As I previously reported, Alipac's William Gheen withdrew his organization's support of the SB1070 Phoenix Rising Rally which is scheduled on June 5, 2010. His reasons include his discovery that racist groups are involved in setting up the Rally and Tancredo knows this but supports them anyway. Gheen's charges are pointed specifically towards Dan Smeriglio. As proof, Gheen pointed to Smeriglio's own Facebook pages with several well known racist groups as friends. Smeriglio charged back that with his popularity, he had no way of knowing the racist associations his "facebook friends" had.
The argument has heightened with charges flowing back and forth between Gheen's Alipac site and Digger's Realm website, a website belonging to Smeriglio's close friend and confidante Digger Dan Amato. In a recent web posting, Digger layed out a detailed analysis of why Gheen actually withdrew from the rally. Here is Digger's detailed explanation, but in brief, he said:
1. Gheen is an opportunist and out for himself
2. He is dishonest and a Liar, lying about Smeriglio
3. He takes credit for other people's work; is very lazy yet wants top credit.
4. He details how Gheen tried to sabotage the conference once he didn't get top billing. He wanted top billing to gain memberships to his site, donations and bragging rights.
5. Gheen has burned many bridges and now he is an outcast
After I read Digger's post and his assertions that Gheen is an opportunist and a Liar and Smeriglio is a Saint, I just shook my head. Anyone who has followed the Immigration debate knows about Gheen. Most believe he is an opportunist and Lies and uses his group for his own agenda and fame. That's a given. But I've also followed Smeriglio. He is well known on the East Coast. His group, Voice of the People, were the faces of the East Coast protestors. It was their screaming, angry faces that stood on street corners with megaphones agitating the crowds during ANTI Immigration Reform rallies. It was their faces that supported Mayor Barletta. It was their faces that marched against the supporters of Luis Ramirez at the trial of his murderers. Smeriglio is loud and rowdy, not afraid to be in your face. One of his best friends and frequent participants at his rallies is Steve Smith (in youtube video and in picture on right), a leader of the notorious Keystone State Skinheads(KSS). Plus the attendees of the rallies were members of the KSS. Many people pointed this out, but Smeriglio only laughed at them. But as more and more people found out about Smeriglio, they disassociated themselves with him, this included Mayor Barletta. Until finally, Smeriglio disbanded his Voice of the People group. This all, of course, is public knowledge and pretty well known out East. The Keystone State Skinheads were even featured on the National Geographic Channel's documentary "American Skinheads." KSS has had several criminal charges against their members. KSS has also sponsored many "White Power" conferences in Pennsylvania. They have been designated a Racist Hate Group by the ADL. And they have close affiliations with the Hutaree militia.
While catching up on their argument today, I studied both Digger's detailed response and Gheen's discussion board on this subject. What I found most interesting was that Steve Smith commented on Gheen's site: "This is Steve Smith from Keystone United. I am going to keep this short and sweet. I am not a "neo-nazi", "racist" , or a "White supremacist." These are labels used by leftists to try to stifle debate. They can't refute my points on racial issues so they have to resort to childish name-calling. I am unapologetic in my stance in trying to preserve our European American heritage and culture. I know what I believe is right because it is backed up with truth,facts ,and logic. If William Gheen wants to debate me publicly on racial issues , just let me know." Gheen responded: "Steve Smith, Unlike Dan Smeriglio, we do not knowingly allow skin heads on our websites. Our goal is to unify Americans of all races, parties, and walks of life behind the effort to stop and reverse illegal immigration. Skinhead, neo nazi, kkk, and white nationalist groups interfere with our mission, campaigns, and legislation. Goodbye. William Gheen"
Again, I shake my head. Digger is right about Gheen and Gheen is right about Smeriglio. What I don't understand is why Gheen utilized so little proof (screenshots of Smeriglio's facebook friends' page) when there is so much evidence available. I also don't understand why he ripped Tancredo apart. This is what his own followers are angriest and confused about.
I suspect that Gheen has more dirt on Tancredo and is waiting until the June 5 rally to let it all out. That way, if he exposes Tancredo, as he did (in his own mind) to Dobbs and Lindsey Graham, he will score more credit and donations from his members and more attention for himself in the media.
The more I read about this mess, the more I am glad I am not affiliated with anyone like that crowd. If people truly believe they are supporting a worthy cause, they certainly would not behave this way. I've often said, "You reap what you sow times 10." I wonder what these folks will reap in the end.
UPDATE: Apparently Gheen went to several local AZ newspapers about this whole mess. here are 3 articles:
AZ Republic: Arizona immigration law rally loses group due to neo-Nazi links
Phoenix New Times:William Gheen's ALIPAC Withdraws from June 5 Nativist Rally at Arizona State Capitol Because of "Nazi Groups and Tom Tancredo" (w/Update)
Tucson Citizen: The Cholla Jumps (this one ANTI Gheen)
. Immigration Clearinghouse: Alipac & William Ghee Exposed
. Digger's Realm: The Phoenix shall rise
. One People's Project: Daniel Smeriglio
. Keystone State Skinheads - wiki
. Voice of the People: Daniel Smeriglio