Wednesday, June 12, 2024

MY TURN: KCRCC supports and pays 'antisemitic' white nationalist

by GUEST OPINION/Sandy Patano and Jack Riggs
| July 29, 2022 1:00 AM

Brent Regan and his Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) have twisted the truth yet again. They say they do not support him, but they selected avowed antisemite and white nationalist David Reilly as a delegate to the Idaho Republican party’s state convention held this month in Twin Falls. Reilly’s history as an antisemite and his close association with known white nationalists Nick Fuentes and, now, new local resident Vincent James Foxx, demonstrate Reilly does not hold traditional well-respected Republican, nor Idaho, values.

This action is of little surprise based on KCRCC’s history of support for David Reilly. However, it is a great disappointment to many Republicans in Kootenai County and Idaho. The coordinated tactics between the local Republican Central Committee and Reilly are deceptive and embarrassing. Last fall, Reilly was a KCRCC-endorsed candidate for the Post Falls School Board. Fortunately, he was not elected. In March, one day before the deadline, Reilly quietly switched party affiliations from Republican to Democrat to misuse the party’s structure for his bigoted and destructive objective. Readers might recall the “not-so-secret” plan and voice recording that became a front-page news story highlighting Reilly and members of KCRCC as they planned to hijack the local Democratic Central Committee. Reilly also ran as a “write-in” candidate for governor on the Democratic ballot in May, finding only 21 Idahoans to write his name.

After reviewing KCRCC’s public campaign finance report in the Idaho Secretary of State’s office, we learned KCRCC chair Brent Regan and Elaine Price, KCRCC treasurer and District 4 legislative candidate authorized three payments totaling $11,000 to Idaho Dynamics LLC for “operations.” Ironically, Idaho Dynamics is not an Idaho-based business, but rather one created and registered in the State of Wyoming just a few months earlier by David Reilly. Wyoming has a set of laws making it attractive to entities who may want to remain anonymous or hide information. In this case, is someone hiding something from Idaho’s sunshine laws?

When KCRCC members voted on May 25 to make white nationalist, antisemite and Democratic candidate David Reilly an official delegate to the Republican state convention, they were already quite familiar with his views and actions. They would also have been aware of his change in party registration back to Republican less than 24 hours before the delegate selection meeting. The hypocrisy gets sadder, as nearly all the 65 KCRCC convention delegates voted in favor of a highly controversial proposed rule change for anyone wanting to vote in our Republican primary. Their proposed rule change would require Republican Party affiliation one full year prior to the election, blocking anyone who has been unaffiliated, anyone affiliated with a different party, anyone who is disaffiliated from the Republican Party, or anyone who has donated to a candidate from another party within the last two to three years. Reilly would have violated every one of these proposed rule changes, yet they chose him.

Following the July convention, it was confirmed through various sources, including camera footage, that KCRCC delegate David Reilly was the instigator who distributed misleading pamphlets for “free” pizza to homeless shelters to discredit the then-current chairman of the Idaho Republican Party. This was not a friendly prank, but further evidence of the manipulative, dishonest and now routine strategies Reilly and some members of KCRCC are willing to use to advance their agenda; an agenda that is not traditional Republican, but one that is becoming dangerously successful.

While Reilly may not be an “elected” member of KCRCC, it is clear he is a trusted member of their inner circle. Despite his white nationalist, anti-female and antisemitic connections, KCRCC has endorsed him, paid him and then chose him to represent Kootenai County Republicans at the GOP convention. Despite Regan’s comments, the opportunity to be a delegate to the convention from Kootenai County has nothing to do with “Republican credentials.” After all, there are over 60,000 registered Republicans to choose from in Kootenai County. To be a delegate in Kootenai County, however, you must be in KCRCC’s inner circle.

Being part of the KCRCC’s “official” party infrastructure is about individual commitment to execute “their” agenda, an agenda that has not previously been clear or transparent to most Republican voters. It is now crystal clear. Theirs is an agenda that takes sound Republican principles and policies and moves them further and further to the right, where they are no longer familiar — and no longer “Republican.”

There is still hope. Last Friday, Idaho Young Republicans, an affiliate of the Idaho Republican Party, voted to expel two members, reportedly David Reilly and Daniel Bell, KCRCC Youth Committee Chair, from their organization based on their involvement in several disreputable activities throughout the last year. The Young Republicans said their group “aims for a high standard and one beyond reproach” something that seems to be sorely missing from KCRCC. We have one simple question for you. Do David Reilly and KCRCC really represent your values?

As lifelong Republicans and, more importantly, Idaho citizens, we desperately need to set a high standard for the Republican Party. We still believe most Republicans strongly condemn Reilly’s bigotry. We reject KCRCC’s effort to mainstream the ideology of hate, violence and hard-right authoritarianism that the white nationalist movement represents. Rather, as stated in the Idaho Republican Platform preamble: “We believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.”

Sandy Patano and Jack Riggs are two of the many co-founders of North Idaho Republicans.