On the show Thursday night, Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, denied giving money to Protect Arizona Now, which was pushing the Prop 200 immigration initiative in 2004. One of PAN's top leaders was Virginia Abernethy, a self-proclaimed "ethnic separatist."
"We never gave that organization a dime," Stein told us. "And secondly, even if we were going to give them a dime, we wouldn't have given them a dime with Virginia Abernethy associated with it."
FAIR's Western Regional Field Director Rick Oltman has been working with activists in Arizona to help raise funds and public awareness for the Protect Arizona Now initiative, which would deny most taxpayer funded social services to illegal aliens and tighten voting regulations. They're working to qualify the initiative for the November '04 ballot. Since Arizona has become "ground zero" in the fight against illegal immigration, it's important that this initiative, which enjoys wide public support, get on the ballot.
FAIR, a national immigration reform organization with strong support in Arizona, has committed $150,000 to help ensure that the P.A.N. initiative is put before the state's voters in November.
According to Stein, "there will be full public disclosure of how the funds were spent to gather these signatures. Every dime that FAIR and these other organizations have raised to obtain signatures for Arizona's PAN has been spent in Arizona to get signatures," he said.
[See also: The racist roots of Arizona's immigration law]