The Charleston Shooting: Six Degrees of Earl Holt

UPDATE: One hour and twenty minutes after this post went up, 9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman reports:

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) will part with money he received from the leader of a white supremacist group which appears to have inspired the shooter who killed 9 people in an attack on an historically black church in South Carolina.

We’re happy to have brought this to his attention five years after the fact.


Earl Holt.

Earl Holt.

Politico’s Nick Gass has a story today that, it’s safe to say, a number of Republican candidates for President don’t want you to read–but you probably should:

The leader of a white supremacist group mentioned by Dylann Roof in his alleged manifesto has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns in recent years.

Earl Holt, president of the St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens, has given to prominent 2016 candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum over the years, among others, while provocative statements in his name were posted online over the years, including on the conservative news site The Blaze, under the user name Earl P Holt III…

“If you think you can educate them, or embarrass them, or reason with them, or that your Christian compassion will be reciprocated, then you are the kind of person who will be completely baffled when they kill you, rape your entire family, and burn your house to the ground,” Earl P. Holt III wrote in a comment last year.

According to one account of a witness’ report, Roof said before opening fire, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.” Roof stands charged with the murders of nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last Wednesday night.

According to this story, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz intends to return his donation from the Council of Conservative Citizens’ Earl Holt, as does Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Rick Santorum’s quote doesn’t expressly say he’s returning the money, but we’d be surprised if he didn’t at this point. With South Carolina Republicans (and even Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado) calling for the Confederate flag’s removal from the state capitol grounds in the wake of last week’s shootings, to not return these severely tainted moneys would be politically suicidal.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

The local connection: a quick search of donations also reveals a donation from the same Earl Holt to–you guessed it–Ken Buck’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2010! We haven’t found any other donations from Holt to Colorado candidates, but we can’t call ourselves surprised that Holt took a shine to Buck’s unrepentant far-right Senate campaign. Heck, now that we know Buck can’t tell the difference between “Hispanic” and Native American students, he seems even more up Holt’s alley! We’d assume that the present controversy following last week’s tragic shooting would motivate even Buck to return Holt’s donation.

Then again, it is Ken Buck we’re talking about. So maybe he keeps it in, you know, Freedom’s™ name.

39 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    After all, every time Buck sees our black president he "loses his appetite." They're kindred spirits.

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    You mean Earl Holt didn't even donate to former state Rep Jim Welker who had a newsletter with the racially offensive stuff in it?

  3. mamajama55 says:

    Good that he returned the $. It's little enough to do. I'd like Buck to make some kind of statement.

    A quick check revealed that he made no statement at all about the Charleston tragedy.

    Not on Twitter.

    Not on his official, nor on his personal Facebook pages. Not on his Congressional site. Not everyone uses social media, but Buck has staff who are supposedly media-savvy, and he certainly has publicized all of his pro-gun legislation and other legislative blockading and posturing on his official and social media sites.

    Guess the murder of nine black people in Charleston by a young white gunhead was just not significant enough to comment about. Or, it might look awkward next to all the bragging about how he's making guns more available for felons and mentally ill people.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:


      A little prejudiced aren't you?

      His twitter on June 18:

      Prayers for the victims & their families of the #Charleston shooting & Godspeed to the cops in search for that evil man.

      #Prayers for Charleston.


      • mamajama55 says:

        Yes, I overlooked that.  He did have it on his Congressman Ken Buck feed. I had looked on his personal twitter feed. Prejudiced? You bet. Give me a reason not to be.

        I just studied his voting record, and found very little to be encouraged about. Mostly "No" votes on anything I care about.

        Why would his "Let's re-arm the felons" legislation make me more hopeful about the next racist "evil man" who thinks all black people (Muslims, Gays, Unitarians, Abortion Doctors, whatever the right wing bugaboo of the day is) need to die?

        What is Ken Buck doing to head off the next Charleston shooting? Seems to me he's just making sure that all of the crazy people are well armed.

        • Andrew Carnegie says:

          What is anyone doing to head off the next Charleston shooting?

          What legislation is being proposed that would have stopped Roof from buying a gun?

          Why pass a new law if all it does is make gun haters feel good?

          What is your solution?

          • alcat says:

            How about we ban assault rifles and handguns?  What purpose do either serve other than to kill people?  (yes, sometimes in self defense, but a rifle or shotgun is probably more effective for that)


          • Davie says:

            Ah yes, AC, apologist for the ammosexuals, with his classic defense, "It's hopeless, there's no use in trying, we might as well just sell guns to everyone forever, because you know, that's the best solution anyway".

            Because, you know, gun violence is so much worse everywhere else right?




          • mamajama55 says:

            Nice deflection, AC, but I did ask about what Ken Buck was doing to head off the next Charleston shooting. As his de facto spokesman here,  please do tell what Mr. Buck's plan is to prevent the next mass murderer.

            Or, if you prefer, address what Mr. Buck will do to lessen race hatred and misinformation ("They're all taking over and gonna rape our women") among gullible young men like Dylan Roof.

            Or, just say that you don't know, have no clue, and Mr. Buck has no plan and doesn't really care that much.  That's what we'll assume if you ignore this.


            • Andrew Carnegie says:

              Speaking of deflections, MJ, what is your plan that would have stopped Roof from buying a gun?

              Alcat suggest something that would need a Constitutional Ammendment, which we all know ain't happpening.  

              What do you suggest?

              A heart transplant for people without one?

              Prohibiting groups of people who have hateful thoughts from gathering? (There goes the DNC meetup.)

              I guess there is no fool-proof solution for bad people doing bad things, is there?

              • Duke Cox says:

                “I guess there is no fool-proof solution for bad people doing bad things, is there?”

                You mean like you posting here?

              • mamajama55 says:

                I kind of like Samuel Jackson's take on it.Paraphrasing, Jackson  said, "It's not about more gun control – it's about people who haven't been taught the value of human life."

                Specifically, black lives. Roof was never taught that black people are human beings. The hateful spin of right wing radio – Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, and the specifically racist sites Roof visited – all emphasized that African Americans were subhuman, and further, that they were taking what little Roof had.

                What I would want to see from Ken Buck (yes, I'm still on that topic) and other right wing conservatives is some honesty about the racism they condone and encourage every day.

                For example, Klingenschmitt's latest show is an interview with some of the provocateurs who went to a mosque, stood outside with provocative anti-Muslim T shirts, armed with guns, and tried to provoke a fight.

                Why did they do this? Because people like Ken Buck and Tom Tancredo and Gordon Klingenschmitt have promoted this idea that Islam is a fake religion and that all Muslims are terrorists, that true patriots must hate them. Not really all that different than what Hitler propagandized to Germans people about the Jews.

                I would want to see the deliberate promulgation of racist violence stop. And no, it wouldn't be foolproof. And yes, I would still want gun control laws, even though they wouldn't have stopped Roof's father from giving him a gun.

                • Andrew Carnegie says:

                  MJ, now you are making stuff up about Buck and Islam?

                  Ken Buck has promoted the idea the Islam is a fake religion?

                  I think the fake religion is yours.  The belief that those that disagree with you are racists or bigots or act based on malevolence.  They just disagree with you.  You are not right.  They are not wrong.  Accepting that may give you peace of mind.


              • Roof didn't buy a gun. But he was under indictment when his father straw purchased a gun for him – and that is illegal under Federal gun laws (and would be illegal under Colorado state law). So Step 1 is prosecuting the father for the straw purchase.

                Step 2 in my mind has to be a more public denunciation of various cultures of hate. As an example, lets take the 2009 DOJ report on right-wing domestic terrorism and the Republican reaction to it. Republicans rushed to denounce it in the strongest terms and demanded its retraction, despite its origins in law enforcement reports. Why? Because that's part of the party base…

                Twice as many law enforcement agencies believe that right-wing terror is a larger and more deadly threat than Islamic terror. In the decade following 9/11, Islamist terrorists planned an average of 6 attacks per year, with 20 successful attacks in a decade resulting in 50 deaths. Yet right-wing terrorists averaged 334 attacks per year, resulting in 254 deaths. [Source: US Military Academy Combating Terrorism Center report, 2012]

                We have to stand up and say "enough is enough". We have to go after the Cliven Bundys who flaunt Federal law with armed resistance. We have to, as a nation, step up and denounce in the strongest terms when willfully deceptive operatives try to insinuate that our nation's first black President was born in Kenya, doesn't share "American values", holds picnics with fried chicken and watermelons, or is "Rapper-in-Chief" all for the dog-whistle value to GOP constituents. We need to retire judges like the one initially assigned to the Dylan Roof case who sympathize with racism, as well as religious zealots who cannot effectively perform their duties because of their religious prejudices; let them find jobs that do not offend their sense of morality or bigotry. We need to admit that some school textbooks did (and I believe some still do) taught flawed values; we need to say it publicly and loudly, and it needs to come from the mouths of the politicians who helped to keep those books in use.

                We have to admit that the Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery – of a rebellion against the order of the country, and of the rebellion against Civil Rights that came 100 years later. It doesn't represent Southern pride – it represents continued belief that the South was right to fight against black equality. How many British flags do we see flying over the graves of those who fought as Tories during the Revolution? Let's find some way to honor the Confederate dead that doesn't conjure what it was that they fought for, only that they fought for what they thought was right (or necessary) at the time.

                • Andrew Carnegie says:

                  PR,  Roof bought the gun.

                  The early story was it was given to him as a birthday present.  The later story was he was given money for his birthday and he bought the gun.

                  • Then someone didn't put his name in to the background check system as they should have – probably because some South Carolina "pro-gun" law limits what the state adds to the national database. But last I heard, his uncle still said that his father bought it.

                  • Okay – reading up on what I assume is a newer story that doesn't come from the uncle. Roof's gun purchase was, according to the article, legal; he only faced a misdemeanor for his drug charge.

                    • Which, of course, brings us back to my Step 2 – let's start countering the hate and driving it away. You'd think we could spend a few dollars on it even – the moreso as nationwide law enforcement considers right-wing terrorism to be a greater threat than Islamic terrorism.

              • Davie says:

                AC — There you go again with the silly "We can't prevent all gun violence, so it's pointless to try to prevent any gun violence" nonsensical argument.

                A good place to start is to follow the tried and true "sin tax" approach.  Place a significant graduated tax on ammunition, accessories, and guns based on caliber, capacity or killing power, just as we have done with another lethal product responsible for thousands of deaths annually — cigarettes.

                And repeal "get out of jail free" legislation that insulates gun manufacturers from civil suits and criminal charges.

                Cigarette use has plummeted over the last several decades saving literally millions of lives and billions in dollars.

                The potential for saving lives and avoiding billions of dollars in losses if we simply applied the same tactic on guns would be equally effective.

                AC, you can shut your eyes, plug your ears and sing "lalalalalalala" all you want, but that is the solution you refuse to accept.

  4. Anyone here hoping that Dyan Roof is getting an extensive news feed while he awaits trial? SC talking of taking down the Confederate Battle Flag, politicians distancing themselves from racists, Walmart won't sell the stars and bars any more…

  5. doremi says:

    Since we're having so much discussion about Ken Buck, I would like to remind you that Rep. Buck is so into people being armed, that he endeavors to rearm felons (got amendment to house approp bill to that effect).  Check out this op-ed to see why this gun-lobby ass-kissing is so very bad for all the rest of us:

  6. DaftPunk says:

    All well and good.  How many white supremacists' whose followers have yet to kill a church full of black folk donations sit in their campaign coffers unmolested?

  7. slavdude says:

    Yeah, if Buck wants to restore felons’ rights to purchase firearms, how does he feel about restoring their other rights, such as the right to vote?

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