Controversy Surrounds Meeting

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Bill Hinson, president of the Great Southern chapter the Council of Conservative Citizens, announced on the group's website that "several House and Senate members" are to speak to the organization on Thursday.

Hinson wouldn't tell the Associated Press the names of lawmakers or where the event is taking place, although the AP learned it will be at a south Jackson fish house.

Hinson said the CCC doesn't make an issue of race, but focuses on taxation and Southern heritage.

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project for the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center, says it is a "patent falsehood" to say the CCC is not driven by racial issues. Potok said the CCC's website "is a vile, Klan-like site."

State Rep. John Moore says that he's scheduled to speak at the gathering. He said he will talk about issues to be considered during the current legislative session. Moore said he didn't know anything about the group's position on race.