Just last week, we were compelled to write a post explaining that Gun Owners of America – which bills itself as a less reasonable version of the NRA – remains an influential force in American politics despite being run by Larry Pratt, a racist conspiracy theoriest with ties to white supremacists.
So we can’t really say that it’s a surprise that when Alaska Republican Joe Miller – the Tea Party candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin in 2010 – launched his second Senate campaign yesterday, he chose Gun Owners of America to help kick things off.
Miller’s launch event in Wasilla prominently featured a speech by Tim Macy, Gun Owners of America’s vice chairman, who the Alaska Dispatch reported “said his staff has been tracking Miller for years without his knowing it, in order to determine if he’s a true believer in gun rights and protecting the Second amendment.”
In an email in February, Miller proudly touted GOA’s endorsement. North Carolina Republican Greg Brannon also touted his GOA endorsement in a Senate debate last night.
As we noted last week, in any reasonable political party, GOA would be politically toxic given the views that its director, Larry Pratt, frequently shares in media appearances on behalf of the organization. For instance, shortly after a gunman killed 12 people at a movie theater in Colorado in 2012, GOA sent out a press release implying that it could have been an inside job. And there's more:
That Larry Pratt is an influential Republican lobbyist who is regularly quoted by mainstream news sources shows that it is basically impossible to be too extreme to be taken seriously in today’s right wing.
After all, back in 1996, Pratt was too extreme for even Pat Buchanan. Pratt stepped down from his role in Buchanan’s presidential campaign after his ties to white supremacists and promotion of the right-wing militia movement came to light. As Southern Poverty Law Center director Morris Dees said at the time, “He's got one foot in that far-right fringe and another foot in mainstream Washington, which makes him really dangerous."
That certainly hasn’t changed. In just the past couple of years, Pratt