Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Arrangements fit for a Duke

David Duke, the noted white supremacist and erstwhile Louisiana Republican politico, has been cooling his heels in a federal prison (and lately, a Texas halfway house) as a result of being convicted for bilking his followers and filing phony tax returns. Duke, you see, has just a wee little gambling problem.

But he hasn't been wasting his time in jail. In fact, federal officials let him earn money by getting his fund-raising operation back in business, according to the Associated Press:
NEW ORLEANS -- During his term at a halfway house, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke worked out of his Mandeville home for his own organization, his spokesman said on Sunday.

As a condition of his release from prison to a halfway house, Duke had to get a job. When Duke asked to be allowed to work for his organization -- the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO -- Federal Bureau of Prisons officials did not object, said Duke spokesman Roy Armstrong.

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Duke, due to be released from the halfway house on May 15, "has been answering telephones" and "doing computer work and reorganizing the way we do data entry," Armstrong said.

During this period, Armstrong said Duke also has organized a "welcome home" event for himself and a conference to take place over Memorial Day weekend. According to EURO's Web site, representatives of white supremacist groups such as Stormfront, the National Alliance and the British National Party will be speakers at the New Orleans conference.

EURO has paid Duke $1,000 for his month of work, Armstrong said. Duke could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

At Duke's Web site, you can see for yourself that he's managed to make his "homecoming" into a major fund-raising event for the extremist right. The list of luminaries rings all the right bells for any white supremacist, conspiracy theorist or Holocaust denier: Willis Carto, Don Black, Erich Gliebe, Kevin Strom, Paul Fromm, Bob Whittaker, John Tyndall, Germar Rudolf and Ingrid Rimland Z√ľndel. A real carnival of cretins.

For which we can thank the federal government's remarkably sensitive and thoughtful policies regarding halfway-house employment. For white supremacists, anyway. At least they didn't let him start up an online casino.

Duke spokesman Roy Armstrong gave the rationale:
Armstrong contended that Duke would have found it difficult to find work elsewhere.

"We considered other options, but there weren't too many options. There wouldn't be many companies that would hire him because they'd be afraid of the negative publicity," Armstrong said.

Oh, I can think of some very well qualified janitorial firms for whom Mr. Duke could have been non-controversially employed.

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