The Republican Party needs to better police the people from whom GOP candidates accept money.
In recent years, Republican candidates for Congress accepted more than $80,000 in campaign money from Earl Holt III, the white supremacist leader of the Council for Conservative Citizens, a group based in Missouri, the McClatchy Washington Bureau reports.
It’s long been a problem. But it’s a big deal now because the Council for Conservative Citizens lit the fires of racial hatred in Dylann Roof, 21, who faces murder charges in the deaths of nine African Americans gunned down June 17 at the historic Emanuel AMC Church in Charleston, S.C.
The campaign contributions are significant because of the old saying, “He who pays the fiddler calls the tune.” Money gives contributors greater access to elected officials, enabling them to influence public policy and the laws that are crafted.
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The Republicans who took the money include GOP presidential candidates Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum. Cruz said he would give $8,500 from Holt to survivors of those who were shot to death in the church. Paul told the McClatchy bureau that he would send $2,250 to a church fund for the families.
That’s hardly good enough, especially being after the candidates were outed.
It sounds like an outrageous thing to say, but Republicans need to turn down all campaign money from people tied to hate groups and from people who aren’t open to diversity equity and inclusion. Republicans also need to accept invitations to attend conventions of such groups as the National Council of La Raza, which meets July 11 through July 14 at Bartle Hall.
The candidates have been invited. So far none plans to show up. It says a lot about what they think of the largest minority group in the country and La Raz’s push for equality.
Republican candidates need to go to conventions of the National Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people. It’s never too late.