Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke to Run for US Senate; Says Trump Acceptance Speech Inspired Him
The 1992 Louisiana governors race put former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke against known crooked former Louisiana governor, Edwin Edwards.
Edwards was known for lining his pockets with public money, but the prospect of Duke as governor was just plain scary.
Knowing Edwards would rip off Louisana, and familiar with the political catch of really wanting neither candidate but knowing one must be elected, people circulated bumper stickers that read, “Vote for the crook. It’s important.” (Indeed, Edwards ended up serving eight years in federal prison, 2002-2011, for corruption.)
I was thinking of that 1992 Louisiana governor’s race today as I read yet another piece (I have read many) that offer concern of Donald Trump in the White House as frightening.
And wouldn’t you know, even as I was thinking of the similar current of fear shared by the Trump for Prez and Duke for Gov campaigns, David Duke was registering to run for the US Senate seat vacated by Louisiana Senator David Vitter.
And guess what? Duke said his entrance was “inspired” by Trump, whom Duke views as “a man embracing the core issues I’ve fought for my whole life,” as the July 22, 2016, Monroe News Star reports:
BATON ROUGE — Former Klansman David Duke emerged from a 17-year political hiatus here Friday to qualify for the U.S. Senate race in a state already roiling with racial tension…
“The climate in this country is moving in my direction,” he said, also saying he “won’t apologize for my past.”
Duke said he will fight to end what he believes is “massive racial discrimination” against whites and called Black Lives Matter “a terrorist organization.” …
“There is massive racial discrimination going on against European Americans,” he said. “They’re seeking to cleanse European Americans from their own country.”
Duke said he was inspired by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s acceptance speech, noting Trump discussed immigration and equal rights among other issues.
“I thought, wow, here’s a man embracing the core issues I’ve fought for my whole life,” he said.
Turns out Trump isn’t too keen on having his name connected to former KKKer Duke:
Duke regained some notoriety during the presidential election cycle when he endorsed Trump. The Republican nominee was criticized for initially refusing to disavow Duke’s support, saying he didn’t know anything about Duke, before finally distancing himself from Duke days later.
“I don’t care about what Donald Trump says about me; I respect what he’s doing,” Duke said.
And in keeping with the marriage of politics and corruption, Duke was forced to take a break from pursuing an elected office because he lost the right to vote for 14 years for ditching his tax obligations:
The Louisiana Secretary of State’s office said Duke, who was convicted of tax evasion in 2002, had his voter registration restored in May of this year. He hasn’t voted since 2000. Previous felony convictions don’t prohibit serving in elected office.
Previous felony doesn’t prevent holding elected office. Swell.
Like Trump, Duke is a Republican shock, and Republicans were quick to try to distance themselves from him. Of course, Duke is openly affiliated with the KKK and a convicted felon; so, if it is possible to consider, Duke is ahead of Trump in the “scary” category. Again from the Monroe News Star:
Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana, quickly condemned Duke.
“The Republican Party opposes, in the strongest possible terms, David Duke’s candidacy for any public office,” Villere said in a statement. “David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party.”
National Republicans also distanced themselves from Duke.
“Louisiana voters will be able to choose from several Republican Senate candidates who will have a great impact on the Bayou State and the future of our country,” National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director Ward Baker said in a statement. “David Duke is not one of them. He will not have the support of the NRSC under any circumstance.”
There is apparently a Republican worse than Trump.
What is it with the Republican Party and scary candidates?