Whitman Countys newest PCO
Whitman County's newest PCO Screenshot from Twitter

James Allsup—the former WSU College Republicans president who fawned over Richard Spencer while marching in Charlottesville, VA—wants to make the Washington State Republican Party a safe space for...well, let's see, what can I call his views without getting sued?

On a podcast for the white nationalist publishing house, Counter-Currents, Allsup said "a white America is a valid identity the same way a German or Swede or Norwegian is. We can’t be ashamed of our identities as white Americans because if we are we will constantly be looking to Europe…"

I'd call anyone who said those two sentences a white nationalist, but Allsup argues he's not a white nationalist, and so if I say "a white nationalist is now a PCO of Washington State," he may try to sue me and claim he's really just "American nationalist" or an "identitarian" or whatever. So I'm not going to call him a white nationalist. I will call him something besides a white nationalist. Before marching at the "Unite the Right" rally, he posted anti-Semitic nonsense all over his Facebook feed, as my former colleague Ana Sofia reported last year. And so I'll go with "anti-Semitic dweeb."

Anyway, those are the views Allsup wants to promote under the Republican banner in this state, and last week he took the first step. Kelly Weill has the story for The Daily Beast:

On June 2, Allsup posted a picture of a certificate on Facebook. “As of today I am officially an elected official in the state of Washington and Republican party,” he wrote. “Cool!”

The piece of paper certified that Allsup was now a precinct committee officer for the Whitman County, Washington Republican Party. Allsup’s certificate declares that he was awarded the post after his candidacy remained uncontested for four days.

Weill quotes Allsup speaking on an Identity Evropa podcast after automatically being elected to his post:

“I happen to be involved in the Spokane GOP. I am now actually an elected official in the Whitman County GOP down here where I live,” Allsup said. “You have a seat at the table. And that’s the most important thing, getting that seat at the table, and you can get that seat at the table by, yes, showing up, yes, by bringing people in, and again this doesn’t necessarily only have to be IE members.”

Allsup clarified that he planned to push “our” political agenda—not the GOP’s.

And what might that political agenda be?

The Southern Poverty Law Center says IE is "at the forefront of the racist 'alt-right's' effort to recruit white, college-aged men and transform them into the fashionable new face of white nationalism." The group's goal is to "build community based on shared racial identity and intellectualizing white supremacist ideology."

o u r f u t u r e b e l o n g s t o u s

A post shared by James Allsup (@jamesallsup) on

Weill quotes the Washington State Republican Party Chair, Caleb Heimlich, condemning the "hateful ideology" of "identity politics." I can think of stronger and more explicit condemnations of "pro-white" groups. Washington State Representatives from the district where Allsup will work as a PCO, Joe Schmick and Mary Dye, didn't return my calls and e-mails asking for comment.

Emboldened by a President who blamed "both sides" when James Alex Fields Jr. murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Nazis and white nationalists of all kinds have picked the party most susceptible to their influence. They've cynically used "the free speech debate" and "the culture wars" to amplify their racist, secessionist messages, and it seems to be working.

Earlier this year, Arthur Jones, a "former" Nazi and Holocaust denier, won an uncontested Republican primary in Illinois's 3rd Congressional District. California Senate candidate Patrick Little is running as a Republican against Sen. Dianne Feinstein. He had zero percent support in the last poll, down from 18 percent in April. But Allsup's not foolishly running for a seat he can't win. He's gaming the system where he can and getting into politics at the ground level. He's door-belling, raising money and reporting on "Democrat activity" for the party just south of Spokane. If the Washington State Republicans don't come up with a stronger condemnation of Allsup and his views, he won't be the last to go this route.

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In a statement on her Facebook page, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says she was "disappointed" to hear that Allsup will be representing the Whitman County GOP, which is located in Washington's 5th Congressional District. "I don’t have a relationship with him, but I know what he stands for. His actions and words do not reflect the values of the Republican party or Eastern Washington. White supremacy, racism, and bigotry are never acceptable and have no place in America or Eastern Washington. Bridging divides within our communities must not include space for individuals who promote, condone, or participate in racism and violence," she said. "Our goals are to move from poverty to opportunity; from racism to gracism; and from divisiveness to unity," she added.