Our VoiceImmigrationNews & Politics

NumbersUSA’s Excuses are a Dime a Dozen

Eric Ward • Mar 15, 2010

dimeadozenThe controversial anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA is still having a difficult time being completely above board with the American public. Over the last year the organization has been busy spinning its connections with white nationalists and its organizational stance on reproductive rights. This week it appears that NumbersUSA is adding fundraising to the list.

Last week Imagine2050 blogger Stephen Piggott wrote about a NumbersUSA Action email solicitation that asked individuals to donate money. NumbersUSA Action is one of the three interlocking organizations under the umbrella of NumbersUSA.

In the email NumbersUSA Action suggests to its donors that, unlike its opponents, it receives no monies from government or foundation sources. The email does not inform supporters that its research and education arm has no problem taking millions of dollars from the right-wing Sarah Scaife Foundation and the population control oriented Colcom foundation.

Last week NumbersUSA Executive Director Roy Beck wrote to Imagine2050 saying “Our grassroots lobbying organization relies 100% on the small donations of concerned Americans.” According to its 990s (government tax records) that’s not exactly true either. In 2006 and 2007 alone NumbersUSA transferred nearly a million dollars from its research and education arm to NumbersUSA Action.

While it is perfectly legal for the organization to transfer these funds, to turn around and say that it “relies 100% on the small donations of concerned Americans” comes across as misleading. Something that NumbersUSA appears to be growing extremely comfortable with of late.

Last year, in response to concerns about its relationship to hate groups, Beck wrote that “NumbersUSA has never had connections with white supremacists — not in the past, not in the present, not in the future.” Once a picture surfaced of Beck speaking at a 1997 white supremacist event he simply explained “I have never denied having spoken to the Council of Conservative Citizens on my book tour in 1997.

Having, at least in his own mind, explained why he spoke to an organization that was formed by those who defended racial segregation, Beck chooses to ignore why he and his organization continue to find themselves in similar predicaments seventeen years later. Until 2005 Beck continued to regularly publish in the The Social Contract Press. The journal is edited by Wayne Lutton a longtime leader in the white nationalist movement and a board member of the anti-Semitic Charles Martel Society.

But it is not just the past. This year NumbersUSA joined in a project with two notorious anti-immigrant organizations, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and U.S. Inc.

CAPS is headed up by Rick Oltman a purported member of the Council of Conservative Citizens who was removed from a Republican Party post in 1996 for supporting physical attacks on undocumented immigrants. The other organization, U.S. Inc., is run by white nationalist John Tanton who wrote that hate crime laws in Europe were pushed by “Jewish interests” and revealed to the American public that immigration was simply “a skirmish in a wider war.”

Instead of accepting responsibility for its actions, NumbersUSA seeks to satisfy its critics with excuses, omissions, and political spin. Recently, while giving a workshop at a national Tea Party gathering Roy Beck was confronted about NumbersUSA’s alleged support of abortion and population control. Beck responded by telling the tea party activists that these were not NumbersUSA issues.

Again Roy Beck wasn’t being quite as truthful as he could have been. I guess he somehow forgot to mention that he and Leon Kolankiewicz released a history of the U.S. Population Stabilization (1970-1998) in 2000 available on its website. Abortion and contraceptive are key components of population stabilization the essay argues.

I’m sure that NumbersUSA will shortly deliver up to twenty more excuses to explain its inability to be transparent with the American public. If excuses truly come a dime a dozen, NumbersUSA won’t ever have to worry about fundraising again.

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