Council of Conservative Citizens, is tied to … – POLITICO

Dylann Roof mentioned Earl Holt, the leader of a white supremacist group, in his alleged manifesto.

By Nick Gass

06/22/15 07:43 AM EDT

Updated 06/23/15 02:26 PM EDT

The leader of a white supremacist group mentioned by Dylann Roof in his alleged manifesto has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns in recent years.

Earl Holt, president of the St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens, has given to prominent 2016 candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum over the years, among others, while provocative statements in his name have been posted online, including on the conservative news site TheBlaze, under the user name Earl P. Holt III.

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Jared Taylor, a former director of the CofCC, told The Guardian, which first reported the donations, that if theres a statement that is Earl P. Holt III, he probably made it.

If you think you can educate them, or embarrass them, or reason with them, or that your Christian compassion will be reciprocated, then you are the kind of person who will be completely baffled when they kill you, rape your entire family, and burn your house to the ground, Earl P. Holt III wrote in a comment last year.

According to one account of a witness report, Roof said before opening fire, You rape our women and youre taking over our country. Roof stands charged with the murders of nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last Wednesday night.

Another comment from Holt in 2011 referred to black people as the laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in the history of the world.

The author of the manifesto on LastRhodesian.com, widely reported to be Roof, wrote that the CofCC website informed him about brutal black on white murders after the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin in 2012.

In a statement posted on the groups website on Sunday, Holt said it was not surprising Roof credits the site for his knowledge of black-on-white violent crime.

The CofCC website exists because media either spike such stories, or intentionally obscure the race of black offenders, Indeed, at its national convention some years ago, the Society of Professional Journalists adopted this tactic as a formal policy, Holt wrote. He added that the CofCC does not advocate illegal activities of any kind, and never has.

I would gladly compare the honesty and law-abiding nature of our membership against that of any other group, Holt added.

Since 2012, Holt has given $8,500 to Cruz and his political action committee, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Cruzs campaign responded to both The Guardian and The New York Times, saying that it will be refunding any contributions.

Upon review, we discovered that Mr. Holt did make a contribution. We will be immediately refunding the donation, Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler told The Guardian. A spokesman for Santorum told the paper that the former senator does not condone or respect racist or hateful comments of any kind. Period.

Holt also contributed $1,750 to Pauls PAC, as well as $2,000 to Mitt Romneys 2012 presidential campaign.

Pauls campaign told POLITICO on Monday that it would be donating the RandPAC money to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.

Holt has also given to several GOP congressional campaigns for current or former lawmakers, including Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio and Jeff Flake of Arizona; former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, and former presidential candidate and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Spokespeople for Tillis and Flake said both senators would be donating the money to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, as well.

On Monday, Cotton said he was planning to return the money.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks groups like CofCC, said that the donations are only the tip of the iceberg.

SPLC President Richard Cohen told POLITICO that Far more damning than Earl Holts campaign contributions to Republican candidates is the long history of support the GOP has given to the group he leads, the Council of Conservative Citizens. The partys ties to the white supremacist group run long and deep. Dozens of Southern politicians people like Trent Lott and Haley Barbour have cozied up to the group, giving the [CofCC] a legitimacy it doesnt deserve.

We have initiated a refund of Mr. Holts contribution. I do not agree with his hateful beliefs and language and believe they are hurtful to our country, Cotton said in a statement.

POLITICO also found Monday that Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) received a $500 donation in 2014 in the name of Richard B. Spencer, the head of the Montana-based National Policy Institute, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In response to this story, Spencer said he did not make the donation.

I would never support a Republican, especially not Zinke, Spencer wrote in an email to POLITICO. I know it sounds far-fetched, but I think someone might be trying to smear Zinke by connecting him to me. I have no other explanation.

The FEC filing reviewed by POLITICO, from September 2014, contains the same Montana address as a property owned by Spencers group.

Zinkes office said that it was not aware of the donation, but upon learning of its source said that the congressman would also be donating the money to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.

Daniel Strauss contributed to this report.

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Council of Conservative Citizens, is tied to … – POLITICO

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