U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise’s claim that he did not know who he was talking to when he spoke to that meeting of the Workshop on Civil Rights hosted by the European-American Unity and Rights Conference (EURO) back in May of 2002 is coming unraveled like a cheap suit.
And so too, are the cover stories concocted by participants of that meeting who are trying to pull Scalise’s fat out of the fire.
And those accounts, with their unsavory associations and bizarre twists, constitute some of the most sordid stories imaginable, complete with bombing plots, pornography, escort services, mailing lists and dozens of politicians who subsequently went into scramble mode.
Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything” and because of conflicting memories of those involved, the coverups appear to be spinning out of control.
Thanks to stellar investigative reporting by blogger Lamar White, Scalise’s position as House Majority Whip could go the same way as that of former Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) who resigned his post as Senate Majority Leader following his association with a similar white supremacy group, the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). Lott resigned from the Senate five years later and now works, along with former U.S. Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) in the powerful Washington lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs.
CCC and EURO have cross-pollinated over the years to the point where it’s difficult to distinguish one from the other with certain individuals having been—and remaining—members of both organizations.
One of those with just such dual membership is Kenny Knight of Prairieville.
Knight has publicly taken credit for issuing the invitation to Scalise to speak to the Jefferson Heights Civic Association at the Landmark Hotel in Metairie 12 years ago, but not, he said, to EURO, which was scheduled to meet in the same room later that day.
There are several problems with that story.
One, Scalise himself has made no such claim, choosing instead to plead ignorance that he was addressing a white supremacy group in 2002 while he was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. He makes no mention of any such civic association. http://www.businessreport.com/article/scalise-defending-amid-rising-scandal-regarding-2002-speech-white-supremacist-event
But claiming ignorance is a pretty weak defense given his comment years ago to New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Stephanie Grace that he was “like David Duke without the baggage.” http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/state/11213737-123/stephanie-grace-scalises-pitch-to
Duke, of course, was—and is—President of EURO and also addressed the Landmark gathering via teleconference hookup from Europe.
The second inconvenient snag in the failure to communicate (with apologies to the late Strother Martin of Cool Hand Luke) occurred when Knight told the Times-Picayune that he was not a member of EURO http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/12/david_duke_adviser_kenny_knigh.html
Barbara Noble, whom the Times-Picayune said “was dating Knight” at the time of Scalise’s address (the implication being they might no longer be dating), backed up his claim. “Neither of us were members of EURO,” she said.
But while technically, Knight may not have a member of EURO, a quick check of the Louisiana Secretary of State’s corporate records reveals that he was not only a member of the organization’s predecessor, the National Organization for European American Rights (NO FEAR), he was the organization’s treasurer. (Duke changed the name to EURO after being sued for trademark infringement by No Fear, Inc.)
And what would be Noble’s motivation in having his back if she is a former girlfriend?
A further check of the Secretary of State’s web page also reveals that she and Knight both were officers of or affiliated with five separate corporate entities, three of which are still in good standing with the Secretary of State’s office.
All-American Health & Life Insurance of Metairie is not in good standing for failure to file its annual report with the Secretary of State, records show but both were listed as officers. Knight was the firm’s president she was vice president.
Southeast Solar Distributors likewise is listed as inactive by the Secretary of State. She was the company’s president and Knight its vice president when it was active, records show.
While she is not listed as an officer of T-Mart, Inc. of Prairieville, a telephone call to the business by LouisianaVoice reached her voice mail. Other active businesses in which the two are involved include Axcess Medical Clinic, Inc., of Prairieville (Knight is Director and she is Secretary) and Louisiana Men’s Clinic, Inc. of Mandeville (both are directors).
Louisiana Men’s Clinic is a facility that specializes in the treatment of erectile dysfunction http://louisianamensclinic.com/ while Axcess Medical Clinic appears to be an office complex for physicians owned by the pair.
Two months following Scalise’s address to EURO, Knight was on the Mississippi Gulf Coast representing CCC in its celebration after the Gulfport City Council voted to keep flying the confederate flag.
(That’s Kenny Knight in the middle with the white shirt, brown shorts and white beard.)
Accompanying Knight at that rally was Vincent Breeding, one-time resident of Duke’s home and keeper of the EURO flame as its president while Duke served a federal prison term for fraud and tax evasion.
(Vincent Breeding is on the right wearing the slacks and tie. Kenny Knight is at the far left. And as one reader pointed out, these aren’t Ole Miss frat boys waving the Rebel flag.)
But Breeding, it turns out, had a much darker side. In addition to espousing the virtues of white supremacy, Christian beliefs and conservative values, he hosted an internet website which, in addition to offering graphic pornography, also provided an escort service that catered to all tastes, including black women. That would seem rather difficult to square with the EURO philosophy.
But then Duke himself once published a sexual self-help book for women entitled Finders Keepers under the pseudonym Dorothy Vanderbilt.
In 2003, Breeding was ousted from his leadership role in EURO and was succeeded by Knight but four years later, on Aug. 2, 2007, both Knight and Breeding, along with Barbara Noble, would participate in ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the Ascension Parish Chamber of Commerce.
Breeding, in addition to his porn web page and escort service and his previous employment at a Tampa strip club, once shared an apartment with one Todd Vanbiber who authorities thwarted in his plot to place 14 bombs along two major highways, I-4, the major access route to Walt Disney World, and U.S. 441. The bombings were planned for April 19, 1997, the second anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Another Duke associate, Don Black, was once shot while attempting to steal the mailing list of the National States’ Rights Party. The man who shot him was Jerry Ray, brother of James Earl Ray. Ironically, Black not only survived the gunshot, but later worked closely with Duke through his web page Stormfront and along the way, married Duke’s ex-wife.
Mailing lists, it turns out, constitute the life blood of organizations such as EURO, CCC, and the KKK. It is those mailing lists that allow the leaders of the organizations to solicit funds from those of like minds and it was just such a list that supported Duke’s lavish lifestyle that finally caught up with him.
And it was that same list that was sold to then-gubernatorial candidate Mike Foster in 1995 for $150,000. Foster failed to report the purchase as a campaign expenditure and would become the first Louisiana governor to be fined for violating the state’s code of ethics for elected officials.
But Foster was not the first by any stretch—nor the last—to be linked to such white supremacy groups. Louisiana Congressman John Rarick and Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox both were members of the old White Citizens Council, forerunner to the CCC.
Former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Kay Cobb addressed CCC on two occasions and Trent Lott five times, once telling its members that they stood “for the right principles and the right philosophy,” only to later claim he had “no idea” what the organization stood for (we’re beginning to detect a trend here). As nice saves go, Senator, not so much.
Lott also spoke at the 100th birthday celebration of Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, proclaiming that if the rest of the country had followed Mississippi’s lead in voting for the segregationist “Dixiecrat” when he ran for president in 1943, “we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years…” When Lott later apologized for his remarks, the CCC labeled him as “little more than a political prostitute.”
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour was elected largely on the strength of support from CCC and his photo even appeared with CCC officers on the organization’s website and former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr delivered the keynote speech at the CCC national convention in June of 1998.
Byron De La Beckwith, the man who in 1963 murdered civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was a CCC member as was Charles Sharpe. While serving as South Carolina’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Sharpe was arrested for accepting $20,000 in bribes to protect an illegal cockfighting ring.
And then there is Tony Perkins who, like Lott and Judge Cobb, addressed the Louisiana CCC. His appearance was on May 19, 2001 (almost exactly a year before Scalise’s appearance), when he was serving as a Republican state representative from Baton Rouge. Perkins currently serves as President of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.
These are only the more prominent public officials who have affiliated themselves with these groups. There are others. http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2004/fall/communing-with-the-council
So we have the CCC, EURO, and the KKK, which are pretty much synonymous with their interchangeable memberships, rubbing shoulders with right-wing, family-values politicians who run for cover the moment the glare of public scrutiny is shone upon them. The only thing missing from the picture are the 30 pieces of silver.
All of which must, by necessity, raise this burning question: Is the price of political fraudulence worth the wear and tear on an elected official’s integrity?