Won't Appear With Racist
Philadelphia Tribune, Tuesday, April 12, 1994, page PG
ROCK, Ark. Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee [R - Ark.] accepts numerous
speaking engagements, but has withdrawn from a program sponsored
by a group that also invited a purported white supremacist.
said he had cancelled his scheduled speech to the Council of Conservative
Citizens luncheon seminar April 16 at the Camelot Hotel. The program
also includes a speech by Houston lawyer Kirk Lyons, described
by the Nazi-hunting Simon Weisenthal Center as heading an organization
that defends white supremacists in trouble with the law.
Los Angeles-based center also contends that Lyons has been a featured
speaker before groups that deny the Holocaust occurred during
World War II.
Abraham Cooper, the center's associate dean, asked Huckabee in
a letter to "reconsider your sharing the platform with a
person promoting racism and bigotry."
said he knew nothing of the sponsoring organization or about Lyons.
He said that if the Simon Weisenthal Center had contacted him
before releasing a letter to the news media that he would have
withdrawn from the program. He said the Weisenthal Center has
since issued an apology to him.
will not have anything to do with a person tied to a supremacist
organization," Huckabee said.
he was contacted about the center's request, he said he had never
heard of Lyons.
if he is who they say he is and he's going to be on that program,
I will not be," Huckabee said. "I will not participate
in any program that has racist overtones. I've spent a lifetime
fighting racism and anti-Semitism."
Council of Conservative Citizens' newsletter, The Council Reporter,
bears a post office box number in St. Louis, but St. Louis-area
directory assistance had no listing for the organization or its
president, Samuel Turnipseed, Jr.
who answered the telephone at Lyons' organization -- the CAUSE
Foundation -- said Lyons was taking part in a re-enactment of
a Confederate Civil War march in Louisiana and would not be available
for comment until next week. A message left on an answering machine
at a telephone number where it was believed Lyons could be reached
was not returned Wednesday.
said the invitation to speak at the conservative forum entitled
"The Message from Middle America" was one of dozens
of speaking requests he receives each week, mostly from civic
groups or Republican organizations.
such a rare thing that we have such an organization like this
and usually there are people on the program that we know,"
he said. "This is one we may not have known enough about."
to the Simon Weisenthal Center, Lyons' organization has defended
Fred Leuchter, an engineer who was indicted by German authorities
for denying that people were gassed at Auschwitz.
also has been a featured speaker at conventions sponsored by the
Institute for Historical Review, a group that denies that the
Nazi Holocaust ever occurred, the center said.
Tate, a spokeswoman for the CAUSE Foundation, described the organization
as a civil rights group. She said the organization has defended
such white supremacists as Richard Butler and Robert Miles Jr.,
who she denied were racists.
Tate said the foundation also has filed a suit against the federal
government, "the perpetrators of that holocaust at Waco,"
on behalf of surviving family members of David Koresh's followers.