The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Every election season brings out candidates from across the political and ideological spectrums. The current level of polarization, particularly on the right, has facilitated the emergence of extremist candidates. These candidates tend to promote antigovernment conspiracy theories and demonize minority groups – some even have ties to hate groups.
We recently profiled a dozen such candidates in the latest issue of SPLC’s Intelligence Report. Since that article went to press, additional candidates in the extremist mold have to come to light. Here are five that caught our attention.
Jody Hice, running for U.S. Congress in Georgia’s 10th district as a Republican, clinched a spot in a July runoff in the race to replace former Rep. Paul Broun, a fellow Republican who said in 2012 that evolution, the Big Bang, and embryology are “lies from the pit of hell” and claimed that President Obama was developing a secret police force to install a dictatorship. Broun run for the U.S. Senate but lost in the primary. Hice, a pastor and talk radio host, may very well be to the right of Broun.
In his 2012 book, It’s Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America, he promoted a number of anti-LGBT falsehoods, including claims that homosexuality causes shorter lifespans and depression, and that LGBT people cannot raise healthy children. He also compared pro-choice advocates to Nazis and argued that states can nullify federal power and take up arms against the federal government if they consider a federal law “unjust.” Hice also says that Muslims must be viewed with suspicion, and Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment.
On his campaign website, Hice claims that he is a leader in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by the hard-right Alliance Defending Freedom in which religious clergy violate IRS regulations that prohibit tax-exempt organizations (like churches) from endorsing or opposing political candidates.
Hice’s first unsuccessful run for Congress was in 2010, when he made it to the primary in a neighboring district but was defeated by Rep. Bob Woodall. During that campaign, Hice had a billboard erected that featured President Obama’s name with a Soviet-era symbol. ( continue to full post… )
A man arrested for seriously vandalizing a medical clinic this week in Kalispell, Mont., that performs abortions is reportedly the son of a board member of a local anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy” clinic, which has itself been the center of controversy after white supremacists in the area raised funds for it.
The clinic, All Families Healthcare, was vandalized overnight Monday when one or more perpetrators broke glass and equipment throughout the office. Zachary Klundt, a 24-year-old Kalispell resident, was arrested while breaking into another building early Tuesday morning, and was promptly linked to the clinic burglary because of evidence he was carrying.
According to a post on Montana Human Rights Network’s Facebook page, Klundt is the son of Twyla Klundt, a member of the board of Hope Pregnancy Ministries, an anti-abortion “pregnancy counseling” center whose primary mission is to talk women out of getting abortions.
It and other “crisis pregnancy clinics” have recently come under fire in Montana for allegedly misleading women about their care options when it comes to pregnancy and abortion, according to a study by the National Abortion Rights Action League. Among its findings was that “89 percent, or eight of the nine centers visited, provided inaccurate information about birth control, such as saying contraception is the same as abortion, condoms aren’t effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and birth control leads to breast and cervical cancer.”
Previously, Hope Pregnancy Ministries came under fire when noted local neo-Nazi April Gaede announced that she was helping raise funds for the center because she said it helped “save white babies.” In making her pitch, Gaede claimed that she had personally met with members of the center’s staff.
Police are searching for a well-known abortion clinic firebomber from Western Washington because he is the chief suspect in a child-molestation case involving an 11-year-old girl attacked at a Fred Meyer grocery store in the town of Snohomish, the Daily Herald of Everett reports.
Last Friday, a judge issued a $250,000 warrant for Curtis Anton Beseda, a 58-year-old former roofer, accused of molesting the girl as she waited for her father at the store. Beseda was identified by more than eight witnesses as the man seen on store-security surveillance video images that the victim identified as her attacker.
However, Beseda has not been at his Snohomish apartment for several days, and as of Monday afternoon, no arrest had been made.
Beseda became a cause célèbre among abortion-rights activists in the 1980s after he firebombed abortion clinics in Everett and Bellingham, one of the first anti-abortion activists to do so. After he was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for the crimes, Beseda became an imprisoned martyr for the anti-abortion cause, and he was feted by his admirers at a national banquet in 1995.
He was released briefly from prison in 1996 but was returned a year later for parole violations, finally emerging in 2003. However, since that release he has been convicted of three misdemeanor charges (including fourth-degree assault and trespassing). He also was accused of an attempted arson in Snohomish, but was found not guilty by a district court jury.
The abortion-clinic arson attacks in the 1980s were part of what abortion-rights activists called a “holy war,” and as a Los Angeles Times piece noted at the time, Beseda’s arsons had the effect of permanently closing those clinics.
“The lives I could save (from abortion) the next day were precious,” Beseda told the reporter. “There were lives that were saved.”
A suspect arrested this month for twice attempting to burn down a Joplin, Mo., Planned Parenthood clinic now has been implicated in last year’s firebombing that destroyed a mosque in the same community.
Jedediah Stout, 29, an Iraq war veteran who described himself as “sort of homeless,” was charged last week in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Missouri with attempted arson of a building used in interstate commerce. He is being held without bond as a flight risk and danger to the community.
Stout was arrested by police on Oct. 4 walking on railroad tracks in Joplin, just a few blocks from a Planned Parenthood clinic where someone attempted to throw burning backpacks on the roof of the building two days in a row, court documents say. ( continue to full post… )
The Constitution Party, a small third party that has been around in one form or another since 1992, says its goal is “to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions.” As a practical matter, that has meant that it opposes abortion and most immigration, seeks to drastically reduce government spending and end the income tax, and works toward a noninterventionist foreign policy that requires dropping out of international organizations and treaties.
What it has not done, despite serious flirtations with radical anti-abortionists and antigovernment militias, is get into open racism. Not until now, anyway.
An ex-convict being held in connection with the Sunday night bombing of a Grand Chute, Wis., Planned Parenthood clinic has been charged with two federal crimes, the FBI says.
Francis G. Grady, 50, was arrested Monday evening after investigators identified him based on eyewitness information and video footage from the crime scene. He was charged yesterday with arson of a building used in interstate commerce, and intentionally damaging the property of a facility that provides reproductive health services. He is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon at 1:30.
Authorities say the homemade bomb, which damaged both the clinic’s examination room and Grady’s car when it exploded Sunday evening around 7:30, was fashioned from a plastic bottle filled with incendiary chemicals. No one was injured. ( continue to full post… )
A homemade bomb exploded and caused a small fire last night at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wis. – the second attack on an abortion clinic in 2012.
Authorities say the device, fashioned from a plastic bottle filled with incendiary chemicals, was placed on a windowsill at the clinic. It went off at about 7:30 p.m., causing a small fire that damaged an examination room before burning itself out. No injuries have been reported.
This latest attack comes amid a heated national debate over women’s health care issues, revolving around insurance coverage for birth control and a spate of proposals pushed by state lawmakers to make obtaining an abortion more onerous. ( continue to full post… )
The violent history of a Florida abortion clinic may be repeating itself in a new terrorist act: Anti-choice zealots are suspected of setting a blaze Sunday that gutted the American Family Planning clinic in Pensacola, which was Ground Zero for murders and bombings by vigilantes in the 1980s and 1990s.
A sniffing dog helped investigators at the scene gather samples Tuesday to be tested for fire accelerants, Deborah Cox of the Florida State Fire Marshal’s office told Hatewatch. Investigators already have determined that the blaze started outside the building, she added. Calling the fire suspicious “would be an understatement,” Pensacola Police Chief Chip Simmons told the Pensacola News-Journal. ( continue to full post… )
The Rev. Donald Spitz has a message for gay-friendly churches, and the murder-endorsing anti-abortion crusader is not mincing words.
In E-mails sent in recent days to an unknown number of churches listed on GayChurch.org, he wrote: “To accept sexual deviancy as normal is a sin. You put your soul in danger of eternal damnation for welcoming unrepentant homosexuals into God’s house. You blaspheme the Name of God. Homosexuality should be criminalized. Homosexuals commit crimes against God, against nature, against the Holy Bible and against the human race. ( continue to full post… )
The trial of a California teen accused of a murdering a gay classmate in 2008 begins today. Brandon McInerney, 17, allegedly shot and killed Larry King, 15, in class after a long history of bullying and fights over King’s sexual orientation. A search of McInerney’s bedroom revealed white supremacist literature in his possession. LGBT people are by far the group most targeted for violent hate crimes.
Colorado Springs police are investigating a possible anti-gay hate crime. A group of individuals, including two soldiers, were allegedly beaten by a group of African-American men who shouted racial and anti-gay slurs.
A North Carolina preacher has been sentenced to 18 months probation for stalking a local abortion doctor. The charges came after Rev. Phillip “Flip” Benham passed out “wanted” posters of the physician with his name and photo on it, causing the doctor to fear for his life and safety. ( continue to full post… )