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September 30, 2014 0

Deceased Congressman Had Ties to Anti-Semitic, Anti-Government Groups

james-traficant-freedom-palooza (1)

James Traf­i­cant at Free­dom Palooza 2011. Source: Amer­i­can Third Party

Obit­u­ar­ies about for­mer Ohio Con­gress­man James Traf­i­cant, who died on Sep­tem­ber 27 from injuries sus­tained in an acci­dent on his farm near Youngstown, detail his life. How­ever, nearly all failed to men­tion that in the past five years Traf­i­cant was a promi­nent and active fig­ure on the extreme right, appeal­ing both to anti-government extrem­ists of the “Patriot” move­ment as well as to white suprema­cists and anti-Semites.

The obit­u­ar­ies did, how­ever, allude to Traficant’s past crim­i­nal activ­i­ties that cul­mi­nated in a 2002 con­vic­tion on charges of rack­e­teer­ing, bribery, tax eva­sion and obstruc­tion of jus­tice.  Traf­i­cant received an 8-year prison sen­tence and became one of the few rep­re­sen­ta­tives ever expelled from Congress.

Accord­ing to one obit­u­ary, after his release from prison, Traf­i­cant “lived a quiet life on his farm.”  In real­ity, how­ever, he was far from quiet. He was a reg­u­lar colum­nist for the Amer­i­can Free Press (AFP), a conspiracy-oriented anti-Semitic news­pa­per, attended extrem­ist events, and expressed anti-Semitic views. Traficant’s alliance with the extreme right began years earlier.

Traf­i­cant was a Demo­c­rat but by the 1990s had become pop­u­lar among the extreme right.   His strong sup­port of Nazi war crim­i­nal John Dem­jan­juk drew the approval of white suprema­cists and anti-Semites.  Later, dur­ing his trial, Traf­i­cant sought to remove Jew­ish jurors, say­ing that “I have con­cern about cer­tain polit­i­cal and reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions who have tar­geted me.”

Anti-government extrem­ists liked his grow­ing anti-government rhetoric, par­tic­u­larly in the late 1990s as his own crim­i­nal trou­bles inten­si­fied.  Traf­i­cant repeat­edly invoked the stand­offs at Ruby Ridge and Waco, called Attor­ney Gen­eral Janet Reno a “trai­tor,” attacked the Fed­eral Reserve, and stated that “we have a fed­eral gov­ern­ment that Amer­i­cans fear.”

Dur­ing his trial and impris­on­ment, white suprema­cists such as David Duke spoke out on his behalf and urged peo­ple to send him money.  In par­tic­u­lar, Traf­i­cant devel­oped a close rela­tion­ship with AFP, pub­lished by Willis Carto, one of the lead­ing Amer­i­can anti-Semites.  AFP vocally sup­ported Traf­i­cant, while one of its writ­ers even wrote a book about the for­mer Congressman.

After Traficant’s 2009 release, the rela­tion­ship became closer.  AFP announced an “appre­ci­a­tion din­ner” for him, while Traf­i­cant even became a colum­nist for the anti-Semitic publication—which he con­tin­ued until his death.  In his columns, as well as else­where, Traf­i­cant railed against Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions like the American-Israeli Pub­lic Affairs Com­mit­tee and accused Israel of con­trol­ling the Amer­i­can media, the Amer­i­can econ­omy, and both houses of Con­gress.  Traf­i­cant appeared as a speaker at AFP events, some of which were orga­nized around him, such as a 2010 “Town Hall” with Traf­i­cant in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Dur­ing these years, Traf­i­cant also spoke at other extrem­ist events.  He spoke sev­eral times at “Free­dom Palooza,” an annual event in east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia run by Paul Topete, a long time anti-government extrem­ist and anti-Semite, which attracted anti-government extrem­ists and white suprema­cists.  At one such event, accord­ing to a white suprema­cist who attended, Traf­i­cant allegedly dis­cussed the “Jew­ish dom­i­nance of the press, money sup­ply, New York and Hol­ly­wood.”  Traf­i­cant also spoke at events such as Con­spir­acy Con and the Free­dom Law School, the lat­ter a group asso­ci­ated with the anti-government extrem­ist tax protest movement.

Shortly before his death, Traf­i­cant and AFP had begun a new joint ven­ture, “Project Free­dom USA,” intended to be an effort by “grass­roots patriots…to end the finan­cial tyranny that is stran­gling our nation.”  Among other things, the project intended to abol­ish the Fed­eral Reserve and “our com­mu­nist, pro­gres­sive income tax.”

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June 19, 2013 30

Anti-Semites And Extremists To Host “Freedompalooza 2013” On July 4th Weekend

White suprema­cists, anti-Semites, anti-government extrem­ists and con­spir­acy the­o­rists are among speak­ers sched­uled to appear at “Free­dom­palooza 2013,” orga­nized by Paul Topete, lead singer of the band Pok­er­face and an anti-Semite and anti-government extrem­ist.   It is the third time Topete has orga­nized such an event in Penn­syl­va­nia, but he allegedly has plans to orga­nize future events in other regions of the country.freedom-palooza-2013

Free­dom­palooza will take place from July 4–6, 2013, in Bucks County in east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia.  Although a local restau­rant is pro­vid­ing the prop­erty and sell­ing food at the event, the pri­mary spon­sor (and  pro­moter) of the event is the Amer­i­can Free Press, the anti-Semitic and conspiracy-oriented news­pa­per pub­lished by long-time white suprema­cist Willis Carto.

Topete has lined up a long list of bands and speak­ers, many of the lat­ter com­ing from extrem­ist and fringe move­ments and causes.  One theme that unites many speak­ers is vir­u­lent anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sen­ti­ment.  Two of the more promi­nent speak­ers, for exam­ple, are for­mer mem­bers of Con­gress:  Cyn­thia McK­in­ney and James Traf­i­cant.  McK­in­ney  is a long-time anti-Israel activist who has sup­ported anti-Semitic groups such as the Nation of Islam and the New Black Pan­ther Party, while Traf­i­cant, since his release from prison on fed­eral rack­e­teer­ing and bribery con­vic­tions, has joined the Amer­i­can Free Press, in whose pages he has expressed his own anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views.  Another sched­uled speaker is Jim Con­dit, Jr., who sev­eral times ran for Con­gress in Ohio, tak­ing advan­tage of his can­di­date sta­tus to obtain a plat­form for express­ing his anti-Semitic views in radio advertisements.

Other speak­ers report­edly sched­uled to attend include Mer­lin Miller, the 2012 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the white suprema­cist Amer­i­can Free­dom Party,  sev­eral Amer­i­can Free Press writ­ers, and Cyn­thia Steele, the wife of white suprema­cist attor­ney Edgar Steele (cur­rently serv­ing a 50-year sen­tence for con­spir­acy to mur­der Cyn­thia, a charge she claims is false).

Free­dom­palooza will also host a vari­ety of anti-government extrem­ist speak­ers, includ­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from sev­eral mili­tia groups, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the anti-government and con­spir­a­to­r­ial Oath Keep­ers, and the Apple­seed Project, a marks­man­ship pro­gram that warns atten­dees that they may have to (lit­er­ally) fight the gov­ern­ment to main­tain their liberty.

Also present will be Larry Pratt, head of the Gun Own­ers of Amer­ica, a rad­i­cal gun rights group, and Jeff Christo­pher, a sher­iff from Delaware with ties to Michael Per­outka, for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the right-wing extrem­ist Con­sti­tu­tion Party.  Christopher’s bat­tle with the state of Delaware over that state’s deci­sion to elim­i­nate the arrest pow­ers of its three county sher­iffs has been much pro­moted by the Amer­i­can Free Press and other right-wing sources.

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