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US Immigration Reform PAC and Realignment of the Tanton Network

Stephen Piggott • Nov 05, 2010

US Immigration Reform PAC is the main political action committee of the John Tanton Network, made up of organizations leading the movement to dehumanize immigrants. The Network was named for its most influential leader, white nationalist John Tanton. As the November 2 elections neared, the US Immigration Reform PAC, like thousands of other PACs across the country, announced its endorsement of candidates.

The PAC also announced that it will hire a new director, Jim Edwards. Edwards also works as a consultant for the Tanton group NumbersUSA. It is unclear at this time how big of a role Edwards will play in the PAC which is currently run by the wife of John Tanton, Mary Lou. What is clear is that Tanton himself is playing less and less of a role in the everyday running of his network.

The first indication of this came earlier this summer when the Tanton Network group ProEnglish announced that its executive director K.C. McAlpin was leaving his position to move to Petoskey, Michigan to replace Tanton as the president of U.S. Inc, the umbrella organization run by Tanton over the past three decades. Around the same time as Tanton’s replacement was named at U.S. Inc, his journal, The Social Contract, published its latest issue. And it was dedicated almost entirely to attacking civil rights organization the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The only articles in the journal not directed at the SPLC were two articles which heaped lavish praise on Tanton. The articles were titled, “Prophet with Honor – Enduring Relevance of Dr. John Tanton” and “How a Rural Ophthalmologist’s Vision Changed Our Lives.”

Tanton is appearing less and less in public. In June of this year, the American Prospect wrote an article about Tanton titled, “Guilt by Association – The most influential anti-immigration network in American tries to convert liberals to its cause.” In the article, author Jessica Weisberg writes, “Today Tanton is somewhat demobilized with Parkinson’s disease. He spends most of his time ‘just dozing in the sun, while otherwise woolgathering.’ (We corresponded by e-mail. He said he didn’t have the energy to speak on the phone or in person.) He relies on the younger leaders of his network to spread his message.” Last month The Social Contract Press held its annual Writers Workshop. In the Workshop’s introduction speech, K.C. McAlpin stated, “Sadly due to his deteriorating health, John is not able to join us for the first time in the 34 history of this event.” McAlpin went on to say that Tanton’s mind is still very active and engaged and as busy as ever.

Time is running out for anti-immigrant groups to publicly distance themselves from white nationalist John Tanton or risk tarnished reputations forever.

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