Rep. Paul Gosar tweet links to accused hate group

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A day after President Trump announced he was winding down a program to protect young immigrants from deportation, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar tweeted links to an anti-immigration organization accused of being a hate group.

Gosar posted three tweets Wednesday morning citing public attitudes on immigration with each one linking to the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

While the three links contained no racist or hateful content, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a  legal advocacy and civil rights organization, lists ALI-PAC as an anti-immigrant hate group.

It appears Gosar was aware of the listing as his office defended ALI-PAC while attacking the SPLC as a "left wing hate group  that promotes a toxic brew of far left ideology mixed with a healthy dose of victimization."

Faith Vander Voort, a spokeswoman for Gosar, went on to write: "(ALI-PAC) has a website.  You should look at it for yourself.  It very clearly states what it stands for which is really quite simple:  enforcement of our immigration laws.  If this makes it a 'hate group' then the entire federal government is a 'hate group' as it is merely seeking enforcement of federal law."

But an article published by the SPLC in 2011, describes the president and founder of ALI-PAC, William Gheen, as a hard-line nativist who has threatening violence to save "white America."

"Gheen, who in the past tried to appear a moderate on the nativist scene, said that in order to save 'white America,' it may be necessary to engage in 'extra-political activities that I can't really talk about because they’re all illegal and violent,'” the SPLC wrote of a radio interview given by Gheen.

Gheen denied the accusations during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, saying the SPLC, "doesn't care who they hurt."

He also claims his organization receives donations from an ethnically diverse group people, including blacks, whites and Latinos. 

He also points out that ALI-PAC has endorsed several politicians in Arizona such as Gosar, Republican senate candidate Kelli Ward and GOP Reps. Trent Franks and David Schweikert. 

“In this day and age, you can be a black-female-Jewish-bisexual-paraplegic and still be listed as a hate group if you spoke out against any illegal immigration or amnesty,”  Gheen said. 

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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