white nationalists, including Vandervoort, and say they have no place within the GOP and conservative movement?

UPDATE: Santorum adviser Hogan Gidley told BuzzFeed that Vandervoort "was part of a large gathering that showed up to listen to rick speak today at a CPAC luncheon." No response yet from Vandervoort.
 

Two Miami-Area Congressmen to Appear with White Nationalist at CPAC

There’s already been substantial coverage of yesterday’s CPAC panel on multiculturalism featuring not one, but two, prominent white nationalists – Peter Brimelow and Bob Vandervoort. That may have just been the warm-up act for tomorrow morning.

Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and David Rivera, both Republicans from the Miami metro area, are scheduled to appear on stage at CPAC with Vandervoort on an immigration panel entitled “High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity”:
 
Vandeervoort is currently the head of ProEnglish, which supports making English the official language of the US, but previously he was the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. As the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported:
Vandervoort was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The group held events featuring numerous white nationalist figures. Vandervoort also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
 
Started as a modest newsletter in 1990, American Renaissance has grown into an important vehicle for white nationalist ideas. American Renaissance first described itself as a "literate, undeceived journal of race, immigration and the decline of civility." It claimed that "White people" had lost their voice and that the United States was in danger of losing its "national and cultural core."
American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor wrote in the magazine that “the greatest threat to whites today comes from immigration.” He continued: “Racial preferences, guilt-mongering, anti-Western education, even anti-white violence are manageable problems compared to a process that is displacing whites and reducing them to a minority. With a change in thinking at the right levels, anti-white policies and double standards could be done away with practically overnight, but that would still leave us with nearly 100 million non-whites living in the country.”
 
Vandervoort’s extremism hasn’t gone unnoticed by conservatives who don’t share his bigoted ideology, including fellow panelist Alex Nowrasteh, who suggested today that Vandervoort is a racist:
The conservative Daily Caller also noted the explicit white nationalism of American Renaissance and put the conference organizers on the defensive:
The American Conservative Union, CPAC’s organizer, is keeping its distance.
 
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”
But let’s recall that the American Conservative Union was fully in control when it came to GOProud, the conservative gay rights group that it banned from CPAC this year. Evidently, they can keep gay groups out but are powerless when it comes to white nationalists.
 
Which brings us back to tomorrow’s panel featuring Vandervoort, two Republican members of Congress, and Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas. Do Reps. Diaz-Balart and Rivera and Secretary Kobach really think it’s appropriate to appear on stage with a white nationalist? Will they denounce white nationalism and say it has no place within the GOP and conservative movement?
 
Tune in tomorrow morning to find out.

 

 

CPAC: White Nationalism Shunned in 2011, Welcomed in 2012

How times have changed. Last year, white nationalist Jamie Kelso attended CPAC looking for European-American allies in his quest to keep America genetically pure and lily-white. However, his potential young recruits weren’t having any of it:

As Ed Morrissey reported on Hot Air:
A group of young attendees, and a few older conservatives as well, at first politely rebuff Kelso’s racist arguments, and then begin aggressively arguing with him in the hallway. Ron Paul supporters told him four times to take off his Campaign for Liberty button and paraphernalia.
The Daily Caller reported that Kelso “got an earful from some conservative activists who sent him packing” and “let him know that racism is not welcome in the conservative movement.” It was heartening to see young conservatives take a stand against the kind of bigotry that has no place in modern conservatism.
 
That was 2011. CPAC 2012 has revealed that the paleoconservatives are still firmly in control.
 
The conservative gay rights group, GOProud, was banned this year, but two prominent white nationalists were allowed to appear on a panel opposing multiculturalism.
 
And they were hardly sent packing. Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa fawned over Peter Brimelow, founder of the white nationalist site VDARE, saying, “I read your books!” Tomorrow, white nationalist Bob Vandervoort is scheduled to appear alongside two other Republican members of Congress.

 

Does Google Know It’s Sponsoring a Right-Wing, Anti-Gay Conference?

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Google, joining with the likes of the NRA and Heritage Foundation, will be a primary sponsor of CPAC, the right-wing conference kicking off tomorrow in DC. Google portrayed its sponsorship as just another way for the company to reach campaign professionals, candidates, and tech-savvy young adults:

The company says it will have a presence at both Republican and Democratic events during this year’s election season, including each party’s convention. Google also had a role in the Iowa caucus last month. The CPAC event was attractive because half the attendees are under 25 and heavy users of technology, Google said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
 
“This event is a great opportunity for us to showcase Google.com/elections and tools like Google+, which we hope will be used by every candidate and campaign,” the Mountain View, California-based company said.
That would make sense if CPAC was just another GOP event. It’s not.
 
CPAC 2012 is as notable for who is coming as who isn’t. Peter Brimelow is a prominent white nationalist and founder of the racist and anti-Semitic website VDARE. He’ll be at CPAC 2012.
 
“Birther” leader Joseph Farah will be there. He has boycotted CPAC since 2009 when he was blocked from hosting a panel questioning the President’s citizenship. This year he’s being welcomed back with open arms.
 
Youth for Western Civilization’s founder was arrested in 2007 for karate chopping an African-American woman on the street while calling her “n****r.” They, like Google, are sponsoring this year’s CPAC.
 
Romney, Gingrich and Santorum will be there too, along with major Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council.
 
FRC boycotted last year’s CPAC to protest the participation of a conservative gay rights organization, GOProud. CPAC 2012 will be different. The gay group got the boot, and CPAC and the Family Research Council kissed and made up.
 
Google told Bloomberg that the company is “planning hangouts with top Republicans and well respected conservative journalists at CPAC.” That’s not all they’ll find at CPAC if they go through with their sponsorship.

 

Does Google Know It’s Sponsoring a Right-Wing, Anti-Gay Conference?

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Google, joining with the likes of the NRA and Heritage Foundation, will be a primary sponsor of CPAC, the right-wing conference kicking off tomorrow in DC. Google portrayed its sponsorship as just another way for the company to reach campaign professionals, candidates, and tech-savvy young adults:

The company says it will have a presence at both Republican and Democratic events during this year’s election season, including each party’s convention. Google also had a role in the Iowa caucus last month. The CPAC event was attractive because half the attendees are under 25 and heavy users of technology, Google said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
 
“This event is a great opportunity for us to showcase Google.com/elections and tools like Google+, which we hope will be used by every candidate and campaign,” the Mountain View, California-based company said.
That would make sense if CPAC was just another GOP event. It’s not.
 
CPAC 2012 is as notable for who is coming as who isn’t. Peter Brimelow is a prominent white nationalist and founder of the racist and anti-Semitic website VDARE. He’ll be at CPAC 2012.
 
“Birther” leader Joseph Farah will be there. He has boycotted CPAC since 2009 when he was blocked from hosting a panel questioning the President’s citizenship. This year he’s being welcomed back with open arms.
 
Youth for Western Civilization’s founder was arrested in 2007 for karate chopping an African-American woman on the street while calling her “n****r.” They, like Google, are sponsoring this year’s CPAC.
 
Romney, Gingrich and Santorum will be there too, along with major Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council.
 
FRC boycotted last year’s CPAC to protest the participation of a conservative gay rights organization, GOProud. CPAC 2012 will be different. The gay group got the boot, and CPAC and the Family Research Council kissed and made up.
 
Google told Bloomberg that the company is “planning hangouts with top Republicans and well respected conservative journalists at CPAC.” That’s not all they’ll find at CPAC if they go through with their sponsorship.

 

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