On Nov. 3, former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack returns to Hamilton for his second public appearance there in five months. And the timing couldn't be more serendipitous, in light of tomorrow's Indy cover story on Celebrating Conservatism, the very group responsible for bringing Mack back to the Bitterroot.
You'll have to pick up tomorrow's story for the gritty details, but I'll give you the bullet points here. Celebrating Conservatism came together last December under the guidance of Mona Docteur, a former member of the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee. Docteur says her goal is to offer a new forum for the exchange of conservative ideas in the 'Root, chiefly by hosting guest lecturers from the far-right. Mack first appeared in that lineup in July, and that's when the Montana Human Rights Network (MHRN) first got interested.
MHRN Executive Director Travis McAdam prefers to call Celebrating Conservatism "Celebrating Right-Wing Extremism." That's just the kind of speaker that the group is bringing in, he argues. Mack has long been a proponent of state's rights and views the county sheriff as the highest law enforcement authority in the nation. He rails against federal taxes, criticizes the Republican Party for being too moderate, and promotes a strong anti-government agenda. All are cornerstones of radical right-wing ideology, McAdam says. Another former sheriff Jack McLamb, also a noted conspiracy theorist, was scheduled to follow Mack with a speech in August, but opted out when Docteur expressed doubts about his philosophies of a sinister global-government plot.
Docteur refutes McAdam's claims about Mack, insisting that Mack has no links to rightist extremism. She says she regrets the bogus attacks that human rights networks across the country make on Mack's reputation.
During his last lecture in Hamilton, Mack focused on the roll that the county sheriff plays in American politics. No clue what his appearance next week will bring, but the allegedly radical viewpoints he supports directly reflect on Celebrating Conservatism.
“Their lineup of speakers continues to be a who’s who of the radical right," McAdam said in his latest media alert this week. "They are a prime example of the resurgence of the right wing that is happening in Montana.”
See tomorrow's edition of the Independent for the full story.