Post reports Tancredo's ties to Americans Have Had Enough Coalition

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A Denver Post article about a controversial fundraiser attended by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) corrected the false claim that the Americans Have Had Enough Coalition is not connected to Tancredo. The Post reported that Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa "said Wednesday that Tancredo started Americans Have Had Enough a few months ago, along with current group president Garland McCoy."

A September 14 Denver Post article about a controversial Americans Have Had Enough Coalition fundraiser attended by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) corrected the false claim reportedly made by coalition president Garland McCoy that the group is not connected to Tancredo. Noting McCoy's statement, the Post reported that Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa "said Wednesday that Tancredo started Americans Have Had Enough a few months ago, along with current group president Garland McCoy."

The Post article came one day after Colorado Media Matters pointed out that in a September 13 article about the fundraiser, the Post uncritically reported that "McCoy said he started the group [and] that he has no connection to Tancredo." Both Post articles were written by staff writer Anne C. Mulkern.

Describing the September 9 fundraiser, the Rocky Mountain News reported September 13 that "Tancredo gave his standard immigration stump speech in South Carolina on Saturday. There were Confederate flags in the room, and he joined audience members in singing the Southern anthem Dixie." Similarly, Mulkern's September 13 article stated, "The Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC] went to Saturday's museum event and reported details on its website, saying Tancredo 'addressed the standing-room audience of 200 to 250 from behind a podium draped in a Confederate battle flag.' "

As Colorado Media Matters noted in response to the Post's September 13 repetition of McCoy's false claim, the Americans Have Had Enough Coalition's website identifies Tancredo as the group's "Honorary Chairman." In addition, the group's home page features Tancredo's picture prominently. The coalition website also states:

The Americans Have Had Enough Coalition was formed in order to help our citizens understand the government-supported maze of special-interest legislation and to effectively expose and hopefully defeat elected officials who are responsible for such irresponsible laws that are slowly crushing our United States. Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has agreed to serve as our honorary chairman. His knowledge, courage and leadership will help US in the struggle to save our country from the tyranny that we call government. [Emphasis in original.]

Similarly, on a September 13 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Mike Rosen Show, Tancredo confirmed he is the honorary chair of the coalition, which, according to its website, is "dedicated to restoring [the] core conservative principles." Tancredo told Rosen the South Carolina fundraiser "was held by one organization called Americans Have Had Enough.org. I am the honorary chairman of the group."

From Mulkern's September 13 Denver Post article, "Tancredo: Bigots didn't sponsor talk":

But Garland McCoy, president of a political-activist group called Americans Have Had Enough, said his organization threw the event, which he said was open to anyone. McCoy said he started the group, that he has no connection to Tancredo and that the event was a fundraiser for his group, not for Tancredo.

The congressman signed and sold his new book there, however, at $25 a copy.

From Mulkern's September 14 Denver Post article, "Challenger calls Tancredo speech "pandering to hate groups":

A political fundraising group called Americans Have Had Enough organized and paid for the event at the South Carolina State Museum. It was part of Tancredo's five-day swing through the state scheduled by the activist group.

Espinosa said Wednesday that Tancredo started Americans Have Had Enough a few months ago, along with current group president Garland McCoy. But McCoy said Tuesday that he started the group and that it was not connected to Tancredo.

Americans Have Had Enough raises money that could be used to target presidential candidates and their position on immigration, Espinosa said. The group also is interested in smaller government and more local control of schools.

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