VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow writes:
Before Christmas, Lydia and I were invited to talk about VDARE.com’s horrific lawfare situation to a catacomb-full of conservative and GOP activists in Manhattan. This is adapted from our remarks.
PB: I’ve been in the Immigration Wars for a long time—I wrote my “Time To Rethink Immigration?” National Review cover story in 1992, published my book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster in 1995, and, after Bill Buckley unexpectedly purged immigration patriots from National Review, launched my VDARE.com website way back on Christmas Eve, 1999.
Well, now we’re in a paradoxical position. On the one hand, the Immigration Wars are over and we’ve won. Open Borders has no constituency with GOP, except for donors and the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. This time next year, we could easily have an Immigration Patriot President—both leading contenders, President Trump and Governor DeSantis, have excellent positions on immigration—and a GOP-controlled Legislative Branch ready to enact real reform.
We could even have an immigration moratorium.
But on the other hand, New York Attorney General Letitia James, through lawfare, could well have gotten control the VDARE Foundation, seized its assets, and have closed the site, wiping out nearly 25 years of immigration patriot facts and analysis.
Lydia Brimelow, VDARE.com Publisher And President of the VDARE Foundation:
Between the years 2016 and 2019, it became impossible to find venues for VDARE.com conferences. During this time, we had, depending on how you count them, 8-10 hotels and conference centers cancel their contracts with us, paying out huge sums in liquidated damages rather than go forward with our meetings.
The most extreme example was a Midtown hotel, who assured us that, if they could handle Trump’s Election Night Victory Party, they could handle a couple hundred immigration patriots. Five weeks later they sent me a check for $80,000 and a cancelation agreement.
So, unable to secure a rental venue, we bought our own. In 2019, the VDARE Foundation bought the 10,000 square foot historic Berkeley Springs Castle in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.(See map, right.) After COVID passed and some critical repairs were done, we started hosting our own events. All three of our Castle conferences have sold out, and we have another coming up this spring. Plus we host private parties, dinners, livestreams and other events that are apolitical.
At VDARE.com, we are battle-scarred veterans of Cancel Culture. It is extremely difficult to run a nonprofit media operation when you can’t use PayPal, Discover Card, Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, Constant Contact, MailChimp, YouTube, Facebook etc. etc. We have been canceled by Certified Public Accountants, Merchant Services Accounts, Accounts Payable Services and even AirBnB. There are more, but to list them all would be excessive.
All of that, however, pales in comparison to what we are facing now. Many of you may know that Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, is a lawless political activist hell-bent on destroying Trump and the National Rifle Association.
Probably none of you know that she’s going after the little guys, too.
The VDARE Foundation has been accused of nothing and charged with nothing. But starting two years ago the AG opened an investigation and started subpoenaing us to death.
It is important to note that the first subpoena originated from the so-called Hate Crimes Division.
In other words, this is not really about governance concerns or regulatory and compliance. They think we have committed a crime that does not technically exist in New York or anywhere in the US. That crime is Hate Speech.
Letitia James’s subpoenas are wildly overbroad and essentially demand that we turn over every document we have touched since 2016. Despite the crushing burden and expense of producing these documents, we have complied in good faith—until now.
Letitia James is demanding we turn over the names of all of our pseudonymous writers and all of our vendors. And, while she isn’t directly demanding we turn over our donor lists, she is demanding that we turn over all of our hundreds of thousands of emails—which is basically the same thing.
We filed for relief in Federal Court on First Amendment grounds. Three days later, the AG’s office filed a motion to compel in State Court. And rather than wait for the Federal Court to weigh in, the State Court judge ruled in favor of Letitia James. So we are fighting in two courts on the same question, potentially producing contradictory judgements at the same time.
Twice the legal fees.
VDARE.com is a tiny organization. At our peak, VDARE had four full time employees. Currently there are only two: Peter and me. Our operating budget in a normal year is around $800,000. In the last 18 months we have spent close to half a million dollars in legal costs associated with the investigation.
There is a very real danger that we may run out of money before we get a decision.
But that’s what they want, of course. The process is the punishment.
At this point, helpful people typically suggest that the VDARE Foundation simply exit New York State. Believe me, we would if we could. Unfortunately, the Charities Bureau in NY is very clear that no nonprofit can reincorporate in another state without the express permission of the Attorney General. We also cannot sell or transfer all or substantially all of our assets without her permission. We aren’t even allowed to dissolve without her permission.
What we need now is a miracle. It can come in one of three forms:
Thank you for your time. We will be here to answer questions.
Earlier articles by Peter Brimelow on Letitia James’s lawfare against VDARE.com: