After last week's terrific Nuvo article focusing on Eric Miller, author Laura McPhee took considerable heat for not crediting Advance Indiana's Gary Welsh for a lot of the research and blogging he's done on the topic. While AI focuses on Hoosier politics, his knowledge of all things Eric Miller is extra-ordinary.
In this week's Nuvo, McPhee responds to the criticism. The letter is rather long, but the pertinent part says:
Locally, no one has done a better job of chronicling the political agenda and influence of Advance America than Gary Welsh at www.advanceindiana.blogspot.com. With his education, experience and insight as a lawyer, lobbyist and Republican, Welsh has astutely pointed out the similarities between the KKK and local Evangelical leaders like Miller and Micah Clark of the Indiana Family Institute for several years, as well as push for an investigation into Advance America's finances and possible violations or abuses of lobbying regulations. In addition, Bil Browning's www.bilerico.com does an excellent job of representing the variety of voices within the city's GLBT community and the growing dissatisfaction with Indiana politics as usual.
Given the number of times I've written about Miller in the past and the prevalence of the analogy between Evangelicals and the KKK in public discourse, I mistakenly thought readers would share my presumption that I was joining an ongoing and increasing number of others in pointing out the parallels between Evangelical and KKK influence as it relates to national and state politics, and that my examination included ideas and evidence publicly presented elsewhere.
So to NUVO readers who wrote claiming I am an isolated and extremist voice with an anti-God agenda, those who wrote claiming I am delusional and making this shit up, as well as those who wrote claiming I am trying to pass off the ideas of others as my own, I humbly and loudly admit an unoriginal thesis and openly recommend the work of these predecessors, and in some cases superiors, that also detail the ways in which those who now embrace the agenda of groups like Advance America are following in the footsteps of those who once embraced the Ku Klux Klan.
While I'm honored to have been included with Gary in Laura's apology letter, I honestly believe that Gary deserves 99.99% of the Eric Miller credit. I will, however, accept her very kind comments on behalf of all of the bilerico contributors who do their best to keep our readers informed and entertained. We appreciate the notice Laura gave to our blog and we join her in saying that "no one has done a better job of chronicling the political agenda and influence of Advance America than Gary Welsh."
Raise a glass to Gary tonight, folks. And give a good shout for Laura McPhee too. It takes a movement to bring down the status quo. Together we can move mountains!
UPDATE: Advance Indiana has responded to Laura's apology.