TEA Partier provides clue to one of Montana’s great mysteries: What kind of fringe activity has Gianforte actually bankrolled?
This week, evidence came to light that shows TEA Party state legislator Kerry White (R-Bozeman) is loud and proud in his support for the thugs involved in the Oregon armed standoff. White, on his Facebook page, called on Oregon Sheriffs to “stand up and protect those people at the refuge” by “asking the federal soldiers to stand down” (Presumably he means the FBI, although White’s use of the word soldier shows he may be hoping that this is a war.)
White’s Facebook page also speaks to one of the states great mysteries: just what kinds of activities is Greg Gianforte bankrolling, since the candidate refused to answer questions about this from the press. Thankfully, White clues us in – he says the fake environmental group PERC, which Gianforte supports financially (screenshot below) has apparently done a study showing how great it would be if the public land takeover these Oregon loons were fighting for were a reality.
White wrote on his Facebook page: “There are a few Sheriff’s that represent justice and the people like Sheriff Glen Palmer.” Palmer is a member of a bunch calling themselves the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). These guys believe that sheriffs are “the highest executive authority in a county and therefore constitutionally empowered to be able to keep federal agents out of the county”. This is a pretty fringe bunch. The organization draws much of its “philosophy” from the similar sovereign citizen and Posse Comitatus movements.
Just how far outside the mainstream are White’s views here? As Oregon Live reported, “[Sheriff Glen Palmer’s] endorsement of the militants’ demands stunned law enforcement officials.” It is stunning that White would also echo the militant’s anti-government demands and call for sheriff’s to rise up and block the FBI.
White isn’t the only supporter of this nonsense. Rep. Bill Harris took to White’s Facebook page to call for a revival of a “sheriff’s first” bill, which was introduced in 2011 and 2013– both of which went down like lead balloons after a fair amount of national mockery.