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Mary Sanchez decries the GOP’s non-reaction to the presence of a white supremacist at CPAC, in her column, “Presence Of CPAC Panelist Raises Troubling Issues For GOP:”

Memo to the GOP: White supremacists no longer announce themselves by marching hooded and torching crosses.

Last week, GOP officials were told that a former leader of a group preaching the genetic superiority of white people would appear on a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C.

Initial blank looks were understandable. Few know the name American Renaissance. But a well-researched backgrounder was available through the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, which said Robert Vandervoort was once a leader of Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance.

In a statement released Sunday to The Star, Vandervoort called the accusations “smears” and “exaggerations,” saying, “I have never been a member of any group that has advocated hate or violence.”

Not that the GOP bothered to ask. Renaissance was brushed off as just another differing viewpoint.

On Saturday, Vandervoort sat alongside Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for a CPAC immigration panel. Republican U.S. Rep. David Rivera of Florida was also present.

No one questioned the alleged associations. Vandervoort represented ProEnglish, which opposes multiculturalism and bilingualism.

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