A group called “Defend Rural America” (Trademarked!) is working to get rural counties to secede from states to form their own new states. They’ve organized a meeting of right-wing county officials in Montana this month to “discuss implementation of these ideas” here in Montana.
Defend Rural America has convened and worked with California secessionists to establish the future state of Jefferson. (You can watch a video of the California secessionists gathering here.) The LA Times has an interesting story on Jefferson here. Plans for a “Western Maryland” and “Northern Colorado” are also in the works.
Besides secession, this bunch has some other crackpot beliefs. They say the Endangered Species Act “is used to destroy more of our rights, lands, and resources that any weapons of mass destruction an external enemy could deliver.” Yes, more than a barrage of nuclear bombs, apparently.
They offer–for a small price–valuable pamphlets that explain “the war that is taking place for control of the world between representative governments, on the one hand, and a handful of international banking families on the other.” The group also advises states to “re-established their sovereignty and liberate themselves from ‘the bondage of a (federal) territorial system.’”
You can see the flyer for this eminent gathering in Kalispell here. County commissioners from Flathead, Ravalli (of course), Mineral, Madison, and Sweetgrass–and a few other elected officials are on the agenda. To be sure, the list of participants reads like a who’s who of TEA Party, Oathkeepers, ATP, and militia-affiliated types.
Jennifer Fielder, the vice-Chair of the Republican Party who has ties to the Militia of Montana, is on the agenda, as well as GOP state legislator Nancy Ballance (R-TEA Ravalli County). Also on the agenda is Dan Happel, the Madison County Commissioner who is featured on the Oathkeepers website for his expertise in Agenda 21 UN conspiracy theories.
Sweeetgrass County Commissioner Bob Faw, subject of campaign finance complaints and ATP board member, is slated to be on the program. So is Sheriff Tom Rummel, who made headlines when he urged sheriffs across the country against enforcing federal laws. Rummell went on to write that sheriffs should consider actually blocking federal law enforcement officers from enforcing the law either and militia group claim him as a sympathizer. Mineral County Commissioner Laurie Johnston will be there too.
I hope someone goes to this meeting with a video camera. Until then, the main question I have is what the new state (made up of Ravalli, Flathead, Madison, Mineral and Sweetgrass) should be called.