J.T. Ready, 2nd from right, proud Republican and anti-Semite, at a neo-Nazi rally in Omaha, NE last year.
I've lived in several states over the years, but AZ takes the proverbial cake when it comes to the casual, ho-hum acceptance of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other dangerous political extremists as a part of everyday life. These rabid, right-wing reactionaries rear their foaming pit-bull mugs with alarming regularity in Sand Land, and for the most part, folks just respond with a collective shrug.
Take the events of January 19 in Tempe, where the Maricopa County Republican Party hosted its "mandatory meeting" and elected a new chairman, Tom Husband, who replaced outgoing county chairman Lyle Tuttle. At this MCRP assembly, Mesa neo-Nazi J.T. Ready distributed several racist and Holocaust-denying tracts, leaving copies on the seats of attendees for them to pick up.
See, turd-Reicher Ready was enjoying the privileges of membership. J.T. Ready became a Republican precinct committeeman in 2006, running unopposed for this unpaid, yeoman's rank in the GOP, and winning a slot with 36 votes. Ready was elected from precinct 529, also known as Mesa 67. There were two slots open for Republicans, but Ready was the only one on the ballot in that primary.
If someone at the local GOP had been paying attention, they could have kept the Valley's most infamous National Socialist agitator from infiltrating Republican ranks. As it was, neither the county nor the state GOP knew about Ready's rise until I told them. To his credit, Sean McCaffrey, executive director of the AZ Republicans, had an intermediary ask J.T. to step aside. Predictably, the gargantuan goosestepper told 'em to go fly a Nazi kite.
McCaffrey has vowed to run enough candidates for precinct committeeperson this year to kick J.T.'s obese, anti-Semitic ass to the curb. In the meanwhile, J.T. apparently is allowed entree to party-only functions.
The county convention was held at a local Christian church. But that didn't stop Ready, who openly attended a neo-Nazi rally last year in Omaha, NE and who keeps an active page on the white supremacist networking site Newsaxon.org, from passing out such anti-Semitic filth as the essay "Simple Arithmetic," which posits that "The mass-murder of six-million Jews...is a myth."
He also distributed a blatantly bigoted tract copied from Stormfront.org, a white power message board run by Ron Black, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, titled "What is racism?" In it, the author asks, "If blacks, for example are equal to whites in every way, what accounts for their poverty, criminality and dissipation?"
Then there was, "A Warning for Americans: A Message from a South African," which offers a doomsday scenario for America, suggesting that non-whites will one day strip U.S. Caucasians of all their rights and riches. "Once you lose social, cultural and political dominance," warns the screed, "there is no getting it back again."
This embarrassment has so far been kept quiet by the local GOP. Chairman Husband, who had not yet assumed his position when the matter was dealt with, told me that then Chairman Tuttle ordered the prejudiced propaganda collected from the floor and declared that such racist and anti-Semitic documents would not be tolerated.
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"This is the first time we've ever encountered anything of this nature," said Husband, who was more forthcoming than Tuttle when asked. "So it kind of blindsided us. But we acted immediately to correct it. And as long as I'm the chairman, that's our policy: Nothing hits the seat unless it has the chairman's approval. We're not going to have hate literature permeating our meetings."
McCaffrey informed me that when he was told of Ready's little stunt, he took steps to increase security at the state mandatory meeting. "And at our meeting he wasn't hard to miss," said McCaffrey. "He was the only guy there dressed like a girl." Seems Ready showed up to the state gathering in his XXXL Scottish kilt, with nothing on underneath but his, ahem, Heinrich Himmler underoos...
Don't the Republicans have any sanction for known neo-Nazis who show up to meetings and pass out crap more suitable for a cross-burnin'? Heck, both the Dems and the Reps kept ALL of the independents from voting in AZ's recent presidential primary. Can't the GOPers find some little-known bylaw that would allow them to blackball this bum? Get creative, people. You're the party of Dick Nixon. Rat-fucking's in your blood. What if ol' J.T. happened to be a retro-Commie and was handing out free pics of Che Guevara at Republican clambakes? You're telling me you couldn't do something about the fool then?
The Republicans are a tad chagrined by J.T., but they need to be thoroughly ashamed and pissed off. You have a freakin' Nazi in your party, besmirching the good name of the political organization that gave the nation the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln and Nazi-quasher Dwight D. Eisenhower. Get off your duffs and act. If you can't give him the boot, condemn him loudly and ostracize him. Keeping J.T.'s shenanigans on the QT does nothing but make you seem guilty by association. You know, along the lines of J.T.'s erstwhile butt-buddy, state Representative Russell Pearce.