MADISON, Wis. — Yesterday Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced he would return seven contributions to his campaign totaling $3,500 from Earl Holt, the leader of a white supremacist organization that reportedly inspired the individual that massacred nine black churchgoers in a racially-motivated terror attack in Charleston, South Carolina. However, Walker failed to explain how it was he accepted seven contributions over four years from Holt with no questions, or what it was that inspired the white supremacist leader to become a regular donor to Walker’s campaign.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “Why did a virulent racist from Texas that heads an identified hate group based in Missouri make seven donations to a Wisconsin Governor over four years? Since Gov. Walker’s not talking we can only surmise he gave him plenty of reasons that appealed to his despicable beliefs.”
Why did a virulent racist from Texas make seven donations to Wis. Governor @ScottWalker over four years?
Ross noted that Holt’s organization, the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), is blatantly racist, opposing the “mixing” of races. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center the CCC’s publication, “regularly publishes articles condemning ‘race mixing,’ decrying the evils of illegal immigration, and lamenting the decline of white, European civilization.”
For his part, Gov. Walker has a dismal track record on issues of race, displaying insensitivity if not outright hostility on issues with racial implications. Among Walker’s actions that could appeal to a racist like Holt are:
- Repealing state law requiring racial profiling data collection;
- Facilitating the display of racist, voter intimidation billboards in advance of his election, funded by the foundation run by his campaign co-chair;
- Changing state laws to eliminate weekend voting and “souls to the polls” voting drives popular in the African-American faith community and requiring a photo identification to vote that could disproportionately impact minority voters;
- Advocating for criminal penalties that have led to skyrocketing rates of incarceration and higher rates of incarceration of black men than demographically similar neighbor state Minnesota;
- Repealed a state law allowing undocumented students who graduate from Wisconsin high schools to pay in-state tuition at state colleges, the only state in the nation to repeal such a law.
According to Wisconsin state campaign finance records Holt made $500 donations to Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign on seven instances between October 2011 and October 2014, including four alone in 2014.
Ross concluded, “Gov. Walker giving back Holt’s seven contributions after a racially motivated slaughter, under the glare of the national spotlight doesn’t excuse his taking it without question in the first place. And it doesn’t shed any light on why he was such an appealing politician to such a despicable donor.”