Dick Lamm, The Pioneer Fund, and Defend Colorado Now

Former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, while involved with two immigration groups, accepted over a million dollars from a racist non-profit.

That is according to the Center for New Community, a Chicago based civil rights organization which has released an investigative report, detailing elaborate connections between supporters of Defend Colorado Now and white supremacists.

“Unfortunately, [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 initative 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.

The allegations against Lamm revolve around his interactions with a controversial non-profit called the Pioneer Fund. The Fund’s stated purpose is to “advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences,” but critics have accused the group of funding bogus scientific studies to demonstrate intellectual differences between races.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, another watchdog group, had this to say about Pioneer Fund president, Jean-Philippe Rushton:

Since last year, he has also been the president of the infamous Pioneer Fund*, which has for decades funded dubious studies linking race to characteristics like criminality, sexuality and intelligence and promoting eugenics, the “science” of creating better humans through selective breeding.

The New Community report found that while Lamm was on the board of directors for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)-from 1982 to1994-the immigration group received over $1 million dollars from the Pioneer Fund.

“[The board of FAIR] had been asked on numerous occasions to return the money because of the objectionable source,” Burghart  said. “They refused and, in fact, have decided to defend the Pioneer Fund rather than do something that anyone else in mainstream circles would do. That would be disturbing enough if it were the only time that Dick Lamm had been associated with an organization that had taken money from the Pioneer Fund.”

It was also found in the report that while Lamm sat on the advisory board for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), in 2002, the organization received a $5000 grant from the Fund.

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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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