An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent who has been accused of illegally accessing government information and leaking it to the Bob Beauprez campaign is getting help from an unusual source: a local figure with connections to white nationalism. 

Back in July, Colorado Confidential wrote about Fred Elbel: spokesman for the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR) and co-chair of Defend Colorado Now.

Now, the Rocky Mountain News reports that Elbel is raising money to help pay legal fees for Cory Voorhis, the ICE agent who could be facing federal charges. From the News article:

William and Jan Herron, Mike McGarry, Fred Elbel and Stan Weekes are among those who are raising money to pay the legal expenses of Cory Voorhis, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

Authorities are investigating whether Voorhis leaked confidential information to the Bob Beauprez gubernatorial campaign, which was used to attack rival Bill Ritter’s plea bargains for illegal immigrants.

Beauprez, who lost to the ex-Denver district attorney, defended the source of the information, calling him a heroic whistle-blower. The Morrison agent didn’t return a call for comment.

What was not mentioned in the article, were Elbel’s numerous connections to white supremacy.

  • Elbel has written for the Social Contract Press, a website that reportedly publishes viewpoints of white nationalists. Publisher John Tanton is also considered to be a founding father of the anti-immigration movement. 

    The Center For New Community, a Chicago based civil-rights group, issued a report on the site last summer:

    Working closely with Tanton as the editor of The Social Contract is Wayne Lutton, an ardent white nationalist. Lutton has spoken at the biannual conference of the white nationalist group American Renaissance, is a trustee of the American Renaissance parent organization, the  New Century Foundation, and is on the editorial advisory board of the Council of Conservative Citizens Citizen Informer and the white nationalist journal The Occidental Quarterly. He has also written numerous, pseudonymous articles for the Journal of Historical Review, the Holocaust denial journal founded by Willis Carto.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), another civil rights organization, has decried the Press for its contributors:

    The Social Contract has published articles by James Lubinskas of the racist American Renaissance magazine; Brent Nelson, who like Lutton is on the advisory board for the CCC’s periodical, and Sam Francis, current editor of the CCC tabloid.

    John H. Tanton, publisher of The Social Contract Press and founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, was instrumental in a 1996 effort to add an anti-immigration plank to the Sierra Club platform, a move that nearly split the environmental group permanently.

    More on John Tanton and the Social Contract Press

  • Elbel has worked with Brenda Walker and Virginia Abernethy, who have been connected to white supremacist organizations.

    In July, the News reported on Elbel and his links to Brenda Walker:

    Brenda Walker, a Sierra Club associate of Elbel’s who joined in unsuccessful effort to elect immigration control candidates including Lamm to the club’s board of directors in 2004, had harsh words on her blog on a white nationalist Web site, VDare. Her claim is that the church needs Latino immigrants who are more passive and unquestioning.

    “Apparently, as good authoritarians, the Catholic hierarchy prefers passively obedient parishioners -rather than educated Americans who are capable of critical analysis,” Walker wrote. “Credulous Mexicans fresh from the pueblo are seen as ideal fillers of pews.”


    Then there is Virginia Abernethy, the SPLC reports:

    Although Abernethy denied being a supremacist, telling the Arizona Daily Star that she was merely a white “separatist” who preferred to be “with my own kind,” she was immediately denounced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR, which helped pay to gather signatures for the referendum but later broke angrily with McKee, described Abernethy’s views as “repugnant.”

    FAIR cites on its Web site a man named Fred Elbel, who is [Protect Arizona Now’s] webmaster and also heads the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform – another group which Abernethy advises. Elbel is tied to FAIR founder John Tanton.

    More on VDARE.com

  • One of Elbel’s groups, Defend Colorado Now, has its own links to white supremacists.

    From a Colorado Confidential report:

    “Unfortunately, [Dick Lamm] has a long history of activism with these national anti-immigrant groups with ties to white nationalists,” Devin Burghart, director of the Center, said in an interview.

    Defend Colorado Now (DCN), a state-based issue committee, was trying to get an initiative on the ballot which would have-as it reads-denied “non-emergency” services to  illegal immigrants. The amendment was trashed however, when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the wording did not meet requirements mandated in the constitution. Lamm was one of DCN’s supporters, leading the charge.

    In the report it was revealed that approximately 30% of the committees funding came from U.S. Inc, run by John Tanton-a man accused of having multiple connections with hate groups. It was also found earlier this week that Tanton has given money to Rep. Tom Tancredo.

    And the Rocky Mountain News:

    But critics of [Defend Colorado Now] are saying that its outside money came with a taint.

    Its largest contributions have come from a national group whose longstanding campaigns for immigration cuts, border defense and official English have brought it some fringe and sometimes unwelcome bedfellows – racists.

    More on Defend Colorado Now

It’s not known why the Rocky failed to disclose these facts about Elbel, since the paper had written previously about him and Defend Colorado Now.

But with friends like these, Cory Voorhis’s help could be a blessing…or a big mistake.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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