Back in 2005, it was reported that Tony Perkins, now President of the Family Research Council, “paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana.”
Shortly thereafter, FRC released a statement refuting the assertion:
Tony Perkins was the manager of the 1996 U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Woody Jenkins in Louisiana where Impact Media was contracted to make pre-recorded telephone calls for the campaign. In 1999, an unrelated federal investigation uncovered that David Duke had a financial interest in the company, which he did not report to the IRS, resulting in his conviction on federal tax evasion charges. This connection was not known to Mr. Perkins until 1999. Mr. Perkins profoundly opposes the racial views of Mr. Duke and was profoundly grieved to learn that Duke was a party to the company that had done work for the 1996 campaign.
A year later, it was reported that on two occasions, Perkins had addressed the racist Council of Conservative Citizens:
The Boston Herald reported in an October 16, 2006, article, “In 2001, [Perkins] gave a speech at a meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC] considers a hate group.” Indeed, a Fall 2004 article in the SPLC’s Intelligence Report asserted that Perkins “spoke to the Louisiana Council of Conservative Citizens on May 19, 2001,” during his tenure as a Louisiana state legislator. The SPLC characterizes the CCC as a “white nationalist” organization, and has reported that the group is “the reincarnation of the racist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s.” The CCC declares in its statement of principles:
We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.
In a July 30, 2005, article, The Vancouver Sun reported that Perkins acknowledged his speech before the CCC in an interview. The Sun also reported that Perkins claimed he could not recall what he said to the group and that he said he had been unfamiliar with the CCC’s history at the time. From the Sun article:
The magazine [The Nation] also reported that Perkins, while a Louisiana state congressman, spoke in 2001 to the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC).
Perkins said he was invited by a constituent to speak to the group, and said he wasn’t aware of its history.
“Never spoke to them again. That was over a decade ago,” Perkins told The Sun, suggesting the speech happened in 1996, not 2001.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which keeps track of politicians close to the CCC, forwarded The Sun a March-April 2001 copy of Citizens Informer, the newsletter put out by the CCC, which included the following notice:
“The Louisiana CofCC met at the Mandarin Seafood in Baton Rouge May 19 to hear State Representative Tony Perkins discuss the current legislative session. At that meeting a recruitment project was developed.”
When informed of the item by The Sun, FRC spokesman J.P. Duffy does not dispute the assertion that the event happened in 2001, not 1996, but added that Perkins “cannot remember speaking at the event, as he speaks to hundreds of groups each year.” Duffy added that Perkins opposes racial discrimination and offered the names and phone numbers of two black pastors who support him.
Since Perkins claims that he “cannot remember speaking at the event,” maybe this photo that recently surfaced online will help to jog his memory: