Top Texas Republicans Split Angrily Over Big Donor's Ties To Neo-Nazi Fuentes

Dan Patrick

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is expressing anger and outrage after his state’s Speaker of the House, a fellow Republican, issued a statement denouncing an influential far-right activist, donor and Super PAC head, saying, “The Republican Party is no place for Hitler apologists.”

Speaker Dade Phelan on Monday demanded the Lt. Governor give away $3 million in donations he received from Defend Texas Liberty PAC, whose President, Jonathan Stickland, he says, “fraternized for six hours with a notorious, anti-Semitic, nazi sympathizer who denies the existence of the Holocaust.” Stickland is the Republican former Texas state representative who reportedly said in 2008, “Rape is non existent in marriage, take what you want my friend!” and has called vaccines “sorcery.”

Phelan was referring to “notorious white supremacist and antisemite Nick Fuentes,” writes Mark Pitcavage, a Senior Research Fellow at the ADL Center on Extremism.

“At a time when we are witnessing heinous attacks on our Israeli allies by Hamas terrorists – the most egregious assault on Jewish lives since the Holocaust – Jonathan Stickland, the President of Defend Texas Liberty PAC, fraternized for six hours with a notorious, anti-Semitic, nazi sympathizer who denies the existence of the Holocaust,” wrote Phelan, citing a Texas Tribune report from Sunday.

“This not just a casual misstep. It’s indicative of the moral, political rot that has been festering in a certain segment of our party for far too long. Anti-Semitism, bigotry and Hitler apologists should find no sanctuary in the Republican party. Period. We cannot – and must not – tolerate the tacit endorsement of such vile ideologies.”

Phelan continued, saying, “I call upon any elected official who has accepted political donations from Defend Texas Liberty PAC, or any of its affiliate organizations, to immediately redirect every single cent of those contributions to a charitable organization of his or her choice.”

“Furthermore, I call upon elected officials and candidates to state unequivocally that they will not accept further contributions, including in-kind contributions, from the Defend Texas Liberty PAC. Recently, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick took $3 million from this organization. I expect him to lead the way in redirecting these funds.”

“Additionally, the Republican Party of Texas has received $132,500 during this election cycle from the Defend Texas Liberty PAC. As of their last report, RPT had just under $50,000 on hand. I call upon Chairman Matt Rinaldi to direct the party to donate these Defend Texas Liberty funds to charity. And if doing so would take the party into the red, I would be happy to provide a short-term loan until Chairman Rinaldi can replace the money with other donations.”

“There is no excuse to keep tainted funds from an organization that provides a platform for hatemongers, sexual predators, racists and nazi sympathizers.”

The Texas Tribune report noted that it had “observed Texas GOP chair Matt Rinaldi outside the building, but he denied meeting Fuentes and denounced him.”

Just a few hours after Phelan’s statement, Lt. Gov. Patrick demanded the Speaker resign.

“I didn’t think even Dade Phelan would stoop this low,” Patrick in a statement, Austin, Texas’ KDFM reports. “He has now absolutely hit rock bottom. His latest political stunt is disgusting, despicable, and disingenuous. With nearly 1,000 dead and over a hundred kidnapped, anyone who would use the war in Israel for their own political purposes is revolting, repulsive, and repugnant. Nick Fuentes and his anti-Semitic rhetoric have no place in the United States. Those who spew such vile, loathsome, abominations will have to answer for it.”

“For anyone to try to use these invectives for their own political gain is below contempt,” Patrick aded. “I am calling on Dade Phelan to resign his position before the House gavels in this afternoon. There is no place in Texas political discourse for any elected official to use the atrocities in Israel for their own political gain. That’s what Dade Phelan is doing. At this point, he’s simply got to go.”

KDFM adds that “Patrick’s denunciation of Fuentes comes after Fuentes met with Defend Texas Liberty PAC leadership, from whom Patrick accepted $3 million.”

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet


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