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Archive/File: fascism/usa/washington populist.0394
Last-Modified: 1994/11/24

Typos mine. knm

          "Neo-Nazis Dominate Washington Populist Party

A recent listing of the officers and county chairpersons of the
Washington State Populist Party reveals that while many county
chapters are headed by racist Christian Patriots, at the state level
the party continues to be dominated by hard-core neo-Nazis and
Klansmen. As reported in the Populist Observer (January 1994), the
national newspaper of the far-right Populist Party, the state party
officers are:

Chair:		Harry Schmidt (Seattle)
Vice-Chair:	Mark Downey (Puyallup)
Secretary/Treasurer:
		Barbara BEnce (Kitsap County)
National Committeeman:
		K.A. (Kim) Badynski (Tacoma)

Schmidt, an ardent neo-Nazi who likes to describe the Nazi swastika
as an 'early Christian symbol,' took over the state chair in 1991
from Pierce County Christian Patriot Thorn Lovelace and has held it
ever since. In addition to his state position, Schmidt was voted a
member of the National Populist Party's executive committee in 1993.

The remaining three state officers hail from the Klan dominated
Pierce/Kitsap chapter of the party - the state party's most radical
county affiliate. Badynski, the Grand Dragon of the Northwest
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has held the national committeeman
position for five years, while Bence has long served as the party's
secretary-treasurer.

Mark Downey is a recent addition to the slate of state party
officers, though he is a long-time Populist Party activist. Downey
is a close associate of Badynski and a hard-core neo-Nazi who veils
his Hitler worship behind the veneer of the equally repugnant
pseudo-theology of Christian Identity. Downey is presently peddling
a booklet titled 'Will the Real Armageddon Please Stand Up?'
According to an ad in the Populist Observer the book includes
'Twenty-nine pages of concise evidence for the Christian Israel
Identity message.' Badynski, Downey and Schmidt have all attended
gathering to celebrate the birthday of Adolph Hitler.

The neo-Nazi domination of the state party is only partially
mirrored in the leadership at the county level. The county
chairpersons for the state party are listed as:

Homer Brand (King),
Mark Downey, (Pierce/Kitsap)
Bill Renfro (Snohomish),
Howard Schaeffer (Cowlitz),
Herbert Weekly (Wakiakum),
Joseph Burnett (Chelam),
Bob Lynds (Stevens), and
Hazle Lindstrom (Adams).

In addition to Downey, only Chelan leader Joseph Burnett among
current county party leaders is suspected by the Dignity Report of
having neo-Nazi leanings. Burnett has reportedly attended past
gatherings at the Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho. The
remainder of the county leaders are believed to be an assortment of
Christian Patriots and refugees from John Birch Society-style
conspiracy weaving.

Homer Brand, for instance, was a former leader in the Duck Club, the
Christian Patriot group linked to the 1985 murder of the Goldmark
family in Seattle. David Rice, who brutally bludgeoned the Goldmarks
to death, had attended Duck Club meetings where he became convinced
that the Goldmarks were Jewish Communists, though they were neither
Jewish nor communists. Brand was the state Populist Party's
candidate for Attorney General in 1992.

Howard Schaeffer of Longview, Washington is known for his Christian
Patriot-style rantings in numerous letters to the editor while
Herbert Weekly, Bill Renfro and Bob Lynds first came to Dignity
Report attention as activists during the 1992 presidential campaign
of James 'Bo' Gritz. All were listed with the Secretary of State as
signers to a July 1992 petition to gain ballot access for Gritz.
None are known to have ties to neo-Nazi or Klan groups.

Missing from this list is the Whatcom County chapter headed by
Christian Patriot Ben Hinkle. Hinkle reportedly left the state party
in 1992 following a bitter dispute with the Klan-led faction of the
party.

While both neo-Nazis and Christian Patriots share a common vision of
a white dominated America, important differences exist. For
instance, while Christian Patriots would opt for a 'white Christian
Republic' in which only white property owners vote, neo-Nazis tend
to favor centralized leadership like that of the German Nazi regime
of the 1930s and 1940s.

Neo-Nazis and Christian Patriot organizations generally differ in
their internal structure and procedures as well. For instance,
Badynski's Klan faction, the Harrison, Arkansas-based Knights  of
the Ku Klux Klan has long required oaths of loyalty as a condition
of Klan membership. While Christian Patriots make oaths to the
'organic constitution,' they are known for having a rugged
individualist streak to their brand of white supremacy. The Dignity
Report does not know of a 'patriot' group which requires an oath of
allegiance similar to that in Badynski's organization. In fact, many
'patriots' criticize neo-Nazis and Klansmen for having a devotion to
their leaders above that to their 'nation.'

The co-existence of neo-Nazis, Klansmen and Christian Patriots in
the vehicle of the Populist Party is part of a development that has
occurred over the last 30 years in the U.S> white supremacy
movement. Since the days of Ku Klux Klan-led efforts to squelch
racial integration in the South in the 1950s and 1960s, Klan
membership has stayed low and has been surpassed as a component of
the racist movement by the ideologies of Christian Identity and
Christian Patriotism. Klan members make up less than a quarter of
organized racists at present.

At the same time, Klan groups such as Badynski's Knights (the Klan
group of 1970s leader David Duke) have increasingly incorporated
neo-Nazi beliefs into their ideologies. However, the relative lack
of political space for neo-Nazis vis-a-vis Identity leaders and
Christian Patriots has pushed groups like the Knights to espouse the
tenets of Christian Patriotism. As a result Badynski and the band of
neo-Nazi leaders in the Washington State Populist Party give lip
service, even amongst their own Populist cohorts, to a commitment to
the 'Christian republic' supported by the Populist Party. A cursory
listen to Badynski's Tacoma, Washington-based hate-line, with its
praise of Nazi figures such as Horst Wessel and accolades for the
'white Christian revival' of Nazi Germany tell a different, and more
accurate, story." (Dignity)


                           Work Cited
 
The Dignity Report. Publication of the Coalition for Human Dignity
Research Department. March 1, 1994, v2, n3. PO Box 40344, Portland,
Oregon, 97240. (503) 281-5823



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