What's behind Mack attack - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

What's behind Mack attack

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Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 6:15 am

Hit the road, Mack. Then: Mack is back.

Those are two recent headlines from the ongoing saga of the Kootenai County Republican Party trying to lasso a charismatic keynote speaker for its annual Lincoln Day Dinner March 24.

The Richard Mack controversy makes for great reading and, if you’re a Kootenai County Democrat, some political momentum. But the black eye goes well beyond the local Republican Party. We have to ask: Is this really the sort of speaker Kootenai County wants to hear?

Never mind that Mack has been a political chameleon, running for sheriff in Arizona as a Democrat and as a Republican in his current quest for a U.S. House seat in Texas. He ran for Senate in Arizona as a Libertarian. In Utah, he unsuccessfully ran for sheriff as a Republican and announced his candidacy for governor as a Libertarian but withdrew.

Rather, it is his views on important issues that cause the greatest concern among Republicans here who oppose Mack being hired as keynote speaker. In the online edition of The Press, cdapress.com, we’re including a timeline that highlights some of Mack’s career moves and public statements taken from numerous interviews. The timeline paints the picture of a handsome, charismatic figure with strong feelings favoring militias and legalized drugs.

What’s not mentioned in the timeline profile is this excerpt from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Summer 2010 intelligence report. SPLC is the organization that, with local help, brought down the Aryan Nations in North Idaho:

“It seems hardly a day goes by without another Mack attack on the evils of the federal government. This one-time sheriff of a rural county in Arizona and present-day icon of the Patriot movement has parlayed his antigovernment ardor into a full-time job doing speaking gigs at county fairgrounds, high school auditoriums and hotel banquet rooms. He even has a sponsor.

Richard Mack is introduced — often to standing ovations — as "Sheriff Mack." His website calls him that too, even though he hasn't been the top cop of Graham County since 1996, when its population was around 30,000.

Mack's mantra is this: The federal government is too big, too corrupt and too oppressive. "The greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our federal government," he warns on his website.

If the local Republican Party’s leadership wanted a lightning rod for controversy, someone whose stated beliefs represent the antithesis to the ideals of one great nation that Abraham Lincoln lived and died for, they got one. No wonder several state Republican leaders and numerous local party members are going to find a better way to spend Lincoln Day.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Why Not posted at 1:03 pm on Wed, Mar 14, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 5262

    To me at least, the writer does not seem to express anger as some of you are posting. On the contrary, it seems to me that they are questioning the rationale behind hiring this speaker.

    Milburn touches on it and I’m going to be blunt about why I think people are so frustrated with our government. Our bureaucracy is the result of regulations driven by laws layered one on the next. We don’t terminate outdated laws. We add on to them, that invites more government oversight, more government employment and less personal freedom. So is the solution the downfall of the government?

    People like Mack are not offering up sensible solutions, they are inciting anarchy. He’s not just warning of economic collapse. He’s an advocate of outright collapses and the violence that would surely follow. Anyone who believes that the ultimate failure of this country will be lined with rose peddles had better think long and about the real consequences. The downfall of our government would result in violence and death beyond anyone’s comprehension. The truth about Richard Mack is that he thrives on the idea of internal strife and warfare. The truth about 99.999% of Americans is that they wouldn’t last living in a spider hole for more than one day.

  • JonnyQPubic posted at 10:06 am on Wed, Mar 14, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Mack is a perfect fit for the GOP dinner if the goal is to get the troops all fired up. Mack and his supporters cry about the "too big, too corrupt and too oppressive" government but fail to realize the GOP caused just as much of the problem as those demon liberals. The scary thing is that while they want to "fix" government, they want to fix it they way they (the religious right) sees it. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss because it will be just as big, corrupt and oppressive as ever.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 8:48 am on Wed, Mar 14, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1476

    If the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) is against Richard Mack, then my first inclination is to support him. The SPLC is the ultimate "hate group" and they seek to destroy the reputation of anyone who speaks up for individual liberty and the U.S. Constitution.

    The Cda Press should be ashamed of itself for publishing this one sided "hit piece" on Richard Mack. Maybe this was sloppy journalism (in the Cda Press??) or maybe the Press shares the SPLC's agenda.

  • ancientemplar posted at 8:40 am on Wed, Mar 14, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1283

    To the writer of this article, I have a simple solution, If you don't want to hear what "Sheriff Mack" has to say don't buy a ticket. Its as simple as that. I think many people will and for many different reasons.

  • milburnschmidt posted at 8:29 am on Wed, Mar 14, 2012.

    milburnschmidt Posts: 1160

    One certainly has the right to complain about a ever intrusive federal Govt that now tells us what light bulbs we can use,what goes into our school lunches our health care plans ,where we can build our homes and has put one in seven americans on food stamps. If you grew up in a era where there was little intrusion or regulation in our lives except during WW11 you would see what a expanded govt has done. What folks couldnt do thru congrssional action they are doing thru rgulation. President Obama recently decried our nation was not capable of great projects anymore like the hoover dam and other projects. Had the EPA been in power run by the enviromentalists none of those projects would have been built. To speak out against the bureacracy is american and our right. Is it evil I think not but it is out of our legislators powers to stop it or change the direction the Depts are headed. If Sheriff mack is in favor of militias and legalized drugs lets hear him and make up our own minds and then ignore him if those charges are true. The idea we shouldnt hear different ideas is wrong but perhaps more inspirational candidates could have been picked. As a independent I see both parties are capable of finding loons to listen to.

  • Sagecreek posted at 8:15 am on Wed, Mar 14, 2012.

    Sagecreek Posts: 31

    "Mack's mantra is this: The federal government is too big, too corrupt and too oppressive. "The greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our federal government," he warns on his website."

    Mack gets it, too bad the mystery author above doesn't.

  • capnbutch posted at 7:32 am on Wed, Mar 14, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    Sometimes we feel so strongly about an issue that we feel compelled to lie. If that always worked, dishonesty would be allowed everywhere. It isn't allowed everywhere and for good reason.

    I am particularly disappointed that this article is not signed. That makes it an attack for which the writer cannot be questioned. We have no way to understand what the writer's real motivation may be.
    Do keep in mind that Sheriff Mack came to prominence as a sheriff. That is why we call him "Sheriff Mack." You will undoubtedly recall that the proper address for every president is President whether living or dead, retired or impeached.

    In the meantime, we remain a pretty good country with everybody getting a chance to speak somewhere.

    Above all, please keep in mind that there is no reason for anger. We're all glad to hear solid, respectful ideas.

    Anger doesn't get it.

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