Kris Kobach’s campaign website cites a white nationalist writer who’s been involved in the Holocaust denial movement
Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
On his campaign website, Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach cites a made-up anti-immigrant statistic by white nationalist writer Peter Gemma, who worked for a group that opposes “all efforts to mix the races of mankind.” Gemma has also been involved in the Holocaust denial movement and reportedly praised a leading Holocaust denier for “uncovering documents and evidence some historians don't like to admit.”
Kobach, who is Kansas’ secretary of state and also writes a paid column for Breitbart.com, recently won the state’s Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Media Matters documented last year that in an October 24 Breitbart column, Kobach claimed that “75 percent of those on the most wanted criminals lists in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens” and sourced the statistic to Gemma. The statistic itself is false and has made the rounds on message boards and comment sections over the years. (Gemma, meanwhile, sourced the statistic to a piece on the now-defunct Examiner.com website which, in turn, cited the late white nationalist writer Barbara Coe.)
Kobach’s reliance on a white nationalist writer for a bogus statistic also appears on his campaign website, since he also posts his Breitbart columns there. The campaign has not corrected or removed the citation despite media outlets bringing attention to it starting last October. (The citation also remains on Breitbart.com.)
Kobach’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
The Washington Post reported in April 2005 that Gemma organized an event for David Irving, “a well-known Holocaust denier who has claimed that Jews were not killed in gas chambers at Auschwitz”:
Reston resident Peter Gemma, the event's organizer, said the dinner drew 95 attendees of a World War II study group he runs. Gemma is a former Arlington Republican activist who is now affiliated with the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has been described as a white supremacist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Irving, Gemma said, "has caused waves in the establishment by uncovering documents and evidence some historians don't like to admit."
In 2004, as the Anti-Defamation League wrote, “Gemma introduced notorious Holocaust denier Mark Weber at a meeting of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), once the leading Holocaust denial organization in the United States.” The IHR stated on its website that Weber, who is the group's director, spoke about the Iraq War and characterized it as “a war to further the interests of Israel and organized Jewry.”
Gemma previously did work for the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens, including as a member of the editorial advisory board for its Citizens Informer newsletter. The group explains in its “Statement of Principles” that it believes, among other things, that “the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character” and it opposes “all efforts to mix the races of mankind.”
He also edited and wrote an introduction to a book collecting the work of the late white supremacist Sam Francis, who wrote the Council of Conservative Citizens’ “Statement of Principles.” In his introduction, Gemma referred to Francis as his “friend” and “mentor” and praised him for being “a revolutionary thinker -- in the best sense of those terms. His enthusiasm for what’s right with being white (see another previously unpublished speech, chapter 11, 'Equality as a Political Weapon' -- and about every third page of this book), caused him much professional pain.” Gemma concluded that he considered himself “blessed to have been conscripted into building new weaponry for our culture war, stamped with the prestigious Sam Francis brand.”
Gemma also worked as the director of media relations for the white supremacist National Policy Institute. He has written for the white nationalist website VDare, the white nationalist journal The Occidental Quarterly, and he has appeared on the white nationalist radio program The Political Cesspool.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported on August 3 that “Kobach’s gubernatorial campaign employs three men identified as members of a white nationalist group by two political consultants who have worked with Republicans in Kansas.”