Tim and Chuck Baldwin are hosting a convention in Kalispell next Sunday in Kalispell to discuss their latest plan to fight the “tyranny” of the federal government.
They’re featuring former Montana conservative activist Rob Natelson who will discuss the Baldwins’ goal of nullifying federal laws. The Baldwins admittedly do not recognize the supremacy clause of the US Constitution. They say it is a tool of “socialist and nationalist ideologues” designed to bring “state annihilation.”
The nullification bill Tim Baldwin wrote for former TEA Party lawmaker Derek Skees was killed in the 2011 legislature, but now it looks like they’ve decided to try amend the idea into the U.S. constitution instead. The plan — getting two thirds of all state legislatures to ask Congress to call a convention on amendment, which would have to be approved by three fourths of all state legislatures. As Forbes magazine reports, this has never been successfully done and is “not a terribly realistic prospect.”
Rob Natelson is a natural pick for this bunch. He’s been described as “the top legal expert” for the TEA Party – a group which is known for espousing legal theory and beliefs that do not measure up to academic standards.
Tim Baldwin (who has run unsuccessfully for a legislature in 2012) and his father Chuck Baldwin have quite a reputation as well. They are featured in a Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, which focuses on the recent uptick in extremist activity in Kalispell and the Flathead. In the article “A Gathering of Eagles: Extremists Look to Montana” the SPLC details the activities of the various far-right movements and their leaders, including Chuck and Tim Baldwin.
Chuck Baldwin was heavily involved in the modern-day incarnation of the White Citizens’ Council that supported segregation and opposed the Civil Rights Movement. In a recent Flathead Beacon article, it was reported that Baldwin has written a column in which he expressed this view:
“The South was right in the War Between the States, and I am not a racist,” he wrote. “Neither do I believe that the leaders of the Old Confederacy were racists.”
Tim Baldwin took issue with the Southern Poverty Law Center report on the TEA Party blog PolyMontana, saying that he is not a racist:
“Some of my closest friends are of African descent. The same can be said of Chuck Baldwin.”
Chuck Baldwin spoke at the infamous Liberty Convention. The event included headliners several white-supremacist speakers including Red Beckman, Baldwin and a small handful of others. Red Beckman is guy whose name you have probably heard before. In addition to refusing to pay his taxes, Beckman believes that Jewish people are the literal children of Satan, and people of color are sub-human “mud people.”
The same conference sparked FBI investigation into a plot to kill Alaska state troopers, because it featured speakers court documents show were involved in the plot. Media Matters reported on the Montana angle of the story of Schaefer Cox, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder (among other things). Cox was a featured speaker at the Liberty Convention, where he bragged in front of the audience about commanding a 3,500 strong armed militia and creating a new court system to supplant federal courts.