February 28, 1995 in Idaho

Chenoweth Rejects Racist Newspaper Idaho Lawmaker Repudiates Paper’s Effort To Co-Opt Her Statement That White Males Are An Endangered Species.

Eric Sorensen Staff writer
 

U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth’s claim that white Anglo-Saxon males are an endangered species has earned her the praise of a major racist newspaper.

The Truth At Last, a Marietta, Ga.based tabloid known for anti-Semitic and white supremacist articles, recently said the Idaho Republican’s election is proof “that a race-based campaign is a winner.”

“Like David Duke in Louisiana, other far-sighted political leaders see a seachange in the mood of the White voter towards candidates who offer frank solutions to America’s growing non-White chaos,” the article claims.

While Chenoweth refused to moderate her remarks about white males during her campaign, she said Monday she wanted nothing to do with the newspaper’s underlying philosophy.

The newspaper and its editor, Edward R. Fields, are trying to make her position “part of their agenda - which it is not,” she said from her Washington, D.C. office. “I repudiate their agenda.”

Chenoweth was particularly incensed by the article’s accompanying photo, which showed her waving cheerfully to supporters in a way that she said might be construed to be a Nazi salute.

Chenoweth last August remarked that “it’s the Anglo-Saxon male that’s endangered today” during an appearance at the “endangered salmon bake,” a gettogether of Idaho ranchers. Her statement drew strong protests, with thenDemocratic Rep. Larry LaRocco saying it was “more of the right-wing politics of divisiveness that tears this country apart.”

But Chenoweth hung by her words both through her successful campaign and on Monday, saying civil rights laws give special status to women and minorities that are not granted white males.

“This was not a racist comment at all,” she said. “To even equate this with any kind of racism is extremely unfortunate.”

Fields has a long history of racist activities. He launched a now-defunct Klan splinter group called the New Order, according to the AntiDefamation League of B’nai B’rith, and he appeared at the 1986 Aryan Nations Congress near Hayden Lake. Fields could not be reached for comment.

In the same issue praising Chenoweth’s victory, the racist newspaper claims Martin Luther King Jr. was financed by the Soviet KGB, bemoans interracial marriages and praises “The Bell Curve,” the controversial bestseller asserting a connection between race and intelligence.

The inside-page article about Chenoweth says she ran on a “save endangered White males” platform whose success “must certainly be an ominous development for liberals.”

Joe Roy, chief investigator for Klanwatch, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said he might expect hate groups to pick up on Chenoweth’s claim to suit their own cause.

“They’re going to try to make as much yardage from it as they can,” he said.

Eric Ward, associate director of the Seattle-based Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, said white men continue to be better off economically than other groups. By claiming otherwise, he said, Chenoweth fuels anger and frustration and “creates a climate of acceptability” for hate groups.

“She also gives permission to other extreme groups to step up their verbal and physical assaults,” Ward said.

Also on Monday, The Idaho Statesman published poll results showing that voters are giving Chenoweth low marks so far.

Only embattled Superintendent of Public Instruction Anne Fox got a lower positive rating, getting 29 percent to Chenoweth’s 37 percent. Some 44 percent of the 751 residents questioned gave Chenoweth a negative rating, while 19 percent said they were not sure.

David Krane of Louis Harris and Associates, which conducted the poll, told the Statesman that Chenoweth’s low numbers are because she has been in Idaho only twice in recent months.

Chenoweth noted polls were wrong before both her primary and general election wins.

“Lou Harris needs to get a grip,” she said. “He doesn’t understand how to sample a grass roots movement.”

MEMO: Cit in The Regional

Cit in The Regional


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