I wrote recently that the best judge of the Arkansas Republican Party’s position on the extremist writing of neo-Confederate Rep. Loy Mauch, slavery apologist Rep. Jon Hubbard, and the hors category wackjob Charlie Fuqua, seeking a return to the House, is their continued endorsement of their candidacies and refusal to ask for their money back.
I mentioned recently that Hubbard’s latest campaign filing included still more Republican money.
Now it’s Loy Mauch, with a new report with plenty of Republican and related money. The contributions came, it’s true, generally before the reporting here and elsewhere that rekindled interest in Mauch, but Mauch’s Confederate leanings have long been well-known.
* $250 from Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr’s Strong Arkansas PAC
* $250 from Brent Stevenson, a lobbyist for the Billionaire Brothers Koch, whose paid political organization head, Teresa Oelke, recently complained bitterly about being depicted as a supporter and enabler of racists. Quack quack. Oelke will be believable the minute Americans for Prosperity sends out mailers to voters saying they were wrong about Mauch and Hubbard; that they are thoroughly contemptible candidates.
* $500 from the Stephens Group LLC, one of the offshoots of the wealthy Stephens financial empire, solidly Republican.
Do Republicans support these candidates or not? The answer is yes. They are critical to Republicans’ plan to control the House and elect their own speaker. Their votes will make them welcome, no matter what. As Jay Barth wrote last week:
The biggest problem for the state GOP is that while a single ideological outlier can be explained away, a set of party elites standing by hate-filled, pro-slavery, and simply kooky ideas establishes a pattern that could easily become an albatross for the state GOP from top to bottom. Republicans’ fairly feeble critiques of the trio, while at the same time defending their colleagues’ First Amendment rights, show an obliviousness to how damaging these extremists are to the entire party brand. Their presence on the GOP ticket is driven by the party’s historic weakness in drawing candidates; how the party reacts now (and the comments and feeble actions to date won’t cut it) will determine whether it is ready for prime time.