Today, the anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) is making headlines with its new TV ads, which are airing on national cable TV networks and running for several weeks. CAPS’ premise is that immigration reform is bad for the US economy and American workers — contrary to all known fact — and that Americans this fall should elect Senators who oppose it.
Watch the ad below:
The ad has been spotted in Ohio and Florida, so first of all, it’s hilarious that a California group is seeking influence in these far-flung swing states. CAPS is a part of the John Tanton network — a chain of extremely anti-immigrant groups founded by an arch-extremist who believed in population control, sterilization, eugenics, and worried about “the decline of folks who look like you and me.” Other anti-immigrant organizations within this network — the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and NumbersUSA, for example — who trace their founding and background back to Tanton like to claim that he’s a figure from their past, who has no influence on their current activities. But the money tells a different story.
Where is CAPS getting the money to fund its ad blitz? One of the key funding sources for the John Tanton network is the Colcom Foundation, run by people who were good friends of John Tanton or who worked with him. Here’s what a blog from Imagine 2050 had to say about Colcom:
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Heidi Beirich describes the Colcom Foundation as “a $400-million-plus entity founded in 1996 by Cordelia Scaife May of the far-right Scaife family. May is a close friend and long-time funder of John Tanton…And Colcom’s vice president is John Rohe, who worked for years at Tanton’s U.S. Inc. foundation and once wrote a fawning biography of Tanton and his wife…
The connections go even deeper than sizable grants. The Colcom Foundation’s vice president, John Rohe, worked for John Tanton for many years at his foundation, U.S., Inc. And the late Cordelia Scaife May, who founded Colcom in 1996, was a close friend and long-time funder of John Tanton. In 2005, the year of her death, Scaife May was recognized as the most generous giver in the United States, leaving $404 million in cash and property to the Colcom Foundation and other charitable organizations.
If you see a CAPS ad this election cycle, remember its direct connections back to a man who obsessed about Latino fertility rates and worried that “those with their pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down!”