Violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12 led Colorado Springs officials and residents to take a closer look at VDARE, an immigration advocacy group with ties to the rally's white nationalist organizer that had booked a conference at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.
Under pressure from threatened boycotts, online criticism and Mayor John Suthers, the resort last week announced it had canceled the planned gathering next April.
Despite the cancellation, VDARE is standing behind its controversial contributor, Jason Kessler, the blogger who organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counterprotester who was killed when a reported neo-Nazi allegedly rammed his car into a crowd.
"If it hadn't been Charlottesville, they would find some other excuse," VDARE leader Peter Brimelow told Colorado Politics in an e-mail exchange Thursday.
His group, the VDARE Foundation, is not among the 16 Colorado hate groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama. The VDARE Foundation, however, is listed as a hate group in Virginia.
The Colorado hate groups listed by the SPLC, such as the Soldiers of Odin and the Wolves of Vinland - aren't likely to be familiar to most Coloradans.
Former state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt's Colorado Springs' based The Pray in Jesus Name Project also is on the list. Klingenschmitt has employed harsh rhetoric against gay people and abortion to support his Christian beliefs on his cable TV show.
The full list of Colorado hate groups, according to the SPLC, are:
ACT for America
The Brother Nathanael Foundation
Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform
Family Research Institute
Generations With Vision
Israel United In Christ
Nation of Islam
National Socialist Movement
The Pray in Jesus Name Project
Scriptures for America Ministries
Soldiers of Odin
Team America Political Action Committee
The Daily Stormer
Wolves of Vinland
The civil rights nonprofit lists 917 hate groups operating in the U.S.
It defines a hate group as one with "beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics."
"Over the course of a year, we have a team of investigators that scours the internet for racist publications and real world activities to find out which groups exist, which groups are still active and which groups come along," Ryan Lenz, a senior investigator for the SPLC said in a statement.
Kessler's photo was featured on the SPLC's Hatewatch homepage Thursday.
Brimelow, who is the editor of VDARE.com, told Colorado Politics last week his organization was not involved at Charlottesville "in any way."
"We have a totalitarian left in this country," Brimelow said. "They would shut down the president if they could, so they might try to shut us down next April, but they might also find something more interesting to do."
Two days later, Cheyenne Mountain shut them down.
The tony resort said it canceled the conference but wouldn't say why, only, "We remain committed to respecting the privacy of guests at the resort."
In an e-mail exchange with Colorado Politics Thursday, Brimelow answered some questions:
How would you characterize the way VDARE has been pulled into the Charlottesville situation?
"Typical lying communist propaganda, connived at by the Establishment Left."
Any regrets about working with Jason Kessler?
"No. What Kessler wrote for us is justified on its own merits (although obviously far too edgy for your paper. That's why we have an audience). I'm not going (to) wimp out like the (Daily) CALLER.
"Kessler's not the problem. This purge has been coming for a long time - e.g. we all lost Google Adsense in the spring and the $PLC has been campaigning against us re PayPal for years. It's obviously co-ordinated like the Trayvon Martin scam - there's probably some listserve group somewhere like Journolist, If it hadn't been Charlottesville, they would find some other excuse.
"The amazing thing is that the GOP Establishment, Conservatism Inc. get mau-maued every time. Except the God-Emperor (President Donald Trump), bless him."
Are there any "next steps" in Colorado? Another location maybe? Court?
"Various possibilities have come out of the woodwork, including lawyers. We'll book somewhere else but don't know where or when yet (although CO in 2018 spring may still be possible)."