Human Rights Campaign Links Michael Peroutka to White Supremacists
As City Paper reported in 2004, when Maryland debt-collections lawyer Michael Peroutka was the Constitution Partyâ€™s presidential candidate, the guyâ€™s an extreme paleo-conservative with ties to the Texas militia movement and a fellow-traveler with supporters of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Today, the Human Rights Campaign went further, calling Peroutka an â€śactive white supremacist and secessionist sympathizer.”
HRCâ€™s basis for the assertion is Peroutkaâ€™s ties to the League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels an â€śexplicitly racistâ€ť hate group. As one of the main supporters of the successful drive to have voters make same-sex marriage legal in Maryland, HRC has demanded that the Maryland Marriage Alliance – which worked to defeat the marriage-equality question â€“ return Pertoutkaâ€™s $10,000 donation.
Peroutka told The Baltimore Sunâ€™s Annie Linskey today that he “continues to be a proud member of the League of the South,” since it â€śhas a belief that the central government is too large, too spend-thrift and too out-of-control,â€ť but he called HRCâ€™s characterization of him as a white-supremacist sympathizer â€śabsurdâ€ť and â€śnot at all true.â€ť
Peroutka is a litigious man, having even sued his stepdaughtersâ€™ social worker for libel after he and his wife forced the girls into the stateâ€™s foster-care system, so itâ€™ll be interesting to see if he reacts to HRCâ€™s public assertions with a lawsuit. If he does, itâ€™ll put his alleged sympathies in the spotlight â€“ something that the social-worker case, which he lost, did to his rather shocking family life in the 1990s.
Whether HRCâ€™s conclusions are true or not, the facts underlying them seem to be, since Peroutka happily owns his ties to the League. Either way, HRC used the facts to do something that is sorely needed â€“ to highlight Peroutkaâ€™s extremism as an influential player in Marylandâ€™s political scene, where heâ€™s been a generous benefactor of ultra-conservatives, including state Del. Don Dwyer, whose agendas sometimes seem driven by hate. City Paperâ€™s coverage of Maryland same-sex marriage campaign did that, too, and Peroutka hasnâ€™t sued us. At least not yet.