Steve Scalise & White Power: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Steve Scalise, John Boehner, White Supremacist

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise. (Getty)

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House majority whip, has admitted that, in 2002, he attended and spoke at a white supremacist convention hosted by the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO). Here’s what you need to know:

1. Scalise Admits Speaking at the Convention

Steve Scalise, John Boehner, White Supremacist

In a statement provided to the Washington Post, Scalise spokesperson Moira Bagley confirmed that the majority whip had attended and spoken at the event but denied that Scalise was affiliated with the organization behind it. Bagley said Scalise had been making the rounds in 2002, speaking wherever anyone would let him.

According to Bagley:

“He has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question. The hate-fueled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic.”

2. EURO Was Founded by David Duke

David Duke, Steve Scalise, White Supremacist

David Duke in Belgium, 2008. (Wikimedia Commons)

Duke, a former one-term Louisiana state representative and two-time presidential candidate, was also known to be a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

According to the Southern Policy Law Center, EURO is little more than a promotional tool for Duke, who they term a “former Klan leader and notorious neo-Nazi.” The group was originally named the National Organization for European American Rights (NOFEAR).

In 2001, a sportswear company called No Fear Inc. filed a lawsuit against Dukefor trademark infringement and the name was changed to EURO.

As the Southern Policy Law Center writes:

“Beyond hosting a website,, and staging an occasional conference, EURO is a paper tiger, serving primarily as a vehicle to publicize Duke’s writing and sell his books.”

3. Duke Was Not At the Convention With Scalise

Steve Scalise, John Boehner, White Supremacist

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) (2nd L) introduces the RSC’s ‘American Health Care Reform Act’ during a press conference in 2013. (Getty)

In 2000, after federal authorities raided Duke’s Mandeville, Louisiana home looking for evidence to support wire fraud charges, Duke said he was moving to Moscow “to struggle against people of other colors and Jews.” He turned over control the organization to Bruce “Vince” Breeding, EURO’s National Director.

Breeding was a key speaker at the 2002 convention, as reported by politics blog Cenlamar, which broke the story about Scalise’s attendance. Breeding was formerly associated with the National Alliance, the hate group some say inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Breeding later quit working for EURO after his ownership of a Louisiana-based porn site clashed with Duke’s supposedly wholesome image.

4. Scalise Is One of the Most Powerful Men in the House

Steve Scalise, John Boehner, White Supremacist

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) (L) speaks to members of the media as Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (R) listens after a leadership election at a House Republican Conference meeting June 19. (Getty)

Though technically outranked by both the majority leader and the speaker, Scalise’s job as whip is to enforce order within his own party. In what has been called a “fractured” Republican Party, Scalise as whip works to ensure solidarity when there are controversial votes at hand.

As the Huffington Post reported, Scalise is the first member Louisiana-based congressman to reach that high in Party leadership since 1972.

5. He Could Become Speaker of the House

Steve Scalise, John Boehner, White Supremacist

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) (L) arrives at a House Republican Conference meeting June 19. (Getty)

When Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary race and was succeeded Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Scalise took the number three position. But John Boehner will eventually leave congress, and Scalise, 49, has been seen as a possible successor.

He sees himself as a conservative voice, and represents a solidly conservative district. McCarthy, by contrast, comes from a primarily Democratic state.