"We created this civilization -- by 'we,' I mean the whites." So says Gordon Baum, the CEO of the Council of Conservative Citizens -- the CCC, for short.
"Our local chapters would probably support a referendum to ban inter-racial marriage, I would speculate," he says in a New Times interview.
So what was an advertisement for Charlie Crist's Senate campaign doing on a CCC webpage that peddles Euro Pride T-shirts ("Get ready for the next TEA Party now"), condemns "the mixture of the races," and calls Reverend Al Sharpton a "nappy headed race hustler"?
Crist spokeswoman Michelle Todd issued this statement: "The Crist for US Senate campaign did not place an ad on the Council of Conservative Citizens website. We thank the Miami New Times for bringing to our attention the fact that a Google Ad appeared on the CCC website. The campaign had no knowledge that the ad would appear on this site and is taking immediate action to have the ad removed from the site."
The CCC invites people to submit ads: "Want to advertise on CofCC.org? Send us an e-mail."
New Times discovered the Governor's banner ad, "paid for by Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate," on May 9. It appeared above another ad for Ann Coulter's online column.
Kyle Rogers, who handles ad space for the CCC website, says the Coulter and Crist ads came from a general ad network and weren't submitted to the CCC directly.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that CCC columnists have labeled black people a "retrograde species of humanity"and attacked "perverted sodomites" along with "Jewish power-brokers."
But Gordon Baum portrays his group as a mainstream, nation-wide network of government officials and ordinary Joes.
"We have a cross-over - we're so large - with all kind of groups and organizations... We have people who are Democrat office-holders and Republican office-holders," he says. "We have law enforcement people, lawyers, doctors, a lot of professors."
He claims there are rabbis, blacks, and mixed-raced people in the CCC - even a Japanese practitioner of Shinto.
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Baum refuses to name any members. "We are not required to, nor do we, out people," he says. But he does admit that Trent Lott has spoken at their national conferences twice.
Baum says that most of the CCC's supporters are "conservative independents" - exactly the kind of voters that Charlie Crist, a "conservative independent" himself, will be banking on in the November midterms.
-- Penn Bullock and Brandon K. Thorp