Disgraced SPLC Co-Founder Joins Holocaust Denier to Back Plame

Valerie Plame
Valerie Plame / Getty Images

The disgraced co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the actor John Goodman, and the former ABC newscaster Sam Donaldson have joined a high-profile Holocaust denier to help boost Valerie Plame's congressional campaign. 

Plame, who is running to represent New Mexico's Third Congressional District, raked in $450,000 in the third quarter, FEC reports show. 

Morris Dees, who was pushed out of the SPLC earlier this year, donated $400 to Plame’s campaign, filings show. While the SPLC is known for identifying and denouncing hate groups, Dees is supporting a political candidate who has come under fire for anti-Semitic statements. He was pushed out of the SPLC in March after years of complaints from coworkers alleging that he regularly made inappropriate sexual and racial remarks. 

The Plame campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Plame brings her own controversial history to the race. The ex-wife of the late Joseph Wilson, who was sent on an ill-fated mission to Niger by the George W. Bush administration, Plame has alleged inaccurately that former vice president Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, outed her as an undercover CIA agent. She came under fire in 2017 for tweeting links to anti-Semitic articles originating from a website known for denying the Holocaust. One of the articles she tweeted accused Israel of orchestrating the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Another alleged that "American Jews are Driving American Wars." She later apologized for sharing the pieces. 

Plame also received contributions from the actor John Goodman, best known for his role in Speed Racer, in which he played Pops Racer, as well as the former ABC newscaster Sam Donaldson. Donaldson, a native of New Mexico, made three contributions totaling $750. 

The donations mark continuing support for the first-time political candidate from high-profile Hollywood stars. Earlier this year, the former CIA officer received contributions from actors Bryan Cranston, Michael Douglas, and Naomi Watts, who played Plame in the film adaptation of her book, Fair Game. The film’s director, Doug Liman, has also contributed to her campaign.

The former congressman and prominent Holocaust denier Pete McCloskey is also continuing to lavish funds on the campaign, adding $200 to three initial donations last quarter. McCloskey's wife, Helen, also contributed $500 to the Plame campaign. During a May 28, 2000, speech to the Institute for Historical Review, an organization known for promoting Holocaust denial theories, McCloskey made reference to the "so-called Holocaust" and praised the group for its effort to combat conventional wisdom on the genocide. 

"Earlier here today I listened to speeches about the courage of men in France, Britain, Germany, and New Zealand who have spoken out against the commonly accepted concept of what occurred during the Second World War in the so-called Holocaust," McCloskey said, adding later that the "right to say what you believe and to research things that are alleged as true, and to try to disprove them, is perhaps the most important part of our democracy."

Plame is running to replace outgoing Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D., N.M.). She faces nine other opponents in a Democratic primary, which takes place in June next year.