Rocky Mountain News
Friday, September 18, 1998

Dan Luzadder Rocky Mountain News Capitol BureauRepublican congressional candidate Tom Tancredo advocated extremist views during a speech to a militia group four years ago, his Democratic opponent said Thursday.

Tancredo conceded speaking to the group, Guardians of American Liberty, but denied his remarks were extremist or showed a disgust for government.

Henry Strauss played a tape recording for reporters of the talk Tancredo made in Glendale in 1994. Guardians of American Liberty has been identified as a right-wing militia organization with links to anti-Semitic organizations by the Southern Poverty Law Center's militia task force, according to Strauss'staff. The FBI has labeled the group as ``dangerous,'' they added.

Tancredo said he attended the 1994 meeting at the request of Marty Nalitz, a Christian-right radiotalk-show host. He said he knew nothing about the group's philosophy.

``Any time three or more are gathered together, I will make a speech,'' Tancredo said.

Strauss is running against Tancredo for a seat in the U.S. House from the Sixth District, which covers parts of Arapahoe and Jefferson counties. Strauss said the tape recording reveals Tancredo expressing ``disgust'' of government as he advocates dismantling the U.S. Department of Education and other federalagencies.

 Tancredo said Strauss mischaracterized what he said. ``What I said was I had a `distrust' of government" Tancredo said. ``And I do. That really isn't a secret. And Strauss is right, I do want to do away with the education department.''

 Tancredo didn't apologize for speaking to the group. ``I've talked to groups kookier than they (theGuardians) are,'' he said.

 ``I've even spoken to some of the same groups (former Democrat congresswoman) Pat Schroeder hasspoken to, for God's sake.''

Strauss called Tancredo's points of view were radical, pointing to a remark by Tancredo that he saidhinted at cultural warfare.

``I also must tell you that I believe with all my heart that there is a conflict in our culture today that is sovery deep, and so very significant that it'll be played out really in one of two ways,'' Tancredo says on thetape, according to a transcript provided by Strauss. ``It will be played out either at the ballot box or in the streets. That is how basic the division is.''

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