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Minutemen PAC Endorses Candidate in New York—What’s the big deal?

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 10/29/2009 at 10:29am

BriseniaAccording to Andrea Nill at the Wonk Room, an extreme nativist PAC, the Minutemen PAC, has gotten deeply involved in a New York Congressional race. Nill reports:

Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate for New York’s traditionally Republican 23rd District, has just won the right-wing support of the Minuteman Political Action Committee — the political action arm of a “nativist extremist” armed vigilante group. The Minuteman PAC is currently running Independent Expenditure radio spots and predicts that Hoffman is “positioned to win a landslide victory” over Republican Party nominee Dede Scozzafava.

So what’s the big deal?

The Minutemen came under increasing scrutiny several months ago when a Minuteman activist, Shawna Forde, was investigated for the alleged murder of nine-year-old Brisenia Flores (pictured at right). Police suspect Forde had plotted the deadly home invasion in order to fund Minuteman activities in Arizona.

Dave Neiwert, blogger at Crooks and Liars, posted the 911 recording of the sole survivor of the deadly attack, and had this to say of the Minutemen in “Some ‘neighborhood watch': Forde’s Minuteman spinoff outfit was about ‘starting a revolution against the government’“:

The problem, as always, is its inherent vigilantism:

    The reality-based picture of the Minutemen that’s emerging is not of a friendly “neighborhood watch” for the border, but of a chaotic collection of hatemongers who seem intent on a kind of populist mob rule fueled by angry paranoia. It becomes a cover not for law and order, but for the ugliest kind of brutal authoritarianism.

It’s still unclear what this kind of ugly extremism will mean for our nation’s long-term cultural and political identity.

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