December 30, 2014

Who is David Duke? A few key points

1950-68: In July of 1950 a bouncing baby boy is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma as the son of an engineer for Shell Oil Company. The family frequently moved to various oilfield jobs around the world, finally settling in Louisiana. In the late 1960s young David met William Luther Pierce, the leader of the white nationalist and anti-Semitic National Alliance, who so impressed the young Duke that he would call Pierce his main influence. By his own admission, Pierce remained a lifelong influence on Duke.

1967: Duke joins the KKK.

1968-70: Studied at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge. Formed the White Youth Alliance as an affiliate of the National Socialist White People's Party. Protest William Kunstler's appearance at Tulane University. Appeared at a demonstration wearing a Nazi uniform. Held parties on Hitler's birthday. First came to public attention at LSU's "Free Speech Alley" when he makes white supremacist speeches.

1973: Writes the book "African Atto,'' under the pseudonym Mohammad X, encouraging violence against whites. Later, duke said the book was a satire.

1976: Duke, in blackface, disrupts the Legislature which was unveiling a bust of P.B.S. Pinchback, a black man who served briefly as Governor during reconstruction.

1976: Writes "Finderskeepers," a sex manual, also under a pseudonym.

1976: Receives 11,000 votes during an unsuccessful bid for the Louisiana Senate.

1978: During a visit to Great Britain, dodges bobbies trying to expel him from the country. Also that year, he was arrested in Jefferson Parish and charged with inciting a riot.

1980: Leaves the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, where he was grand wizard, in a dispute over the alleged sale of membership rolls. Forms the National Association for the Advancement of White People.

1987: Arrested during a demonstration in Forsyth, GA.

1988: Runs for President. Barred from running as a Democrat, he moved to the Populist Party and hired ex-American Nazi leader Ralph Forbes as campaign manager. His name was on 15 state ballots and he received 0.5 percent of the national vote.

1988: Duke found little acceptance and even less success running for office as a Democrat, so he jumps ship and runs as a Republican. By a 227-vote margin, Duke won a runoff for a Louisiana House Seat in Metairie. He leaves that office without explanation after a single term in 1992.

1990: Running again as a Republican, Duke loses a primary for the U.S. Senate to Democratic incumbent J. Bennett Johnston. Even the GOP was getting sick of Duke, so they forced the official GOP candidate, Ben Bagert, to drop out of the race and avoid a runoff. Duke still gets 43.5 percent of the vote. 

1991: Again running as a Republican, Duke runs in the gubernatorial primary, knocking incumbent Gov. Buddy Roemer out of the race. Loses the primary in a landslide to Edwards, gets 39 percent of the vote.

1992: Short-lived presidential bid ends with South Carolina primary.

Mid-1990s: As seems to be a pretty easy thing for haters to do, Duke gets a gig hosting a radio talk show in the New Orleans. Organizes the European-American Unity and Rights Organization. He manages a computer mailing list and sends out mailings to members claiming to be in financial straits and under harassment by the IRS. Begs for money. 

1999: Federal Grand Jury investigates the $100,000 sale of a list of Duke supporters to gov. Mike Foster. No charges are returned. Runs for Congress for a New Orleans-area seat but comes in third in the primary.

January 2000: Shortly after Duke leaves for a speaking tour in Russia, federal agents raid his home in Mandeville, LA. A search warrant, based on testimony from confidential informants, alleged that Duke took hundreds of thousands of dollars he solicited from supporters and gambled the money away at casinos.

2000-2002: Duke spends most of his time out of the United States on speaking tours.

December 16, 2002: Duke returns to the U.S. to work out a plea bargain with federal prosecutors.

December 18, 2002: Duke pleads guilty to charges of mail fraud and filing a false tax return in a plea agreement with a maximum $10,000 fine and 15 months in prison.

April 15, 2003: Duke reports to federal prison in Big Spring, Texas to begin serving his sentence.

January 27, 2014: Louisiana Republican Congressman Steve Scalise is revealed to have spoken before a 2002 meeting of David Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization. Scalise claims to not having any knowledge of who David Duke is or what he stands for.

Scalise is set to take the third seat in Republican leadership when the 114th Congress convenes after the first of the year. Seems the rest of the leadership and the bulk of the right side of the aisle have Scalise's back on this.

Business as usual. What else did you expect?