State Sen. Charles Bishop (R – Arley) has led with a right, but last week the far right led with him when the Council of Conservative Citizens had him as a keynote speaker at its Leadership Conference in Sheffield.
The CCC is out there far enough that in 1999, “the chairman of the Republican National Committee called on his fellow party members today to resign from the Council of Conservative Citizens, saying ‘it appears that this group does hold racist views.’” He was being politic; the organization is regularly described as a white supremacist group (for example, here, here, and here).
You may remember the controversy that arose when Republicans Trent Lott (then in the U.S. Senate) and Bob Barr (then in the U.S. House) spoke before the CCC some years ago; they both quickly distanced themselves from the group. (Barr later released a letter he wrote to the group saying, “I find your views on racial issues repugnant,” and “If I had been aware white supremacist views occupied any place in the Council’s philosophy, I would never have agreed to speak.”) Closer to home, Judge Terri Willingham solicited votes before the group in 2006 and then said she had never heard of it. (She went on to win election to the the Court of Civil Appeals, Place 3.)
Most politicians prefer to avoid the controversy and stay away from the CCC’s welcome mat. Is there any other elected state official that would accept such an invitation? And does Bishop endorse their views?