Twelve years before he was elected by his colleagues as House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) spoke at a conference hosted by white supremacist group European-American Unity and Rights Organization.
Louisiana political blogger Lamar White Jr. dug up a number of posts on Stormfront, one of the original white supremacist websites, that place Scalise at the 2002 gathering. According to one user who attended the conference, Scalise -- then a state representative -- spoke to the organization at a workshop "to teach the most effective and up-to-date methods of civil rights and heritage related activism."
According to another Stormfront post, the National/International EURO Workshop on Civil Rights was held from May 17 to 18, 2002, at the Landmark/Best Western Hotel in Metairie, Louisiana. The conference was also listed on an Anti-Defamation League list of extremist events for that year.
Scalise has admitted to making the speech, but claimed that he was unaware of the group's racist nature.
Of course to the media, that's like dipping a bloody toe in shark-infested waters with them being the sharks. Several members have asked how could Scalise have not known what the group was all about, with others implying that his speech was covertly racist.
Will Scalise be forced to resign? Who knows. It's too early to tell. But to me, there are two interesting things about this controversy. For one, there is my snarky observation involving the Republican party. It is usually when they have power in Congress that a member or two will make a supreme mind-blowing screw up.
The second is even a bit more to the purpose of this blog. If one asks will Scalise survive, one needs to look to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. While Perkins is now looked upon in Washington as a "voice of morality" by some, he has a history with racist groups probably more checkered than Scalise (at least for now.)