Well, some at least, but I suspect there may be many more.
Last week, CNN reported that Pennsylvania Congress, and Senate challenger to Bob Casey, Lou Barletta conducted an interview with the holocaust denying publication, the American Free Press, in 2006. The CNN story also reported that Congressman Barletta appeared on a panel that was orchestrated by the Youth for Western Civilization, a defunct white nationalist student group.
A 2012 Right Wing Watch report stated that a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) panel organized by the Youth for Western Civilization featured Tom Tancredo, Virgil Goode and Bay Buchanan, Pat Buchanan’s sister. According to that report, the panel focused on the “cult of multiculturalism” and the “persecution and marginalization of white Americans.”
There is at least one degree of separation between Congressman Lou Barletta, those who organized and sat on the CPAC panel and Richard Spencer, the white nationalist icon who orchestrated the Unite the Right race rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In 2008, Richard Spencer and Elizabethtown College professor Paul Gottfried created the term “alternative right,” which then morphed into the “alt-right” a few years later. At that same time, Spencer and Gottfried created the HL Mencken Club and hosted yearly conferences that brought in Southern revisionists, white nationalists, fascist sympathizers, social eugenicists and more. At the inaugural HL Mencken Club meeting in 2008, Gottfried delivered a speech titled “The Decline and Rise of the Alternative Right.” Even though the term “alternative right” does not appear in the speech, his opening paragraph reads as if it is prophecy. He says:
If the H.L. Mencken Club can achieve that for which it has been formed, it should have an eventful and for those who disagree with us, profoundly disruptive future. We are part of an attempt to put together an independent intellectual Right, one that exists without movement establishment funding and one that our opponents would be delighted not to have to deal with. Our group is also full of young thinkers and activists, and if there is to be an independent Right, our group will have to become its leaders.
Then at the 2009 HL Mencken Club conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Kevin DeAnna, the founder of the Youth for Western Civilization, and Patrick Buchanan, Bay Buchanan’s husband, were granted keynote speaking spots.
The relationship between Kevin DeAnna’s Youth for Western Civilization and Richard Spencer appears to be reciprocal. Kevin DeAnna speaks at the HL Mencken Club in 2009 and in 2010, Richard Spencer is taped speaking at a Youth for Western Civilization event at Vanderbilt University.
On top of the video of Spencer speaking at Vanderbilt, the Youth for Western Civilization published a video of the panel and you can clearly see Lou Barletta sitting right next to Kevin DeAnna, the founder of Youth for Western Civilization.
Congressman Barletta came under scrutiny in August 2017 after he failed to condemn the violence perpetrated by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia. After the Charlottesville race riots, Barletta tweeted that he “strongly condemns the violence in Charlottesville. Praying for the victims, their families & those working to keep their community safe.” Jamie Longazel, a long time Hazelton native, told Raging Chicken Press that “Congressman Barletta has been rubbing elbows with alt-right types for over a decade. They came to his aid slinging abhorrent rhetoric in Hazleton after he passed the Illegal Immigration Relief Act,” and continued to say “it’s telling that the best defense his campaign manager could come up with when responding to the CNN report is that Barletta once angered the KKK.”
Max Steele from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party stated that the Congressman has “spent more than a decade associating with white nationalists, Holocaust deniers, and hate groups. Barletta’s associations with extreme groups far outside of the mainstream of American politics raise troubling questions that must be addressed immediately.”