Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke Touts a White Supremacist Endorsement

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When he’s not personally profiting from a Super PAC he said would help disabled veterans or outing the members of Navy SEAL Team Six who killed Osama bin Laden, former State Senator Ryan Zinke fills his days with a campaign for the US House that leaps from the farcical to unethical with incredible rapidity.

Today, he managed the rare trick of accomplishing both of those lofty standards, posting this image on his campaign’s Facebook page:

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A casual observer would conclude, given the absence of a name on those quotations, that they had come from the Flathead Beacon itself, perhaps in the form of an editorial endorsement.  Of course that’s simply not true. The quotes are from a two columns, one by Timothy Baldwin, a recent transplant to Montana and long-term crank from the enlightened state of Florida.

Just who is Zinke trumpeting an endorsement from? Someone who is part of a family the Southern Poverty Law Center has linked to the resurgence of the white supremacist movement in the Flathead:

Eighteen members of Baldwin’s extended family moved with him to Montana, most notably his son Timothy Baldwin, a writer and lawyer. The family has wasted no time in feathering a nest for what Baldwin has called a “gathering of eagles” — people opposed to oppressive “big-city liberalism and UN-sponsored globalism.”

The Baldwins established a new church, Liberty Fellowship, which meets every Sunday at Kalispell’s Red Lion Inn and claims to attract as many as 200 people every week, including Randy Weaver, a white supremacist who engaged in a famous standoff with federal authorities at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992.

The Baldwins’ move to Montana is part of a grand design to prepare the Northwest for an apocalyptic clash between “liberty-loving” Patriots and international agents of the New World Order. The idea of building a fortified home for “Christian Patriots” in the Northwest is known as “The American Redoubt,” a plan to strategically group people across five Western states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington) as a “defensive reaction” to threats to liberty and the Christian way of life.

So that’s Zinke’s big get: a anti-government kook who demonstrates with his own words just how absurd and antediluvian his views are.  And instead of distancing himself from someone anyone with decency would, Zinke’s touting this endorsement as “momentum” for his campaign.  Has he left no sense of decency?

In contrast, John Lewis, the likely Democratic candidate for the House has a slightly more impressive list of those who have endorsed him, including Governor Bullock and Senators Tester and Baucus.

Seems like an easy choice, “momentum” or no.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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