Glenn Spencer has a long history of incendiary and often conspiratorial comments about Mexicans, Mexican immigrants, Mexican-Americans and Jews. He is widely credited with popularizing the conspiracy theory that holds that Mexican immigrants plan to take over the southwestern United States, reunite it with Mexico and perhaps even rename it Aztlan, a name from Mexico's pre-Conquest past. He's also the chairman of an anti-immigrant border activist group called American Border Patrol (ABP), which is widely considered an anti-immigrant hate group. But as we learned last week, Spencer does not like being called a member of a "hate group."
Last week, TPM received a so-called "demand letter" penned by Spencer's lawyer, John Munger, demanding a retraction and apology for an article about the group and further claiming that the respected Southern Poverty Law Center, which was the primary source for the article, is an organization whose "credibility ... is in tatters." ”The [American Border Patrol] is neither a 'hate group' nor 'anti-immigrant,' and characterizing it as such is an insult to the over 30,000 men and women who are proud supporters of the [American Border Patrol's] work to support law enforcement and border security," the letter said.
A review by TPM's legal team concluded that American Border Patrol's threat of a suit was without merit both as to the facts and the law. Further reporting by the TPM news team suggests that Spencer's concern went far beyond TPM - sending similar letters to the Huffington Post and Phoenix television station KTVK, according to the ABP website. The Southern Poverty Law Center confirmed this week it received one, too. And Spencer's chief concern about the prevalence of the label appears to be that it is proving an obstacle to his efforts to sell new border-related technology to the U.S. government.
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