Alberto Cardenas was elected this week to replace David Keene as chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU). The American Conservative Union organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which is underway this minute in Washington, D.C.. The organization was founded in 1964 by William F. Buckley, Jr. In 1984, Keene assumed the chairmanship.
This year’s CPAC is fraught with controversy, but the election of Alberto Cardenas for chairman is not one of the problems. Cardenas, deemed “a committed conservative with a remarkable life story,” by John Bolton, escaped from communist Cuba with his family when he was 12 years old. As a commenter on one my previous articles said, “when John Bolton says it, you can take it to the bank.”
Cardenas, 63, has immediately stepped into the fray, however, over the CPAC sponsorship of gay activists GOProud. And what a controversy it has been. Source.
“I have been disappointed with their website and their quotes in the media, taunting organizations that are respected in our movement and part of our movement, and that’s not acceptable. And that puts them in a difficult light in terms of how I view things,” Cardenas told Frum Forum.
Now a couple of things about this. Conservatives such as Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), the Heritage Foundation and Frank Gaffney, Jr. decided not to attend this year for several reasons. No doubt GOProud entered into that decision, but the fact that David Keene’s board included Suhail Khan has raised some eyebrows (“hackles” may be more accurate).
Suhail Khan, a Bush administration veteran, has presented himself as a moderate, pro-American voice in the Muslim Community. But new videos cast serious doubt on that image he’s carefully groomed for himself in Washington.
Shockingly, they show this current American Conservative Union board member consorting with radical Muslim Brotherhood leaders-turned-terrorists, while exalting the death culture of jihadists.
Relevance: This self-proclaimed staunch Republican has made inroads into the GOP leadership on the Hill, where he’s lobbied to:
* Block opposition to the Ground Zero mosque;
* Pooh-pooh the threats from Muslim Brotherhood infiltration and the Shariah legal code it seeks to institutionalize in America;
* Downplay the rising tide of homegrown terror and radicalization, which Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., plans to investigate next month during his important Homeland Security Commitee hearings on the subject.
More alarming, Mr. Khan has — unwittingly or not — helped the bad guys infiltrate the government, from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other.
Before 9/11, as White House gatekeeper to the Muslim community, he helped facilitate a White House meeting with Sami al-Arian, even though al-Arian had been under FBI investigation (al-Arian subsequently served time for terrorism and remains under house arrest for refusing to testify in a related terror case). As a Hill staffer in the mid-1990s, moreover, Mr. Khan convinced then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to reserve a room in the Capitol for Muslims to pray. Consequently, according to Fox News, a parade of extremists — including cleric Anwar Awlaki, who the U.S. government now hopes to assassinate for his terrorist work for al-Qaida — led prayers and spoke there.
Mr. Khan is now a spokesman for the Congressional Muslim Staff Association, working with a Muslim convert named Jihad Saleh Williams (of all the Arabic names he could have picked, he chose Jihad). Mr. Khan spends a lot of time on the Hill. He’s briefed GOP leadership staff on various issues and has now cozied up to some of House Speaker John Boehner’s people. He’s even gained the trust of key staffers running the Republican Study Committee, the caucus for conservatives in the House.
None of them knew of his radical ties. Some told me they weren’t even aware he’s Muslim.
Grover Norquist’s American’s for Tax Reform (ATR), which is heavily involved in CPAC, also has a “Muslim problem.” The bottom line for many conservatives is how we deal with Muslim’s entrenched in a conservative movement. How can that happen?
I refer you to two background articles: CPAC Dust-Up: Obama Birth Certificate, RINOs, Sharia, Gays and is GOProud Conservative? Is CPAC Conservative?
Mr. Cardenas has a long career in the political realm. He was a national chairman of Young Americans for Freedom. He was a senior aide to VP Spiro Agnew, and an executive assistant to then-New York Senator James Buckley. He served as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, GWH Bush and Bob Dole. He is a former chairman of the Florida Republican Party. he is a pro-life Catholic, an attorney and he is making history as the first Hispanic to lead a national conservative group. Interestingly, new Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio has been in the employ of Cardenas and has been mentored by him.
Our truly conservative organizations will rally us to save this nation. Alberto Cardenas has all the creds to be a truly conservative leader.