Electoral Extremism: 23 Candidates on the Radical Right
Americans are generally possessed of an optimism that the democratic electoral process will filter out extremists, radicals and dangerous ideologues. Indeed, there is a temptation to chortle with satisfaction that the number of voters who wrote in neo-Nazi Billy Roper as their 2010 choice for governor of Arkansas wouldn’t fill the seats in an undersized fast-food restaurant.
Still, a 2010 candidate who has argued that private businesses should be free to deny service to black people now sits in the U.S. Senate. A candidate who believes the Southern states should secede again and form a confederacy dominated by white people won a seat in the Arkansas legislature, while an antigovernment “Patriot” who grossly exaggerates the criminality of undocumented immigrants (who studies have shown are on average much less criminal than native-born Americans) captured a California Assembly seat. Even failure energized some right-wing extremists: A white supremacist received one of every three votes cast in his New York congressional district, while another in West Virginia received enough votes for his “party” to boast of a moral victory.
The Intelligence Report has compiled an accounting of 22 men and one woman with extreme right-wing views who sought public office during the 2010 election season — including five who succeeded. Those who won their races are marked “elected.”
OFFICE SOUGHT Board of Education, Monongalia, W. Va.
PARTY American Third Position (A3P)
RESULTS General election: Finished last among three candidates, receiving 14.1% (2,582 votes) of the 18,256 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY White nationalism
Bertram ran openly as an A3P candidate. A3P’s founder, William Daniel Johnson, supports the deportation of all non-white immigrants and U.S. citizens, including anyone with any “ascertainable trace of Negro blood.” Bertram for years personally distributed to white people in Ohio and West Virginia copies of Don Wassall’s Nationalist Times, which promotes white nationalist and anti-Semitic ideologies as well as government conspiracy theories. In a video, Bertram denounced “gay and lesbian studies” as “liberal nonsense.” Bertram received the enthusiastic endorsement of Jamie Kelso, a long-time associate of top Klansmen and now operator of the White News Now website.
Jim Condit Jr.
OFFICE SOUGHT U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio District 8
RESULTS General election: Finished last among four candidates, receiving 1.7% (3,701 votes) of the 217,436 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Anti-Semitic, conspiracy-mongering
Condit promotes anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories. He believes the Federal Reserve Bank is engineering a New World Order. He embraces the theories of the late Father Denis Fahey, an Irish Catholic priest who stridently opposed institutions he felt conflicted with Catholic order, including communism, freemasonry and Judaism, all of which he believed were intertwined. Condit in 2007 said he believed that “Zionists” had successfully infiltrated the Vatican II Catholic reform conferences in the 1960s intent on “bending the doctrines of the Catholic Church to accord with the demands of the Zionist interests.” Condit once stated that a “Phase II” of the Sept. 11 attacks, intended to benefit the Israeli government, was imminent.
Tim Donnelly ELECTED
OFFICE SOUGHT California State Assembly, District 59
RESULTS Primary: Finished first among six candidates, receiving 30.3% (12,449 votes) of the 41,112 votes cast. General election: Won with 57.3% (82,475 votes) of the 144,007 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Anti-immigration, antigovernment “Patriot”
Donnelly in 2005 founded what became the largest anti-immigrant Minuteman chapter in California. He advocates a California version of Arizona’s S.B. 1070, which makes it a state crime to be in this country illegally. Donnelly is prone to exaggeration. In interviews, he claimed to have heard the screams of women being raped in the Mexican desert near the border. According to LA Weekly, Donnelly once wrote that Muslim extremists were proselytizing to “so-called ‘innocent’ illegal aliens” with the aim of destroying the American Southwest. “It is not a stretch,” he wrote, “to picture a revolt in Los Angeles, whose population is comprised of [sic] over 50 percent illegal aliens. At the [current] rate of influx and births, it will be 80 percent illegal alien within a decade.” A more reliable estimate places the number of undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles County at about 7.3% of its population of 10.4 million. Donnelly claimed undocumented immigrants accounted for “nearly one-third of our prison space” — a demonizing assertion, once also pushed by CNN’s Lou Dobbs, with no basis in fact.
OFFICE SOUGHT Western Municipal Water District Board of Directors, Division 2, Riverside, Calif.
PARTY National Socialist Movement
RESULTS General election: Received 27.8% (8,139 votes) of the 29,243 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Neo-Nazi
Hall is California director and southwest regional leader of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) — currently the nation’s largest neo-Nazi group. The NSM is known for its swastika-waving, sieg-heiling rallies, many of them held in minority neighborhoods, and its Hitler worship. Hall affirmed in a Los Angeles Times interview his belief that all non-whites should be deported. “I want a white nation,” he said. “I don’t hide what I am, and I don’t water that down.” After the election, Hall wrote, “It is a great victory when a National Socialist candidate receives over a quarter of the votes for an elected position in his district.”
OFFICE SOUGHT Mayor, High Point, N.C.
RESULTS General election: Received 7.9% (1,718 votes) of the 21,503 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Antigovernment “sovereign citizen”
Hemingway-El describes himself as a member of the Louisiana-based Washitaw De Dugdamoundwah, also known as the Washitaw Moorish Nation and the Washitaw Empire. The group claims status as a sovereign entity not subject to U.S. or state laws, and says the 828,000-square-mile territory of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 was land stolen from the Washitaw, a predominantly black group, by the United States. The group’s leader once filed an $80 quadrillion claim against the United States. State authorities have investigated allegations the group has engaged in money laundering, offshore banking fraud and other practices derived from its antigovernment “common law,” or “sovereign citizen,” ideology. Though Hemingway-El invokes sovereign citizen ideas, he told an interviewer he does not advocate defying the law. He complied with a state law requiring candidates for public office to swear they are U.S. citizens.
OFFICE SOUGHT Governor, Colorado
PARTY Tea Party-backed Republican
RESULTS Primary: Won with 50.7% (197,629 votes) of the 390,108 votes cast. General election: Finished third with 11.1% (199,034 votes) of the 1,787,730 votes cast. (See also Tom Tancredo, below.)
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY World-government conspiracy theorist
Maes interpreted a United Nations-sponsored program encouraging cities to promote bicycle riding as being part of a plot to undermine American sovereignty. “This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said, according to the Denver Post. “At first, I thought, ‘Gosh, public transportation, what’s wrong with that, and what’s wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? … But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI [the U.N.’s International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives] is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.” Denver is one of 600 American member cities of ICLEI, which promotes sustainable development.
Loy Mauch ELECTED
OFFICE SOUGHT Arkansas House of Representatives,
RESULTS Primary: Unopposed. General election: Won with 53.4% (4,041 votes) of the 7,561 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Neo-Confederate, white nationalist
Mauch is a member of the League of the South (LOS), a neo-Confederate organization formed in 1994 that advocates a second Southern secession and espouses bitter hostility toward the United States – an “alien occupier.” The LOS envisions a Christian theocratic state run by an “Anglo-Celtic” – that is, white – elite that would legally dominate both racial and religious minorities. In a 2008 interview, Mauch referred to the Confederate battle flag as “a symbol of Jesus Christ above all else. It’s a symbol of Biblical government.” (The LOS also describes the battle flag as the “antithesis” of the Stars and Stripes.) For seven years, Mauch also was a local unit “commander” with the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), stepping down in 2009. Over the last decade, the Southern heritage group has been wracked by a kind of internal civil war between moderates and racial extremists.
Ray McBerry Jr.
Ray McBerry Jr.
OFFICE SOUGHT Governor, Georgia
RESULTS Primary: Finished sixth in a field of seven, receiving 2.5% (17,171 votes) of the 680,499 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Neo-Confederate, white nationalist
McBerry is a former member of the Georgia chapter of the League of the South (see Loy Mauch, above), and served as its chair before resigning in October. “We believe in the League of the South that for the most part, the South is inherently more conservative and more Christian in our values and our political beliefs than much of the other parts of America. … [T]he South is the only part of America that is still American to any degree,” McBerry states in a video. He refuses to salute the American flag. The League of the South’s founder routinely attacks egalitarianism as a radical-left “Jacobin” doctrine and opposes interracial marriage; its essayists have defended legal segregation as a doctrine meant to ensure the racial integrity of both white and black Americans.
OFFICE SOUGHT U.S. House of Representatives, Indiana District 3
RESULTS Received 0.005% (10 votes) of the 185,049 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan, Christian Identity
A guttural racist, Metzger is a former California grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. In the mid-1980s, he founded White Aryan Resistance (WAR), one of the leading neo-Nazi groups of the period. In a 2002 interview, Metzger said, “My total concern is with the survival of the white European people in North America.” He is an ordained minister of Christian Identity theology, whose adherents typically believe that Jews are the literal “seed of Satan,” people of color are soulless “mud people,” and the Bible is the history of the white race. He promotes a particularly nasty version of anti-Semitism. “Jews are supreme masters of manipulation and deceit,” according to Metzger’s website. “They run and distort our foreign policy because lazy and corrupt non-Jew leaders had previously found them valuable as grifters.” Metzger’s 2010 race was a far cry from his earlier, more successful runs for public office. In 1980, he won the three-way Democratic primary for California’s 43rd Congressional District with 37.1% (33,071 votes) of the votes cast before going on to lose the general election with 13.4% (46,361 votes). In 1982, Metzger ran in an 11-way Democratic primary for Senate in California, coming in sixth with 2.8% (76,502 votes) of the votes cast.
Frazier Glenn Miller Jr.
OFFICE SOUGHT U.S. Senate, Missouri
RESULTS General election: Received 0.0004% (7 votes) of the 1,943,899
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY White supremacist, anti-Semitic
Miller promised that if elected, he would “work … to expose the jewish [sic] domination of the US government, the mass media, the federal reserve bank [sic], and the decadent American culture.” He has advocated incentive payments to white Americans to produce white children. Miller formerly headed the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which later morphed into the White Patriot Party. Miller went on the lam in 1986 after mailing a letter to 5,000 people calling for “total war” against the feds, blacks and Jews. Authorities finally tear-gassed him out of a mobile home in Ozark, Mo. Miller testified against 14 leading white supremacists in a 1988 Arkansas sedition trial and is still viewed as a “white race traitor” by many former allies, although he remains an active white supremacist. Miller had run in three earlier electoral campaigns. In 1984, he came in eighth in a 10-way Democratic primary race for North Carolina governor, receiving 0.61% (5,790 votes) of the votes cast. In 1986, he received 3.17% (6,662 votes) of the votes cast in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, coming in last in a field of three. And in 2006, Miller received 0.01% (23 votes) of the votes cast in his bid as an independent for Missouri’s 7th Congressional District, coming in last in a three-way race.
Ryan Joseph Murdough
OFFICE SOUGHT New Hampshire House of Representatives, District 8
PARTY Republican and American Third Position (A3P)
RESULTS Primary: Finished last among five candidates for three seats, securing 11.3% (296 votes) of the 2,623 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY White supremacist
Murdough is the New Hampshire state chairman of A3P (see also Harry Bertram, above), a white supremacist political party whose leader, William Daniel Johnson, advocates the deportation of all non-whites, even U.S. citizens, including anyone with any “ascertainable trace of Negro blood.” Another A3P leader, Kevin B. MacDonald, has claimed that Jews are genetically programmed to undermine Gentile societies. Murdough claims he isn’t a racist because he doesn’t hate people of other races. “I just don’t want to live around areas that are heavily, predominantly non-white,” he told the Concord Monitor. However, according to writer Mark Berman on the Opposing Views website, Murdough once tweeted, “In celebration of Black History month, I am going to recognize what they do best, commit crime, get AIDS/STD’s, blame whitey, cry racism.”
OFFICE SOUGHT Governor, California
RESULTS General election: Finished third, receiving 1.7% (166,308 votes) of the 10,095,185 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Patriot, anti-immigration, “birther,” conspiracy theorist
Nightingale was director of Save Our State, an anti-illegal immigration group in California, when she joined the Constitution Party in 2009. She espouses numerous right-wing conspiracy theories, including “chemtrails” and the claim that 9/11 was an “inside job.” In May, Nightingale conjured up several familiar demons of the radical right, saying, “[T]he Bilderbergs, George Soros, the cartels – they’re all working on the destruction of America with their open borders.” After the election, Nightingale became spokeswoman for the SoCal Patriot Coalition, whose founder is Jeff Schwilk, former leader of the San Diego Minutemen (SDMM). The SDMM was a border-patrol group so extreme that even the groups from which it cribbed its name – the Minuteman Project and the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps – wanted nothing to do with it. Schwilk’s SDMM members accosted and physically intimidated migrants and would-be day-labor employers.
OFFICE SOUGHT Lieutenant governor, Alaska
PARTY Alaskan Independence
RESULTS Withdrew before election.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Antigovernment “Patriot” militia, conspiracy theorist
Olson in the early 1990s founded the Michigan Militia, which was thrust into the national spotlight after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Olson told reporters then that conspirators Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh had attended a meeting but were not encouraged to return. Olson was booted out of the Michigan Militia after offering the bizarre theory that the Japanese government was behind the McVeigh bombing — a statement he later said he should have “fully corroborated.” By 2005, Olson had moved to Alaska, where he soon formed the Alaska Citizens Militia (ACM). The ACM lists 17 “acts of war” on its website, including “Mandatory medical anything” and “Involuntary involvement in anything.”
Rand Paul ELECTED
OFFICE SOUGHT U.S. Senate, Kentucky
PARTY Tea Party-backed Republican
RESULTS Primary: Won with 58.8% (206,986 votes) of the 352,275 votes cast. General election Won with 55.7% (755,411 votes) of the 1,356,468 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Right-wing libertarian
Paul rode Tea Party support to upset the Kentucky GOP’s preferred candidate. During the campaign, many of Paul’s unorthodox political beliefs came to light, including his assertion that private businesses shouldn’t have been compelled to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that barred discrimination. In a 2002 letter to the Bowling Green Daily News, Paul also criticized the Fair Housing Act, explaining that “a free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination, even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on skin color.” After winning the Republican primary and being subjected to national criticism, Paul issued a press release declaring “unequivocally” that he would not support any effort to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that he had criticized just days earlier. This January, Paul sent out a fundraising letter declaring that Hillary Clinton and the “global gun-grabbers” at the United Nations are trying “finally strip you and me of ALL our freedoms” by signing a treaty that would “almost certainly” force the U.S. to “CONFISCATE and DESTROY” all “unauthorized” civilian firearms. (In fact, the treaty being discussed has nothing to do with regulating guns in the U.S., something that would be impossible in any event under the Constitution.) Paul added that “the United Nations has been hell-bent on bringing the United States to its knees” since its founding in 1945. Last fall, he said he wanted to abolish the U.S. Department of Education so it couldn’t, for instance, mandate teaching kindergartners “that Susie has two mommies,” a reference to same-sex couples with children. On immigration, Paul wants to erect a physical or electronic fence along all U.S. land borders, complete with “satellite surveillance” and “helicopter stations,” and deploy “any unnecessary foreign units” of the American military to the border.
OFFICE SOUGHT Massachusetts House of Representatives, 6th Middlesex District
RESULTS General election: Finished last of three candidates, receiving 8.8% (1,226 votes) of the 14,009 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Anti-immigrant, Holocaust denier
Rizoli, along with his twin brother Joe, has used his public-access cable television show — "Illegal Immigration Chat" — to spout relentless and vicious attacks on the “criminaliens" who make up the Brazilian community of Framingham, Mass., which comprises about 20% of the town’s population. "Framingham has been turned into a Brazilian slave camp," Jim Rizoli told reporters in 2006. Rizoli, who run a nativist extremist group with his brother called Concerned Citizens and Friends of Illegal Immigration Law Enforcement, has also repeatedly suggested that the Holocaust did not occur or has been greatly exaggerated.
OFFICE SOUGHT Governor, Arkansas
PARTY Unspecified (ran as a write-in candidate)
RESULTS General election: Received 0.006% (49 votes) of the 781,381 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY White supremacist, neo-Nazi
After a long career with other neo-Nazi groups, Roper founded his own white supremacist White Revolution (WR) in 2002. Its mission statement: “We seek to secure the existence of our people and a future for our children by creating the opportunity for the establishment of a government which has only the interests of our group [white people] in mind.” In an E-mail to members of the neo-Nazi National Alliance (of which he was then deputy membership coordinator) immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Roper said, “The enemy of our enemy is, for now at least, our friends. …[A]nyone who is willing to drive a plane into a building to kill jews [sic] is alright [sic] by me. I wish our members had half as much testicular fortitude.” In a 2005 interview, Roper added: “Every non-White on the planet has to become extinct. We need to remove these minor-league amateur races out of the game, and refine the playoff brackets a bit, if you get my meaning. The whole world is ours, and the only part of the earth that non-Whites should inherit is however much it requires to cover them.”
James C. “Jim” Russell
OFFICE SOUGHT U.S. House of Representatives, New York District 18
RESULTS Primary: Unopposed. General election: Received 37.6% (70,413 votes) of the 187,364 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY White supremacist, anti-Semitic
Russell is on the editorial advisory board of The Occidental Quarterly, a white nationalist publication. He denounces interracial marriage and has written favorably of eugenics, the long-discredited pseudo-science of race breeding. In a 2001 article, Russell noted an “excellent inquiry” by Elmer Pendell: “In our own civilization we see a lessening of the struggle for survival. Welfare does away with natural selection. … Compassion, unfortunately, is the enemy of biological progress.” To this, Russell added, “While liberals and universalists constantly yammer about ‘bringing us all together,’ and how ‘diversity is our strength,’ it may be suggested that … culture in human societies … must establish a sense of group identity so that the individual knows whom to act altruistically toward and whom to mate with.” Russell quoted T.S. Eliot’s formula for the ideal society: “The population should be homogeneous. What is still more important is unity of religious background, and reasons of race and culture combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable.” The New York Republican Party withdrew its support of Russell after news organizations wrote about the article during his campaign.
Daniel B. Schruender
OFFICE SOUGHT Unified School District board, Rialto, Calif.
RESULTS General election: Finished last among six candidates for two open seats, receiving 9.6% (2,290 votes) of the 23,756 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Neo-Nazi
Schruender formerly headed the California chapter of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, which broke up into weak and small factions around the country after being financially crippled by a Southern Poverty Law Center lawsuit in 2000 and the 2004 death of founder Richard Butler. Schruender’s personal blog, “Sense and Sensibility” carries a sub-headline describing the site as “now affiliated with the American Nazi Party,” and Schruender describes himself there as an “official supporter” of the group. The blog is replete with swastikas, attacks on Jews, a reference to President Obama as “King Kongo Obongo,” and a photograph of Adolf Hitler — “our REAL commander,” as the shot is captioned. As media scrutiny increased during the campaign, Shruender complained, “The Jew media is really doing a hatchet job on me since they found out I’m running for school board and in Aryan Nations.”
OFFICE SOUGHT Tax assessor, Boundary County, Idaho
RESULTS General election: Received 19.6% (654 votes) of the 3,330 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Antigovernment militia
Stankiewicz serves as major of the 21st Battalion of the North Idaho Light Foot Militia. “We have our enemies,” he told the Bonners Ferry Herald in 2009. “China and Russia are both building up military and flexing their muscles.” His battalion, he said, is preparing for an economic collapse. “We don’t want this to happen, we hope it doesn’t happen, but we want to be prepared for it if it does,” he said, sounding themes familiar in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. “When the truck stops delivering food and people’s federal checks stop coming there could be rioting in cities.” The militia’s “standards” include not only repelling foreign aggression and invasions but also “encouraging and showing reason why all citizens should stand stoutly against socialism, fascism, communism, humanism and all forms of tyranny.” Stankiewicz has called President Obama a socialist.
OFFICE SOUGHT Governor, Colorado.
PARTY American Constitution
RESULTS General election: Finished second in a three-way race with 36.4% (651,232 votes) of the 1,787,730 votes cast. (See Dan Maes, above.)
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Anti-immigration, conspiracy theorist
Tancredo promotes a hard-line “deport ’em all” stance on immigration. As a congressman, he introduced bills to virtually choke off all immigration. In 2005, he declared – inaccurately – that federal prisons were overflowing with undocumented immigrants. “They’re coming here to kill you, and you, and me, and my grandchildren,” he said. In 2006, Tancredo addressed a crowd that included many members of the neo-Confederate League of the South (see Loy Mauch, above) from a podium draped in a Confederate battle flag and joined in the singing of “Dixie,” a favorite anthem of white supremacists. Tancredo in 2006 referred to Miami as a “Third World country.” In 2009, he called the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, a “Latino KKK without the hoods or the noose.”
James A. Traficant Jr.
OFFICE SOUGHT U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio District 17.
RESULTS General election: Received 16% (30,556 votes) of the 190,666 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Anti-Semitic, conspiracy theorist
Traficant served nine years in Congress before being convicted of bribery, racketeering and other charges and serving seven years in prison. He told Fox News: “I believe that Israel has a powerful stranglehold on the American government. … They control both members of the House and the Senate. They have us involved in wars in which we have little or no interest. … They [Jews] control much of the media, they control much of the commerce of the country, and … they own the Congress.” Traficant gave a lengthy interview to American Free Press, a newspaper founded and run by longtime racist, anti-Semite and Christian Identity adherent Willis Carto.
U.S. Rep. Steve King
U.S. Rep. Steve King REELECTED
OFFICE SOUGHT U.S. House of Representatives, Iowa District 5
RESULTS Primary: Unopposed. General election: Won with 63.9% (128,363 votes) of the 200,812 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Anti-immigrant, anti-gay
King has a long record of inflammatory and inaccurate statements about undocumented immigrants. In May 2006, he published the grossly exaggerated claim that undocumented immigrants killed an average of 25 Americans per day – either by murder or by illegal activities such as driving drunk. If true, that would be the equivalent of more than half of all homicides nationwide in most years. King has also warned that if marriage is not restricted to one man and one woman, children could be taken away and raised collectively in “warehouses.” King extolled Sen. Joseph McCarthy of 1950s communist-hunting infamy as a “hero for America.” For a time, King publicly questioned details of President Obama’s birth certificate, although he later backed away from extreme “birther” rhetoric.
Russell Pearce REELECTED
OFFICE SOUGHT Arizona Senate, District 18
RESULTS Primary: Unopposed. General election: Won with 56.6% (17,552 votes) of the 31,023 votes cast.
EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY Anti-immigrant
Pearce gained national prominence as the principal sponsor and nominal author of Arizona’s S.B. 1070, which makes it a state crime to be in this country as an undocumented immigrant. A federal judge enjoined parts of that bill, and the Obama administration has challenged its constitutionality. But numerous other state legislatures, caught up in anti-immigrant fever, have vowed to pursue similar laws. Pearce’s profile is spangled with associations with right-wing extremists, including neo-Nazi J.T. Ready, a former member of the National Socialist Movement. Pearce once endorsed Ready (and described him as “a true patriot”) when Ready ran for the Mesa City Council in 2006. A former deputy sheriff, Pearce also forwarded an anti-Semitic article from the neo-Nazi National Alliance to supporters in October 2005. When the matter became public, Pearce claimed he hadn’t fully read it.