In Part 1 of this series, we looked at Ken Cuccinelli donor Foster Friess, who gave Cuccinelli $25,000 in early 2013, who has “a long history funding Islamophobic organizations,” and who claimed that liberals were somehow to blame for the Columbine shooting. He also, infamously, told told Andrea Mitchell: “this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so – it’s such – inexpensive, you know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.” In other words, he’s a raving, right-wing extremist nutjob. And a big Cuccinelli supporter. But I repeat myself. 🙂
Anyway, today our focus turns to Gun Owners of America (GOA) President Larry Pratt, who Think Progress described as “Fringe Gun Rights Advocate With Ties To White Supremacists Helped Build Up ALEC.”
…In the early 1980s, Pratt and the GOA were outspoken supporters of the white rulers in South Africa during apartheid...In 1990, Pratt wrote a book titled “Armed People Victorious” based on his study of death squads in Guatemala and the Philippines, and advocated for similar “citizen defense patrols” in the United States. The idea reportedly caught on in 1992, when Pratt addressed a three-day meeting of neo-Nazis and Christian Adherents organized by white supremacist Pete Peters. He shared the stage with a former Ku Klux Klan leader and an Aryan Nation official.
Pratt also held leadership roles in ALEC for many years…When Pratt was elected to the Virginia State Legislature in 1981, he took a leadership position in ALEC. He sat on ALEC’s board even after he left the legislature, serving as its treasurer into the 1990s.
Meanwhile, the organization Pratt helped lead shared his passion for relaxing guns laws…including not only bills that may protect vigilante shooters but that also lead to more armed people on the streets who may cite laws like Florida’s so-called Stand Your Ground or “Kill at Will” bill…Even though GOA left ALEC years ago, it was a long-time member and leader. GOA leapt to the defense of Florida’s law, ratified by ALEC, in the wake of the shooting of unarmed high school student Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.
GOA’s Larry Pratt hit the airwaves in defense of Zimmerman, the 28-year-old man who shot and killed Martin. Pratt branded 17-year-old Martin as “an aggressor,” based on the account of an alleged eyewitness who would only identify himself as “John,” and described Martin as having knocked down his attacker and Zimmerman acting in self-defense…
…Consider this, Pratt’s long-standing ties to white supremacists forced him to step down from his role as co-chairman of Pat Buchanan’s 1996 presidential campaign. Too radical for Pat Buchanan? That’s all we need to know.
But wait, there’s more! Pratt also has been profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which writes:
Larry Pratt, a gun rights absolutist whose Gun Owners of America (GOA) has been described as “eight lanes to the right” of the National Rifle Association, may well be the person who brought the concept of citizen militias to the radical right.
In 1990, Pratt wrote a book, Armed People Victorious, based on his study of “citizen defense patrols” used in Guatemala and the Philippines against Communist rebels – patrols that came to be known as death squads for their murderous brutality.
Picturing these groups in rosy terms, Pratt advocated similar militias in the United States – an idea that finally caught on when he was invited for a meeting of 160 extremists, including many famous white supremacists, in 1992.
It was at that meeting, hosted in Colorado by white supremacist minister Pete Peters, that the contours of the militia movement were laid out.
Pratt, whose GOA has grown since its 1975 founding to some 150,000 members today, hit the headlines in a big way when his associations with Peters and other professional racists were revealed, convincing arch-conservative Pat Buchanan to eject him as a national co-chair of Buchanan’s 1996 presidential campaign.
The same year, it emerged that Pratt was a contributing editor to a periodical of the anti-Semitic United Sovereigns of America, and that his GOA had donated money to a white supremacist attorney’s group.
Pratt is today close to the extremist Constitution Party and its radical theology.
Horrible, right? No sane politician would ever be caught in the presence of this guy, let alone take money from him (or from his organization, Gun Owners of America)? Well, guess what: Ken Cuccinelli has done all of those things. Photo? Check (see above, courtesy of The Liberty Lamp – the two of them look like old pals, don’t they?). Money from Pratt and GOA? Check, see VPAP here and here for the thousands of dollars Cuccinelli’s received from this guy. The scary thing, this is just par for the course for Cuccinelli, whose campaign has one of the leading “Swift Boat” dudes as its top strategist. It also receives large sums of money from the likes of the Koch brothers and CONSOL Energy (see here for some video on that subject), in addition to Foster Friess and Larry Pratt. It’s truly a cesspool, truly astonishing that this dangerous extremist has gotten as far as he has in his career. The thing is, Cooch’s an extremist, but he’s also a slick, smooth-talking politician, and he’s apparently managed to fool a lot of people over the years. Of course, it helps that the media hasn’t done its job and exposed Cuccinelli’s unsavory connections, but that would require the “journalists” to do…wait for it…actual work! I know, what a concept.