rkeefe57 (Richard Keefe)


Comment history

Credibility gone

It's not up to me to agree or disagree, though I do find the SPLC's nebulous references to "bad ideology" and "marches, speeches and publishing" as "hate group activities" a little disconcerting.


Look, if I go around saying "Bozo is a car thief," then it is up to me to prove beyond a doubt that Bozo did indeed take a car without permission in clear violation of defined legal statutes, right?

If I can't prove that Bozo did indeed violate those legally defined statutes then Bozo can, and most probably will, sue me for slander/libel, and quite rightly so.

If Morris Dees says that Bozo's church, fraternity, political party is a "hate group," he doesn't have to prove a thing.

In fact, Dees CAN'T prove a thing because there is no LEGAL definition. Dees might as well designate "pretty groups," "funny groups," and "mean groups," because they are all merely manifestations of his own subjective personal opinion.

You know, it's all well and good when you happen to agree with Dees' designation of certain "hate groups," but what happens when he goes after YOUR group?

Last year, the Missouri Highway Patrol passed along an SPLC report that informed the troopers that they could identify "domestic extremists" by their third-party bumper stickers.

THAT doesn't scare you? It scares me.

Now, I've answered several of your questions, how about answering one of mine?

Are you okay with the fact that in its entire 40 year history the SPLC has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of power?

We're not talking celebrity endorsements by Julian Bond, or token members of Dees' rubber-stamp Board of Directors, who are unpaid and have no decision-making authority.

(Dan Morse, “Friendly Board,” Montgomery Advertiser, February 19, 1994.)

Are you okay with that simple fact?

February 4, 2011 at 2:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Credibility gone

Those are fair questions. First of all, I don't know anything about Mr. Kobach either way. My comments were directed to Mr. Shaw in response to his assertion that the SPLC was unbiased, or neutral.

Second, there is no legal definition of "hate groups," which why even the FBI doesn't track "hate groups."

Hate crimes, yes, but "hate groups" -- no.

The SPLC uses the deliberately meaningless term "hate group" to denigrate any group with which it disagrees without having to accuse them of any actual crimes.

Basically, a "hate group" is anything Mo Dees says it is, which really is meaningless.

The SPLC is a private, fund-raising organization. It has no mandate, no authority, legal or moral, to designate anyone as anything.

The SPLC has no more power to designate "hate groups" than does the SPCA.

To follow up on your question about what fear and directed at whom, just take a look at the SPLC's primary fund-raising tool, its "Hate Map."


The SPLC refers to the "Hate Map" in its fund-raising letters to its mostly elderly donor base.

Every year the number goes up a little to keep the scare on, but since the SPLC is the sole arbiter of the "hate group" designation, the numbers are meaningless.

Take a look at the New England states, say, New Hampshire:


According to the SPLC, NH has five alleged "hate groups," but when you look at their actual data, the SPLC doesn't even bother to identify the location of three of the groups, and the fourth and fifth "groups" are one and the same institution in the exact same location.

Five out of six of Connecticut's "groups" are phantoms, as are ALL of Vermont's.

Over 170 of the "Hate Map" groups are similarly homeless and more than two dozen are counted more than once.

Here are a few quotes from the SPLC's $146,000 donor-dollar-a-year public relations guru, Mark Potok:

“…a “hate group” has nothing to do with criminality… [or] potential for violence…” Rather, as Potok put it, “It’s all about ideology.”

No crime, no violence, just “wrong thinking”

“Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”

Marches? Rallies? Speeches? Aren't these supposedly inalienable rights? Isn't this how Mr. Obama and every other president got his job? Isn't this what we remember and revere Dr. King for?

“Potok says inclusion on the list might come from a minor presence, such as a post office box.” (www.sanluisobispo.com, March 25, 2009)

Potok is a public relations man whose six-digit income is dependent on getting the old folks to send in the cash. Therefore, he has an undeniable financial stake in the designation of "hate groups."


In fact, Mr. Potok got an $8,000 raise last year. Not bad for a guy with no legal or law enforcement experience, but he brings in the cash.

February 4, 2011 at 11:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Credibility gone

To answer your question: No.

I WOULD like him a lot more if he put an end to his 40 year old fear campaign and lived off the interest of his bloated Endowment Fund as he has repeatedly promised, though.

Dees set up the SPLC's Endowment Fund for just that very purpose in 1974, but as Ken Silverstein pointed out in his Nov. 2000 Harper's piece:

"Back in 1978, when the Center had less than $10 million, Dees promised that his organization would quit fund-raising and live off interest as soon as its endowment hit $55 million.

But as it approached that figure, the SPLC upped the bar to $100 million, a sum that, one 1989 newsletter promised, would allow the Center "to cease the costly and often unreliable task of fund raising. "

Today, the SPLC's treasury bulges with $120 million, and it spends twice as much on fund-raising-$5.76 million last year-as it does on legal services for victims of civil rights abuses."

The SPLC reports that as of October, 2010, the Endowment Fund stood at more than $216 million donor dollars, an increase of $27 million over 2009.

The SPLC reported total operating costs last year of $31 million, including $5.5 million in fund-raising costs (Five times as much as they spent on "legal case costs," btw.)


Doesn't take genius to figure out that if they lived off the Endowment Fund interest, as promised, they wouldn't need an expensive fund raising department.

Total expenses would drop to $26 million, versus the $27 million they made in Endowment Fund interest.

But the fund-raising letters continue to flow like clockwork.

I guess my concept of "non-profit" is outdated.

Oh, and according to pages 7 & 8 of the SPLC's IRS Form 990, linked above, the 2011 lineup of their top ten, highest paid executives is every bit as lily-white as their 1971 team.

Somethings just never seem to change in Montgomery.

February 4, 2011 at 7:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Credibility gone

Mr. Shaw writes that the SPLC is neither Left Wing nor Right Wing. This statement is patently inaccurate.

Mr. Silverstein writes that Mr. Dees used his influence on behalf of four Democratic candidates in order to obtain their donor lists.

Mr. Dees made his millions in the direct mail business, not as a lawyer, and he knew/knows full well that his donor base lies with progressive Democrats, not rich Republicans.

Of course, given the success rate of the candidates that Mr. Dees "helped," it is not impossible that he was actually a paid agent of the Republican National Committee.

If you seriously believe that George McGovern and Ted Kennedy are "mainstream," there's really not much left to discuss.

The SPLC turns 40 this year. In February, 1994, Dan Morse of the Montgomery Advertiser wrote that there were no highly paid minorities in positions of power at the SPLC, and the situation has not changed in the past 17 years.

(Dan Morse, “Equal Treatment? No blacks in center’s leadership,” Montgomery Advertiser, February 16, 1994.)

Dees will hire token minorities for public relations purposes. On page 132 of his autobiography, Dees writes that when he was preparing to send out his first batch of fund-raising letters in 1971, he "needed a name" that the donors would recognize. Dees called Julian Bond out of the blue and offered him what Dees called "the largely honorary post" of President of the SPLC.

This is nothing more than classic paid celebrity endorsement.


Dees also writes that he once ran for office on the States Rights Democrat platform, which he says was "closely aligned with Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrats."

Sadly, Dees also writes that he was a highly paid Klan lawyer in Montgomery in the 1960s.


If you folks have no problem with the fact that Dees will not hire minorities as executives, with his segregationist past or his self-confessed work on behalf of the KKK, that is entirely your prerogative.

To claim that Dees and his organization are unbiased and neutral, however, is inaccurate.

February 3, 2011 at 12:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Credibility gone

According to his 1991 autobiography, "A Season for Justice," SPLC founder Morris Dees writes that he served as the chief fund-raising manager for the McGovern, Carter, Ted Kennedy and Gary Hart campaigns.

Ken Silverstein wrote in Harper's Magazine in 2000 that Dees agreed to serve in this role in exchange for the candidates' extensive donor mailing lists, which he promptly used for his own SPLC fund-raising efforts.

When your core contributors are hardcore supporters of people like George McGovern and Ted Kennedy, you'd have to admit that the SPLC's target audience is somewhat "progressive."

Of course, Dees also wrote that he served as Gov. George "Segregation Forever!" Wallace's "Youth Coordinator," (one can only imagine what that job entailed...), so maybe there are a few John Birchers on the donor list too.

The most ironic (read: "hypocritical") thing about the Southern Poverty Law Center is that NOT ONE of its top ten, highest paid executives is a minority.


In fact, according to the SPLC's hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, despite being located LITERALLY in the back yard of Dr. Martin Luther King's home church, the SPLC has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of power.

Some "experts"

February 3, 2011 at 6:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Southern Poverty Law Center criticizes Kobach's proposals on illegal immigration

"let's see the SPLC helped the african american mother of a son hanged by young
recruits of the KKK in Mobile, AL sue the KKK nearly out of existence..."

Yes, the SPLC loves to crow about the murder of Michael Donald and "bringing the Klan to its knees" in their fund-raising propaganda, but when you look at the actual facts you come up with an entirely different story.


Fact 1: In 1981, two thugs from the United Klans of America (UKA) were upset when a black man was acquitted of charges he murdered a white police officer. In revenge, they set out to kill the first black man they saw. That unfortunate man was Michael Donald.

Fact 2: The Klan thugs saw Michael Donald walking home from the corner store. They stopped him and enticed him into their car. They drove Donald to a secluded area and beat him to death and hung his corpse from a tree. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Donald was long dead before they hung his body from the tree, so he was not "hanged" and he was not "lynched."

Fact 3: James Knowles and Henry Hays were arrested, tried and convicted of the murder of Michael Donald. Knowles got a life sentence and Hays got the death penalty.

The SPLC played NO PART in these proceedings.

Fact 4: After Hays and Knowles were tried and convicted, and rightly so, the SPLC's Morris Dees came up with the innovative idea that the UKA might be just as liable for the actions of its members as a corporation would be for the actions of its employees.

Dees filed a CIVIL law suit against the UKA and won a $7 million dollar settlement.

Fact 5: During the course of the trial, Morris Dees sent out tens of thousands of fund-raising letters featuring a photo of Michael Donald's bloated corpse. While the jury in the trial had every right to see that photo, what right did Dees' donors have? They played no part in the final outcome.

Morris Dees and his associates were already on the SPLC payroll so their fees were not an issue. Actual court costs in any municipality, especially in a rural state like Alabama would have run to no more than a few thousand dollars, tops, well within the SPLC's annual budget.

Fact 6: In a November 2000 article for the left-leaning Harper's Magazine, investigative reporter Ken Silverstein states that Dees' exploitation of Michael Donald's corpse brought in over $11 million donor-dollars for the SPLC.


Obviously, the UKA had nothing even close to the $7 million dollars stipulated in the court finding, so all Michael Donald's mother received was a UKA barn, which she later sold for $52,000 dollars.

Beulah Mae Donald never saw ONE red cent of the $11 million Morris Dees made off her son's murder.

Fact 7: Not one additional member of the UKA was arrested or imprisoned due to the SPLC's civil case. All they had to do was find another place to put their stuff.

If this is being "sued out of existence," it ain't so much.

January 30, 2011 at 1:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Southern Poverty Law Center criticizes Kobach's proposals on illegal immigration

"The Southern Poverty Law Center says FAIR is a racist organization."

Always a hoot to hear the SPLC accusing others of being a racist organization. In his 1991 autobiography, "A Season for Justice," SPLC founder Morris Dees waxes sentimental about his days as "Youth Coordinator" for Gov. George "Segregation Forever!" Wallace and his skills as a highly paid Klan lawyer in Montgomery.


The most ironic (read: “hypocritical”) thing about the Southern Poverty Law Center is that NOT ONE of its top ten, highest paid executives is a minority, and certainly not an immigrant.


In fact, according to the SPLC’s hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, despite being located LITERALLY in the back yard of Dr. Martin Luther King’s home church, the SPLC has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of power.

Some “experts”

January 30, 2011 at 5:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

FAIR ties

If you get the point that the SPLC doesn't have any credibility, then what are we arguing about?

I already told you I don't know squat about FAIR other than they haven't broken any laws.

The SPLC smears FAIR as a "hate group" as part of their fund-raising propaganda. The SPLC is a PRIVATE FUND-RAISING GROUP. Mr. Gegenheimer is holding them up as some sort of "experts".

I don't even see where Gegenheimer even mentions Kobach, so again, what exactly are we talking about here?

My point, my only point, is, was and will always be that THERE IS NO LEGAL DEFINITION OF "HATE GROUP" and as such, the PRIVATE FUND-RAISING GROUP SPLC has no authority, legal, moral or otherwise, to designate anyone as anything.

That's it. My entire point. I don't care if you love FAIR or hate them, my point is that the SPLC has no right to designate ANYONE AS ANYTHING.

If you want to give the millionaire white guys who run the SPLC permission to think for you, GO FOR IT! I'm not writing to you. I'm writing to the millions of Americans who do not recognize a public relations scam when they see it. I'm not trying to change your mind about FAIR or anything else.

The only question I will ask, and I know nobody here will respond to it, is what happens when the SPLC decides that YOUR group, your church, your business, your organization is a "hate group"? Are you going to let the millionaires destroy your lives and livelihoods "because they know best"? or are you going to think for yourselves and recognize a public relations fund-raising ploy when you see it?

The SPLC has raised nearly $190 MILLION dollars by selling fear to old people. And every month the call goes out for more money. In nearly 40 years of operation the SPLC has never sent ONE SINGLE klansman to jail, has never disrupted one single nazi march and has never prevented one single hate crime. In nearly 40 years the SPLC has conned nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS out of liberals and old folks. What do they have to show for all that money?

THIS is my point.

July 20, 2010 at 4:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

FAIR ties

I'm sorry, I missed your question the first time around. Let me give it a shot:

1. I don't know all that much about FAIR, and it's not up to me to defend or attack them. My interest lies in the media's blank acceptance of SPLC fund-raising propaganda as "fact".

2. There is no legal definition for "hate group" and the SPLC is a private fund-raising organization with no mandate, no oversight and no authority to designate anyone as anything.

The SPLC's designation of "hate group" therefore has no more meaning than if I were to call the SPLC a "funny group" or a "pretty group". The designation is entirely subjective and meaningless.

So what are the allegations against FAIR?

That it accepted money from the Pioneer Fund in the 1980s? It did! FAIR totally did, so what? The Pioneer Fund is an entirely legal entity that can donate money to whomever they want and any group can legally accept it.

Since 2005, the SPLC accepted over $3 million dollars from Jeffry Picower, who walked away from Bernie Madoff's $65 billion dollar ponzi scheme with more than $7 billion in cash. Madoff's scheme bankrupted thousands of mostly Jewish retirees and charities, including Holocaust survivors like Elie Weisel. http://wp.me/pCLYZ-1y

Whose money is "dirtier"? FAIR's or the SPLC's?

The SPLC makes accusations that FAIR was founded by a "white supremecist," John Tanton. I've already documented SPLC founder Mo Dees' self-described association with segregationists and his work as a Klan lawyer.

Whose founder is "dirtier"?

Tanton is evil because he advocates stopping all immigration. So what? That's a political opinion and he has every right to it. The SPLC advocates open borders, so what? They're entitled to their opinion too.

It's not a crime, and certainly not a hate crime, to advocate restricted or reduced immigration. So why call FAIR a "hate group"? Because the SPLC and all the other groups that make millions off the backs of illegal aliens have nothing else to work with.

Think about it, how do you rationally advocate for the continuation of an illegal activity? You can't, so you go for an emotional appeal. "Oh, FAIR is against immigration so they must be "haters." The logic doesn't follow.

If the SPLC or Mr. Gegenheimer or anyone else has evidence that FAIR or any other group on the SPLC's "hate list" is committing hate crimes, then let them present their evidence to the authorities.

Smearing a group that doesn't follow your political worldview does not make them "haters" no matter how badly you wish it did.

Again, I have no interest in FAIR either way. My beef is with news media who reprint the SPLC's fund-raising propaganda without once checking its accuracy. If you don't believe it, just Google rkeefe57 and you'll see that I "refudiate" the use of the spurious term "hate group" wherever the SPLC slings it.

I hope I've answered your questions, but if not, say so and I'll try to clarify.

July 20, 2010 at 10:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

FAIR ties

As for "being founded by a White nationalist," let us once again turn to Morris Dees' 1991 autobiography, “A Season for Justice: The life and times of civil rights lawyer Morris Dees,” (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.)

On page 80, Mr. Dees writes that in 1958 he ran for a seat on the Alabama State Assembly on the States' Rights Democrat ticket, a group Mr. Dees described as "closely aligned with Strom Thurmond's ["Segregation Forever!] Dixiecrats."

That same year, Mr. Dees met the infamous racist George Wallace, who was making his first run for governor of Alabama. Mr. Dees readily agreed to act as Wallace's "Coordinator of Youth Activities."

This is the same George Wallace, who as Governor, personally blocked the doorway to the University of Alabama to prevent the first black students from enrolling in that august institution. Mr. Dees was obviously so impressed with the Governor's message that he wanted to make sure that it got out to the youth of Alabama. (Dees, p. 80)

And of course, in 1962, Dees defended Montgomery Klansman Claude Henley in AG Robert Kennedy's federal court. The previous year Henley led a mob of one hundred Klansman against a Greyhound bus carrying about a dozen black and white Freedom Riders.

Even though LIFE magazine published pictures of Henley in mid-rampage, Dees was sympathetic to the cause and offered to take the job for only $500 dollars. As Dees writes on page 84 of his autobiography, when Henley asked for help, "…I didn't think twice."

(Dees jacked his fee up to $5,000 when he heard that another lawyer wanted $15 grand to take the case). http://wp.me/pCLYZ-F

Henley walked out the courtroom scot-free, Dees, who was already a millionaire at the time and didn't need the money, cashed the dirty check and Henley's victims got nothing, least of all justice.

Dees' law partner at the time, Millard Fuller, (not to be confused with Millard Farmer), wrote in his autobiography that Henley's lawyer fees were paid by the Montgomery Klan and the local White Citizens' Council. (Fuller, Millard, 1980, "Love in the Mortar Joints," p. 47)

As Morris Dees wrote, "I was much more concerned about making money than I was about making waves." (Dees p.70)

I don't know about you, Mr. Gegenheimer, but I would think one would have to wonder about any organization that was founded by a self avowed segregationist Dixiecrat, an active supporter of George Wallace, and a highly paid Klan lawyer. But, that's just me.

People who worship clay idols shouldn't throw stones.

July 20, 2010 at 8:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )