Sunday, July 01, 2007

The RSCC's Keith Rush courted "known believers in the Aryan cause". 

Nobody but the Flaming Liberal and myself seem to care about this story about Keith Rush, but I will continue to flog it, because I think it's noteworthy when supporters of Nazi racists are elected to the Republican State Central Committee.

Here's what happened. The (6/12/07) Times Picayune reported that "Veteran conservative radio talk show host Keith Rush, 75, has been elected to the Republican State Central Committee, the governing arm of the state Republican Party. Rush was nominated by fellow broadcaster and Kenner Mayor Ed Muniz and longtime party activist Vincent Bruno for a seat that covers a district in Metairie." The T-P didn't mention that Rush was one of Duke's biggest supporters back in the day, when Duke was repeatedly running for higher office as a Republican. At one time, Vincent Bruno was David Duke's "spiritual advisor". (Superb work there, Bruno!)

Now, apparently, the state GOP has no problem with Keith Rush being elected, unopposed, to its state governing committee. Why is that?

For some context, here are some excerpts from James Gill's T-P column from April 21, 1991, titled "BLACK DISTRICT AND A DUKE PROTÉGÉ" (thanks again to the Flaming Liberal):

There may be a hot time ahead for the Jefferson Parish Council, which could include both a black and an unabashed fan of David Duke among its ranks after this fall's elections. Over the objections of the council, hitherto the exclusive preserve of white males, a federal appeals court has upheld a redistricting plan that will create a black-majority district.

At the same time, Duke has endorsed unemployed radio talk-show host Keith Rush for the council. "Dear David Backer" is the somewhat confusing salutation on a begging letter Rush has just sent out to known believers in the Aryan cause. And how is Mrs. Backer?

Rush has tried for elective office before, his most glorious moment coming when he made the runoff against John Schwegmann for a seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission some 10 years ago.
Now he resurfaces in the reflected luster of David Duke. "He thinks like we do. He believes in the things we believe in, " Duke tells his supporters in an endorsement letter.

Over in the new black-majority district, they will not be pleased to hear it, since Duke, among other things, published a newsletter that advocated the dispersal of undesirable strains into ethnic homelands and has enjoyed partying to celebrate Hitler's birthday. Rush has been a Duke fan, on and off the air, from the beginning.
Whatever the merits of Rush's campaign platform, in electing to run as a Duke protege he has invited the racist vote into this camp...

That Duke's endorsement is a great help in East Jefferson is beyond question. And Rush endorsed is significantly better off than Rush alone. But it is a tall order to lift the host of a long-forgotten radio show to public office.

So, in 1991 David Duke endorsed Keith Rush to his Nazi racist supporters, because Rush "thinks like we do". James Gill stated that Rush has "been a Duke fan... from the beginning", and as a "Duke protege" he "invited the racist vote" into one of his campaign efforts. And somehow this ancient Duke supporter gets nominated by Duke's former spiritual advisor, and is elected, unopposed, to the governing arm of the State Republican Party. Again: how can such a thing happen?

Will no Louisiana Republican denounce this great leap backwards for their party? And will respected media pundits bother to criticize Keith Rush this time around, or will they give this former "David Duke protege" an undeserved pass?

Update: Bobby Jindal's campaign manager refused to comment about this matter. Kenner Mayor Ed Muniz, who nominated Rush to the RSCC, has not responded to repeated requests for comment or explanation about his choice.

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8 comments DiggIt!


Right on, Oyster, but I bet if forced to respond the state Republican party will point out that they have already endorsed Bobby J, as if that excuses any prior allegiance to the Aryan cause.

By Anonymous bigshot, at 8:07 PM  

Finger pointing and the usual "but they do it too" soon to follow. We are talking about a party that had a politician quote Nathan Bedford Forest on the floor after all. Like I always say, there are no liberal nazis!!!!!!

By Blogger Donnie McDaniel, at 10:17 PM  

I don't think it matters to them at all. The "Duke vote" has always been a major part of the State Republican coalition. In fact, I'd be inclined to say that the more attention this gets the better for the Jindal campaign.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 12:19 PM  

The state GOP may secretly like the "Duke" vote (witness Vince Foster and Tony Perkins' efforts to pay Duke large sums for his lists). However, they like plausible deniability, too.

I don't see how more attention to this issue helps the Jindal campaign, but perhaps you could flesh out your theory for me.

Jindal's campaign manager wouldn't comment on the matter. If this "issue" can get some media coverage, we'll see if Jindal remains "without comment" about Duke supporters in the GOP, like he does about Iraq.

The Flaming Liberal called into Crouere's 990am radio show this morning and went off about Keith Rush being on the RSCC. From what I was told, Crouere didn't really make a comment about the issue-- nor did Crouere's guest, Chad Rogers, who was on the show.)

By Blogger oyster, at 12:50 PM  

I guess what I'm saying would make more sense if there were a race to speak of here. As it is, you're probably right. No publicity is good publicity for Jindal.

But back in the days when Duke himself was a candidate, it was his hateful past that gave him his juice and the only "plausible deniability" he needed was the statement, "that's the past". The local news media pretty much let him get away with it too. The guy was good copy and something of a rock star even.

In a race against a considerable opponent.. say a John Breaux.. Jindal who was likely hurt a bit himself by the "Duke" vote last time around could stand to benefit from this kind of affiliation. He wouldn't have to say anything about it one way or the other.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 3:28 PM  

I hear what you're saying, and understand what you mean.

However, I think this part-- "Jindal who was likely hurt a bit himself by the 'Duke' vote last time around could stand to benefit from this kind of affiliation"-- is a bit of a stretch. (I can explain my reasoning on this, but it'll have to be in a private email).

Why should the Mayor of "America's City" (Kenner) not catch hell for nominating one of David Duke's biggest supporters to the RSCC? And since Rush's RSCC "district" is in Metairie, part of Jindal's Congressional district (I believe), why does Jindal refuse to comment on the matter?

By Blogger oyster, at 3:57 PM  

Notice I said Jindal was "likely" hurt by the "Duke" vote. I've considered the argument that a portion of the vote against Jindal in 2003 was racially motivated at least plausible... but not necessarily proven.

Also.. that 1st congressional district overlaps nicely with Duke's former legislative district... so that's built in to Jindal's electoral base.

Of course they all should "catch hell" over Rush's background they just likely won't. Jindal doesn't comment because he doesn't have to.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 4:17 PM  

What's going on in New Orleans??? Why can't you folks get anything done or even come to some kind of consensus??? You folks are amazing....I was a hurricane victim also but even after mailing off FOUR THOUSAND LETTERS TO CONGRESS, I can honestly say that I have seen a lot positive legislation passed in Louisiana's behalf....

I can't even say that most folks in New Orleans are even trying at this point....More fussing and fighting compliments of the "big easy".....But yet you got Senate Bill 3711 passed on your behalf, you got the WRDA Bill of 2007 passed on your behalf (3.7 billion dollars going to Louisiana for the next two years).....Congress just allotted New Orleans 11 million dollars for education and health care on your behalf....

I see Cameron and Calcasieu as being less fortunate....I mean we have been all but forgotten...But the one thing I can say is that when I met Genral Honore in March he seem very positive, upbeat and inspirational--he believes in the Cal-Cam area and so do I and we are rebounding like never before....

Bobby Jindal is a "yes man" for the Republicans and the Bush Administration....

He won't get my vote for governor...I would be more apt to vote for Senator Vitter if he ran for governor of Louisiana as he is much more personable and has much better character than U-Haul Jindal...Sentor Vitter is gonna get my vote in 2012...I'll just have to fight with him for six more years....Not a problem as Senator Vitter always hears from me and he knows that I don't mince words either.....

Senator Vitter has gotten a lot of angry mail from me coming across his fax machine....But he's been a good sport about it all....And I have been one to cuss members of our U.S. Congress out just ask Senator John McCain!!!! I don't mince written words--not even to Congress....

I don't vote straight party ticket as it is futile to do so.....I vote results!!!!!

By Blogger Sharon, at 8:44 PM