Right-wing attempts to legitimize nativist border wacko Glenn Spencer persist in the strangest fashion.
Today, the conservative website Right Side News reported on a letter from former GOP gubernatorial candidate John Munger to Luis Heredia, Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party, demanding that Heredia issue a "letter of retraction" concerning statements Heredia made in a press release about Spencer being an "anti-Semite" and a "purported racist."
In Munger's letter, which you can read, here, the Tucson lawyer claims such remarks are "untrue and defamatory" and gives Heredia 10 days to issue a retraction or face possible legal action.
Heredia told me he stands behind his statement, which was issued in condemnation of Spencer's speaking before the state Senate Border Security, Federalism, and States' Rights Committee on March 1. He explained that he had just fired off a letter to Spencer's mouthpiece stating as much.
"I declined his invitation to retract my remarks," Heredia said.
Indeed, Heredia's comments pale in comparison to those of the Arizona Anti-Defamation League, which issued a withering press release the same day that Spencer spoke before the committee, calling him "an anti-Hispanic, anti-Semitic bigot" and the "leader of a hate group" that has "a long record of demonizing Hispanics and immigrants."
The ADL had a right to be ticked. A year before, the ADL of Arizona's regional director Bill Straus vociferously protested Spencer's planned appearance before the same committee, which is chaired by wingnut extraordinaire, Republican state Senator Sylvia Allen.
Pressure from Straus and others won the day, and Spencer was summarily "uninvited."
This time around, the Republicans got wise, and snuck Spencer in without putting his name on the agenda. The Dems on the committee walked out once they realized Spencer was prepared to speak, and Spencer went on to pimp his so-called "sonic barrier" technology before a panel of friendly right-wingers.
Spencer's bigotry, anti-Semitism and associations with white supremacists and other extremists have all been documented ad nauseam by both the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alabama-based civil-rights watchdog group.
Which is why I was puzzled by Munger's letter. Truth is the ultimate defense against a defamation claim. And Spencer, a public figure well-known for his inflammatory rhetoric as the head of the nativist group American Border Patrol, is damned by his own words and actions.
So I gave Munger a call and asked him if he'd threatened to sue the ADL as well.
"I don't know who the ADL is," he responded.