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    Former President Donald Trump had his successes and disappointments on Tuesday, May 17, when more GOP primaries were held. Some Trump-endorsed Republicans were victorious in their primaries, including Rep. Ted Budd in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race and Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race. And as of early Friday morning, May 20, Dr. Mehmet Oz, who Trump endorsed, had a razor-thin lead over hedge fund exec Dave McCormick in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race. But Trump ally Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina was voted out of office via a GOP congressional primary. And in Idaho, the former president suffered a major disappointment when Idaho Gov. Brad Little defeated Trump-backed challenger Janice McGeachin, Idaho’s far-right lieutenant governor, by 21%. One of McGeachin’s outspoken critics in Idaho is Jennifer Ellis, a rancher and conservative Republican who heads the political action committee Take Back Idaho. During an interview with Politico published on May 20, Ellis discussed her group’s activities. Ellis, Politico’s Ryan Lizza notes, founded Take Back Idaho in 2021 to “beat back the growing tide of...
    Justin Allen, left, and Jeff White of the Panhandle Patriots told an organizing session against 'inappropriate materials in our schools' that their event planned the same day as the annual Pride gathering in Coeur d'Alene was a chance to go 'head to head' in combating 'groomers.' Upon realizing that threatening a community gay pride event with a bunch of guns might not be the best look, officials with the far-right Idaho bikers club Panhandle Patriots are backing off somewhat, claiming that the two spokesmen who told an evangelical organizing event that they intended to “go head to head” with the annual Pride in the Park gathering in Coeur d’Alene on June 11 gave out “incorrect information.” Complaining that the media have misrepresented them, they’ve announced they’re changing the name of their event the same day from “Gun d’Alene” to “North Idaho Day of Prayer.” But their hateful rhetoric identifying the LGBTQ community as pedophilic “groomers” is still going full roar. "We're going to be going after the groomers," the group’s founder recently told his comrades. Their vice president, Justin Allen, recently...
    In deep red Idaho’s 2022 gubernatorial race, the outcome is likely to be: ultra-conservative, far-right or even more far-right. The incumbent, conservative Republican Gov. Brad Little, is getting a far-right primary challenge from Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin — who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and spoke virtually at the 2022 America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), which is organized by white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. But as far-right as McGeachin is, a candidate who is running as an independent — rancher and militia radical Ammon Bundy — is even more extreme. Journalist Sergio Olmos, in an article published by The Guardian on April 5, takes a look at some of the chaos Bundy is bringing to the race. Bundy, Olmos notes, recently “threatened a sitting Idaho judge” over a child custody case by “summoning his supporters to go to” the judge’s home. And Bundy, Olmos adds, was also “arrested on trespassing charges at a hospital in Idaho.” Bundy told his supporters, “I’m calling on you to put off whatever you’re doing tomorrow, and...
    A major hospital in Boise, Idaho locked down on Tuesday after a far-right activist encouraged people to protest the facility over a child protection case. Activist Ammon Bundy, who is running as an independent in Idaho's gubernatorial race, called for the protest over a case which involved one of his family friends, warning that if the child was not returned to the family after a Tuesday hearing, “patriot groups” would take action, The Associated Press reported.  “I’m not OK with any of this — to be honest with you if justice was to be served, we would go into the hospital, take that baby and we would give it back to their mother,” Bundy said, according to the AP. The 10-month-old child involved in the case had been temporarily removed from the custody of the family after officials said the baby was “suffering from severe malnourishment” and at risk of injury or death. The child's family also refused to allow police to conduct a welfare check after canceling a doctor's appointment, the AP added. As a result of Bundy’s urging, St. Luke’s Health System...
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A major Boise hospital went on lockdown Tuesday after far-right activist Ammon Bundy urged supporters to go the facility in protest of a child protection case involving one of his family friends. St. Luke’s Health System put the Boise Medical Center on lockdown and began diverting incoming patients at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. “Safety is our top priority,” the hospital said in a statement. “At this time, anyone in need of care should seek alternative health care providers and options. We ask that people please avoid the area near the Boise hospital until further notice.” Earlier in the day, Bundy released a threatening statement on YouTube warning that if an acquaintance’s young child was not returned to the family after a hearing Tuesday afternoon, that “Patriot groups” would take action. Bundy later released another video telling people that child protection workers were poised to move the baby from the hospital to a foster home, and telling them to show up at the facility immediately. The baby was temporarily removed from from...
    A far-right provocateur running to be Idaho’s next governor was arrested on Saturday morning on misdemeanor trespassing charges—just days before he is set to stand trial on similar charges. Ammon Bundy, the 46-year-old leader of the “People’s Rights” movement and an independent candidate, was arrested on several misdemeanor charges, including trespassing and resisting or obstructing officers, after allegedly refusing to leave an Idaho hospital on Friday night. The Meridian Police Department said Bundy failed to leave the St. Luke’s Meridian Medical center in relation to a child welfare case of a 10-month-old. In a statement posted on Twitter, Bundy said he was arrested outside of the Capitol “for the crime of disagreeing with the hospital and [child protective services].” It is not immediately clear if Bundy has any connection to the child or its parents. “Make no mistake about it, this was an ambush arrest with no legal grounds,” the gubernatorial candidate added, noting that he went to the hospital “in support of the Anderson family, whose baby Cyrus had been medically kidnapped earlier in the night due to a...
    Right-wing extremists planning terrorist acts are increasingly focusing on the nation's electrical infrastructure, particularly power substations, as a way to foment social chaos. The self-described “death squad” of neo-Nazi ex-Marines who had moved from the East Coast to Idaho had a plan: They would take their high-powered rifles to power substations around the region and target transformers in order to render the stations nonfunctional. They also planned to collect the makings for bombs, then use them to blow up other substations—all in order to “take down the entire regional or coastal power grid and cause chaos for the country.” The FBI, however, arrested them before they could carry it out. That incident, plus a number of others, convinced the Department of Homeland Security to issue an intelligence bulletin this week warning that far-right extremists are preparing to target the nation’s electrical infrastructure with the intent of “wreaking havoc.” The DHS bulletin also warns that extremists "adhering to a range of ideologies will likely continue to plot and encourage physical attacks against electrical infrastructure." The bulletin, first reported by Shannon Vavra...
    The term “secessionist” is often used in connection with far-right extremists who want to leave the United States altogether. But journalist Antonia Hitchens, in an article published by The Atlantic on December 23, takes a look at a different type of secessionist movement on the right: residents of rural parts of Oregon who want their areas to leave Oregon but remain in the U.S. and become part of neighboring Idaho. Politically, Oregon and Idaho are two very different states. Idaho is deeply Republican; former President Donald Trump won the state by 30% in 2020. But Oregon, on the other hand, is a state that hasn’t gone Republican in a presidential election since President Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory over Democrat Walter Mondale in 1984. Even the bluest states, however, have their red areas. And as Hitchens explains in her article, the Greater Idaho movement is comprised of people in rural parts of Oregon who identify with Idaho residents rather than liberals in Portland. One Greater Idaho activist in Eastern Oregon is Mike McCarter, who told The Atlantic, “We don’t care to...
    Boise Town Square shooter Jacob Bergquist posed for this photo as a promotion for his videos on social media. The man who opened fire at a mall in Boise, Idaho, on Monday, killing two people and injuring five others before being fatally wounded by police, was a far-right gun extremist who had expressed an animus towards Latinos and other minorities—and who not only carried a gun into the Idaho governor’s office, but also turned up armed at an April antifascist protest in Boise and menaced demonstrators, Daily Kos has learned. Jacob Bergquist, 27, was a convicted felon who had moved to Idaho a few years ago and had apparently developed an obsession with establishing his right to carry a firearm under Idaho law, a review of his social media posts indicates. He died Monday at a Boise hospital after being shot during the culmination of a shooting rampage inside Boise Towne Square, the state’s largest shopping mall. Bergquist shot and killed a security guard, Jo Acker, 26, of Caldwell, and a Latino man, Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, who lived in Rupert....
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A far-right group launched by anti-government activist Ammon Bundy is rapidly expanding nationwide and making inroads into Canada, according to a new report from the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. The quick growth happened despite legal problems faced by some prominent People’s Rights leaders, and continued even as some of the organization’s Facebook groups were removed from the social media platform. The organization has grown by roughly 53% in the past year in large part because of continued anti-public health sentiment, according to the report. People’s Rights started in deep-red Idaho, which remains one of the least-vaccinated states with only about 43% of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The group now includes activists in 38 states, according to the report. “I think the report underestimates their overall strength, because they’ve also built out alliances with a range of groups from the Tea Party to the Proud Boys and anti-vax groups,” said Chuck Tanner, IREHR’s research director. “In certain places they are...
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin wants to be the state’s governor after next year’s November elections. But when the man currently holding the job left town this week on official business, she decided not to wait. McGeachin, a far-right Republican known for her opposition to COVID-19 restrictions and association with anti-government figures, declared herself acting governor and tried to deploy National Guard troops to the Mexican border. She was rebuffed by the guard’s commanding general. She also tried to issue an order blocking vaccine requirements. Gov. Brad Little, a fellow Republican, repealed the order the next day, from Texas. While divisions within the Republican party – especially among those who look to former President Donald Trump for guidance – are common place everywhere, they are playing in high definition in one of the country’s most GOP-dominant states. The highly-publicized spat displayed how pitched – and to outsiders silly – the battle for control of the Republican Party has become in the Gem State. And now some prominent mainstream Republicans, worried the state’s hard-right...
    An executive order issued by Idaho's far-right lieutenant governor had been announced only minutes earlier when Gov. Brad Little said Tuesday night that he would rescind the directive aimed at banning vaccine mandates. Little's second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, announced Tuesday on social media that with Little out of the state for a meeting with Republican governors in Texas, she had the authority to prohibit all state facilities—including public schools—from requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination or mandatory testing. McGeachin, who has previously issued executive orders while Little was out-of-state, said on Twitter that she was "fixing" an order the governor issued earlier this year, which only covered non-educational facilities and didn't include a ban on testing requirements. Today, as Acting Governor, I fixed Gov. Little's Executive Order on "vaccine passports" to make sure that K-12 scho… https://t.co/PUK9OI0zFf — Janice McGeachin (@Janice McGeachin) 1633470180.0 "I have not authorized the Lt. Governor to act on my behalf," said Little in a statement shared on social media just four minutes after McGeachin's announcement. "I will be rescinding and reversing any actions taken by...
    Doug Traubel, a finalist for Ada County Sheriff, embraces the "constitutionalist" beliefs in the supremacy of the county sheriff as the law of the land. He was not appointed to the position. One of the clearest priorities for public officials that has emerged from the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection is the dire need to root far-right extremists out of the ranks of the nation’s law enforcement agencies—underscored by an FBI intelligence report warning that white supremacists are targeting such agencies for infiltration. More than anything, effectively confronting far-right terrorism and violence will require ensuring that law enforcement is not subverted by officers who sympathize with their frequently unhinged ideologies. But in Boise, Idaho, local county commissioners considered appointing as sheriff a man named Steve Traubel, who is an ardent supporter of the far-right Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), an organization that preaches that sheriffs are the supreme law of the land, accountable to no one. During his job interview this week as one of three finalists for the sheriff’s position, Traubel repeated the antisemitic theory that Jews “led the Bolshevik...
    Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin and other ultra-conservative lawmakers have a stated desire to end federal money coming to Idaho. The dream world for Idaho's ascendant far right is one where state lawmakers run a sovereign nation-state free of federal oversight. It would be a place where they can outlaw all abortions, dictate what is taught in schools, have complete say over public health rules and gun laws, and take control of federal public lands, which make up more than 60% of the state. And many believe they've never been closer to achieving their goals in what is already one of the most conservative states in the country. Mainstream Idaho Republicans, who have dominated the state for three decades and would be considered far right in many states, have themselves become targets, including protests at lawmakers' homes. They fear disinformation and intimidation is driving the changes in the rural Western state. "It's definitely conservatives who are battling against the farther right," said Jaclyn Kettler, a Boise State University political scientist. "Mainstream...
    Ammon Bundy, center, the far-right 'constitutionalist' who has led much of the resistance in Idaho to COVID-19-related restrictions, filed paperwork to run for Idaho governor. One of the consequences of the GOP’s sidelong embrace of its extremist elements—from the insurrection denialists and Big Lie gaslighters to the QAnon cultists like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert—is that far-right extremists are now perfectly comfortable identifying as Republicans. In some cases, they’re demanding the overthrow of the party’s establishment—which can’t seem to decide whether to fight back or just succumb willingly to the incoming far-right tide. Establishment Republicans in Western states are particularly under siege from extremist elements among their voting base. In Idaho, for instance, armed-standoff-guru-turned-pandemic-denialist Ammon Bundy filed paperwork to run for governor, in a race already featuring another leading state “Patriot” movement figure. In Nevada, an insurgent far-right group organized on social media and led by Proud Boys members are attempting an open hostile takeover of the Clark County GOP, the state’s largest county-level Republican organization. Bundy’s filing is rich in irony. For starters, he is currently banned from...
    Far-right extremist Ammon Bundy has entered the race to become governor of Idaho, even though he's banned from setting foot inside the state capitol.  The anti-government militiaman filed the initial paperwork Friday to run in the 2022 gubernatorial primary, according to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office.  Campaign documents reveal he will run as a Republican, pitting him against several other GOP candidates who have already entered the race including current Governor Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.  Bundy is best known for leading an armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge that left one man dead back in 2016.  He is currently awaiting trial in two trespassing cases, after he invaded the state Capitol last year to protest against COVID-19 restrictions put in place by Little.   Far-right extremist Ammon Bundy (pictured) has entered the race to become governor of Idaho, even though he's banned from setting foot inside the state capitol Campaign documents reveal he will run as a Republican, pitting him against several other GOP candidates who have already entered the race including current Governor Brad Little...
    By ANDREW SELSKY, Associated Press SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A far-right senator who's rebelled against coronavirus restrictions and said he supported protesters who stormed the Oregon Capitol has been elected chairman of the state Republican Party. State Sen. Dallas Heard’s rise comes days after one of Oregon’s most prominent Republicans, Knute Buehler, left the party in disgust. Buehler, who was the Republican candidate for governor in the 2018 election and the GOP nominee for a congressional seat last year, told reporters that he left the party because Donald Trump tried to overturn the presidential election and incited the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The final straw, Buehler said, came when the Oregon Republican Party said the violence at the U.S. Capitol was a “false flag effort” designed to discredit Trump, his supporters and all conservative Republicans. Heard did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his election as chairman of the Oregon GOP this past weekend. He has burnished a reputation as a conservative rebel and has railed against mask mandates, at one point standing on...
    SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A far-right senator who’s rebelled against coronavirus restrictions and said he supported protesters who stormed the Oregon Capitol has been elected chairman of the state Republican Party. State Sen. Dallas Heard’s rise comes days after one of Oregon’s most prominent Republicans, Knute Buehler, left the party in disgust. Buehler, who was the Republican candidate for governor in the 2018 election and the GOP nominee for a congressional seat last year, told reporters that he left the party because Donald Trump tried to overturn the presidential election and incited the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The final straw, Buehler said, came when the Oregon Republican Party said the violence at the U.S. Capitol was a “false flag effort” designed to discredit Trump, his supporters and all conservative Republicans. Heard did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his election as chairman of the Oregon GOP this past weekend. He has burnished a reputation as a conservative rebel and has railed against mask mandates, at one point standing on the Senate floor and...
    Ammon Bundy, the one-time leader of the 2016 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff, led a faction of supporters at the Idaho Statehouse to cheer on 15 legislators' denunciation of the "tyranny" of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. A cluster of far-right Idaho lawmakers—15 of them out of the 105 there are total—held a “special session” of their own this week in the Statehouse in Boise to decry Gov. Brad Little’s COVID-19 stay-at-home orders as “unconstitutional” and a prime example of “tyranny.” The session, however, had no effect other than to underscore their impotence. One Republican legislator described contact tracing as “the government taking babies away from their mamas.” Another claimed that health orders like Little’s were driving the nation to the brink of civil war. As they did so, a crowd of about 200 “Patriots”—including Ammon Bundy, organizer of the 2016 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff and one of the leaders of Idaho’s resistance to the orders—cheered them on from the gallery above. Many of them were armed. Idaho is currently experiencing a sharp increase in novel coronavirus infections, but none of the...
    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Matt Shea is giving up his seat in the Washington House of Representatives, but he hasn’t given up his dream of creating a 51st state out of the eastern half of the state. Shea spoke Saturday at a rally in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, that featured many prominent figures in the far-right “patriot” movement. The Spokesman-Review reports that Shea vowed to continue pushing for the creation of a 51st state called Liberty, separate from liberal Seattle and the rest of western Washington. TOP STORIES Four St. Louis police officers charged with beating undercover colleague Supreme Court rules LGBT employees can sue employer for discrimination Supreme Court declines to hear Trump challenge to California sanctuary law Shea says he wants to put on the issue on the ballot for this November in every county in eastern Washington. He also suggested that northern Idaho might be included in the new state. The Republican from Spokane Valley did not file for reelection this year after House Republican leaders ousted him from their caucus for his far-right activities. Shea spoke...
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