Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Doing the right thing means not waiting for a scandal to reverse course: GOP politicians fail, of course

Watching the Rachel Maddow show right now (Monday evening). She has a great expose of the GOPlin politicians who are returning cash donated by the same racist organization that inspired the Charleston shooter.

The report was first aired by The Guardian. They list GOPlins who took money from the head of the Council of Conservative Citizens:

Four presidential hopefuls were among 16 Republicans who on Monday gave up more than $30,000 in campaign contributions from the leader of a white nationalist group said to have influenced the Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.

Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum led a GOP group spanning Congress and statehouses who said they would donate to charity or return money from Earl Holt, following the publication of a Guardian article on Sunday.

Other Republicans who have taken money from Holt declined to comment about the contributions.

Holt, the president of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), has contributed more than $74,000 to Republican candidates and committees in recent years, according to public filings, while making dozens of racist statements online.

Among the other GOPlins taking Holt's cash is our very own Senator Jeff Flake who is giving up his $1,000.

Another $6,500 in Holt campaign contributions are to be donated to the church fund from senators Joni Ernst of Iowa, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Rob Portman of Ohio and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, along with representatives Ryan Zinke of Montana, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

The full list published by the Guardian reads like a Who's Who of GOPlin politics. It's fun watching all these people run for cover. But the thing is: if this story had not surfaced, they ALL would have been happy to have taken, and keep on taking, money from this lousy, racist organization.

Jared Taylor, a spokesman for the CoCC, said in a statement on Monday that its leaders "utterly condemn" Roof’s alleged killings, but said the shootings "do not detract in the slightest from the legitimacy of some of the positions he has expressed".

Taylor said: "Ignoring legitimate grievances is dangerous."

Apparently, really dangerous for the nine people killed. (I think those nine might have a legitimate grievance.)

CoCC leader, Holt, stated:

In a statement published on Sunday, Holt said it was "not surprising" that Roof was apparently informed by the group’s website as it reported race relations "accurately and honestly".

However, he added: "The CofCC is hardly responsible for the actions of this deranged individual merely because he gleaned accurate information from our website."

Folks, this is not going away because Flake gives up his donation from CoCC. It is not going away because Haley (might!) get the confederate flag moved. CoCC is symptomatic of a rot in our society. When you combine the vile preachings of organizations like CoCC with ready access to firearms, I have to think more is on the way.

UPDATE: This morning AZBlueMeanie blogs on the history of that organization:

This is recent history. It’s not like Republican candidates — or reporters for that matter — should not know who the Council of Conservative Citizens is and know its history of racism.

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