Don't Be April Fooled by Far-Right Activists Dressed Up as Democratic Candidates
jhutson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 03:55:38 PM EST
This is cross-posted from The Huffington Post. It expands and updates previous posts about the Neo-Confederate theocrats Michael Peroutka and Pastor David Whitney.

Maryland Tea Party activist and State Delegate Don Dwyer (R) is a well-known character who once enacted an Annapolis version of the Boston Tea Party - donning a tricorner hat and Colonial breeches to dump floating boxes labeled "tea" into the Annapolis harbor. He was once named Legislator of the Year by the far-right Gun Owners of America, headed by Larry Pratt.

Dwyer also floated an idea, Operation DINO (Democrats In Name Only), in March 2013, calling on Republican gun owners to become Democrats in order to vote out progressives in the 2014 Democratic primaries. And while he did not do the switcheroo he urged others to do, some of his political soulmates have switched parties and dressed up as Democratic candidates.

While the motives and possible level of coordination of these party-switching candidates is not yet clear, what we do know is that conservative Republicans in at least three states are quietly switching to the Democratic Party to run for offices from County Council to Congress.

This April Fool's Day is a good time to check any unfamiliar names on Democratic primary ballots to make sure that Trojan horse candidates don't sneak votes away from candidates who support real Democratic values.

Party Switchers Aim to Oust 'Hard Left Liberals' in Maryland

Dwyer explained his reason for launching Operation DINO:

"What we have been doing is NOT working. We are losing the war on our Inalienable Rights. Its [sic] time we fight back strategacally [sic] and quickly. I am considering changing my voter registration to Democrat in order that I may vote in the Democrat primary to VOTE OUT the hard left liberals who are hell bent on taking away our right to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS!!"

Whatever credibility Dwyer may have had, sank along with his 26-foot Baja boat when he was arrested in August 2012 for getting drunk at a bar and then crashing the boat, named "The Legislator," into another boat. The crash sent seven people to the hospital, including three children, one of whom was a 5-year-old girl with a skull fracture. A witness reported that "a couple of the kids asked if they were dying."

Nevertheless, Dwyer's passenger in the drunken boat crash -- Baltimore Police Officer John E. Moran IV, who has run unsuccessfully for Anne Arundel County Sheriff and for a seat on the county's Republican Central Committee -- has switched parties to run as a Democrat for state delegate.

Dwyer is a former Executive Director of the theocratic Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), founded by Michael Peroutka, the Constitution Party's 2004 presidential candidate. Peroutka became a Republican in February to run for Anne Arundel County Council and a seat on the county's Republican Central Committee.

Meanwhile, the IOTC's lead instructor, Pastor David Whitney, who once ran as a Constitution Party candidate against Democratic House Speaker Michael Busch, became a Democrat to run for County Council and a seat on the county's Democratic Central Committee.

These former Constitution Party leaders are clearly in cahoots, essentially running on a ticket to move both the Republican and Democratic parties to the right during the primary season. Some GOP leaders had considered drafting the wealthy Peroutka as their party's nominee for Maryland attorney general, before he backed out in favor of paying his dues and mending political fences by running for local office instead.

However, the party-switching does not appear to signal a change in political views. Peroutka and Whitney both remain active and influential in the League of the South, an organization that advocates for secession, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a Neo-Confederate hate group. Whitney has called for churches to arm their members and organize them into militias. He has preached that "Biblically justifiable homicide" might be necessary to save the lives of innocents, including, as he describes it, "millions of babies murdered" by abortion. Political Research Associates has the audiotape of him preaching on homicide.

As recently as February 2014, Whitney advocated that citizenship be restricted to Christians of the right sort. Dwyer has become "a theocrat in Democrat's clothing," according to Frederick Clarkson, author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy.

Two other Republicans have recently switched parties to run as Democrats in Anne Arundel County. Mark Chang, who served on the Republican Central Committee, is running for the House of Delegates, and Tom Angelis, who has lost a race as a Republican for County Executive, is now running as a Democrat for the House of Delegates. The Maryland Democratic primary is June 24.

Mississippi Tea Party Supporter Suits Up as Democrat to Run for U.S. Senate

Former police officer Bill Marcy said he was changing party labels, but not his beliefs, when he became a Democrat in January 2014 to run in the Party primary for the U.S. Senate. Marcy, who had previously been a Democrat, courted Tea Party voters when he became a Republican and ran unsuccessful Congressional campaigns in 2010 and 2012 against Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson.

Indeed, during his last failed campaign as a Republican, a Mississippi Tea Party leader lauded Marcy for support for the Tea Party movement:


"My interest in his campaign was particularly strong because of several reasons, not the least of which was that he was one of the earliest supporters of the Tea Party movement and he attended all of the early meetings of MeridianTeaParty.com. Bill and I had several conversations during the early days of the campaign that were frank and sometimes brutally honest. Bill's conservative beliefs run deep though contrary to many within his own family."

Marcy's 2012 Congressional campaign website boasted:

"Bill Marcy recently completed a candidate survey for The Central Mississippi Tea Party and got a rating of 100% for his answers." He affirmed, among other things, that he would "introduce and support legislation to stop funding Planned Parenthood."

Marcy will face former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, former gubernatorial candidate William Bond Compton, Jr., and newcomer candidate Jonathan Rawl in the Mississippi Democratic primary on June 3 with a run-off date on June 24.

Montana Tea Partiers and a Militia Member Run as Democrats

Montana's Cowgirl Blog and the Great Falls Tribune have exposed at least eight Tea Partiers in Montana who reregistered as Democrats to run for office in 2014. This includes three Congressional candidates, as well as campaigns for state and local offices.

Montana Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Director Lauren Caldwell said:

"It appears there's an organized effort to file tea party Republicans as Democrats. It is sort of dirty politics at its worst. The goal appears to be to deceive voters."

Self-described "Tea Party extremist" Mike Comstock is running as a Democrat for State Senate, although he won a Republican primary in 2010.

Three Gallatin County Tea Party compatriots - Henry Pennington, Dane Peeples, and Laura Springer - have stated they were changing parties but not their views. According to the Cowgirl Blog, Peeples is active in the militia group known as the "Irregulars". However, Pennington and Springer reportedly will not appear on the ballot since they missed the filing deadline for disclosing their addresses and phone numbers.

Springer told reporters that she was "between homes" and living in a motel, while Pennington was homeless and unable to afford a phone. Pennington, Peeples, and Springer had filed campaign paperwork with the Secretary of State using the same Bozeman address. The Secretary of State's website declares that the names of Pennington and Springer have been "removed" from the ballot.

Meanwhile, the six other Tea Party candidates move forward under the banner of the Democratic Party, even though they don't advance its values.

Former Sanders County Republican Central Committee Vice Chairman Gerald Joseph Cuvillier filed to run for a State House seat against Democrat Weylin Achatz. Cuvillier said he left the Republican Party because it wasn't conservative enough.

The Great Falls Tribune reports:

"I'm running as a conservative Democrat," Cuvillier said. "I believe we need to get back to our constitutional principles."

Cuvillier, who could not name a single plank in the Democratic Party platform he supports, said the Democratic Party is "too liberal."

In fact, Cuvillier said, the Republican Party has become too liberal for his tastes as well. Montana's Democratic primary is June 3.

Democratic voters will see some new names on their Democratic primary ballots this year. Some may be Tea Partiers in disguise, rather than party-switchers who've had an epiphany. So voters who want to avoid being April fooled in June and November - or whenever there is a party primary - need to research the backgrounds of unfamiliar candidates and their current stances on the issues -- to make sure that the candidates actually embody Democratic values.

Jonathan Hutson is Treasurer of Friends of Betsy Bury and of Democrats for 33. Bury is running against Pastor David Whitney, for a seat on the Democratic Central Committee in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Follow Jonathan (@JonHutson) on Twitter.




Display:

WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (7 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (8 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (7 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (4 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (5 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (7 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (6 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (5 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (4 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (3 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.