Aide's Plea in Hate Crime Undercuts Tancredo
Speechwriter used racial slur, karate chop
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2009 12:54 PM CDT
Tom Tancredo, then a Republican congressman and presidential candidate, answers a question during a candidates' debate in Manchester, NH, June 5, 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An aide to Tom Tancredo has pleaded guilty to a hate crime, compromising the former congressman's credibility as he helps lead the opposition to Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, the Washington Independent reports. Marcus Epstein, executive director of the onetime Republican presidential candidate's PAC, copped to using a racial slur and karate-chopping an African-American woman in the head on a DC street in 2007.

Tancredo, who has said Sotomayor "appears to be a racist," is a leading light of the anti-immigration movement; Epstein was a speechwriter for his ill-fated presidential campaign. Epstein will not be sentenced until July 8, but the drunken incident has apparently resulted in the revocation of his acceptance to the University of Virginia's law school, where he had planned to enroll this fall, Talking Points Memo adds.