William Gheen, ALIPAC Organizer, Calls on John McCain to Apologize for "Smear Campaign"

William Gheen, organizer of the controversial Americans for Legal Immigration, is calling on Senator John McCain to apologize for a "smear campaign" his campaign has waged, suggesting the group has racist leanings.

This is the same guy who just yesterday told New Times he has used the term "wetback" to describe Mexicans in the past, right before he told us he wanted to shove an e-mail up our ass.

Gheen's all uppity over McCain's call for his primary opponent, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, to disavow an endorsement from the group because of its support from racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, plus the use of terms like "wetback" and "pepper belly" on the group's Web site.

In a press release from ALIPAC, Gheen refers to the "left wing, pro-Democrat blog called the Phoenix New Times" (we're touched) and an article we published yesterday pointing out some of the racist terms found on the ALIPAC Web site.

Gheen now admits that the controversial words can be found on his Web site (despite denying he knew they existed when we spoke to him yesterday) and says McCain needs to apologize to the minority members of ALIPAC.

"This attack from John McCain's campaign is the dirtiest, most low down, false, and deceptive thing I've ever seen. To suggest that multi-racial groups and our black and Hispanic supporters are somehow working with the KKK is ludicrous. John McCain should immediately apologize to our minority supporters and to the public for trying to be deceptive," Gheen says.

In reality, it wasn't even McCain's campaign that brought the issue to light. The original press release citing the racial terms came from the group Somos Republicans. McCain's campaign referenced the group's press release in a release of its own.

Nonetheless, Gheen feels McCain owes him an apology.

Per his wishes, we sent Gheen an e-mail asking why he feels Senator McCain owes anyone an apology over racist language posted on the Web site. We'll let you know if he responds (or if he tries to shove the e-mail up our ass, as he vowed to do).

McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers tells New Times that the campaign has no plans on apologizing to Gheen.

"Seriously, will Congressman Hayworth really continue to embrace a guy who condones racist language on his Web site and just yesterday admitted to calling Hispanics 'wetbacks?'" Rogers says.

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James King
Contact: James King