Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) said he was neither surprised nor alarmed by the addition of his conservative advocacy organization, Public Advocate of the United States, to a list of designated “hate groups” compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The SPLC report prompted Loudoun Democrats to call for Delgaudio’s resignation Monday; but the longtime supervisor — no stranger to controversy for his anti-gay sentiments — shrugged it off with a joke.

“Now a no-name organization is on [the SPLC] list,” he said in an interview Monday. “They’re scraping the bottom of the barrel when they have to kick the Italian guy.”

Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling). (Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

Delgaudio said he was accustomed to criticism of his social and political views.

“This has been an issue for 30 years, as president of Public Advocate, and for 12 years as supervisor,” he said. “Liberals will always cry when they lose, and they lose every time they come up against me.”

The addition of Public Advocate to the SPLC “hate map,” was motivated by fundraising, Delgaudio claimed.

“They’re trying to raise money in Virginia, so they have to talk about Delgaudio,” he said. “I have to take it lightly.”

Delgaudio said he didn’t agree that Public Advocate should be designated a hate group. He prefers to emphasize what the group supports, he said.

“I think the term anti-gay is wrong, but I’m not going to cry about it,” he said. “I would categorize [Public Advocate] as pro-family, pro-traditional marriage. We’re opposed to the legislation that’s being promoted. We’re opposed to federal gay rights legislation.”

He described Public Advocate as a grass-roots group with more than 170,000 donors — “we don’t take big money, we take $5 donations,” he said. “It’s a low-cost, high-impact operation.”

As such, he argued, Public Advocate has the same right as the Southern Poverty Law Center to advocate on behalf of its views.

“The Supreme Court is open to Public Advocate just like it’s open to anyone else,” Delgaudio said. “The SPLC files briefs. But they don’t want me filing my briefs, because they think my briefs are dirty? That’s un-American.”