The leader of a white supremacist group said to have influenced the Charleston, S.C., church shooting suspect contributed $2,000 to the campaign of Charles Djou, the former Hawaii congressman.
The information about Djou was included in an article Monday by The Guardian, which reported that Earl Holt also donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum.
Djou’s filings with the Federal Election Commission show that an Earl P. Holt III of Longview, Texas, contributed to Djou, a Republican, six times from May 2010 to October 2012.
The Guardian says that a series of racist statements have been posted over the past four years to the conservative website The Blaze, “by a user going by Holt’s full name, Earl P. Holt III. The user referred to Longview, Texas — which is where Holt lives — as his hometown.”
UPDATED: Djou, in a phone interview with Civil Beat midday Tuesday, said, “I completely, thoroughly, categorically reject his views on white supremacy. They do not reflect mine, and I had no idea that these were his views or positions.”
Asked if he knew Holt, Djou, said, “I have never met him, never spoken to him. I have no idea who he is.”
Republican Charles Djou delivers his concession speech last year with his wife Stacey.
Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat
The former congressman, state legislator and member of the Honolulu City Council said he planned to reject the $2,000, either by returning it to the donor or donating it to a charity. But first he said he needed to check with the FEC on what is allowed.
Djou represented Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District from May 2010 to January 2011, having won a special election to fill the seat of Democrat Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for Hawaii governor.
Djou lost to Democrat Colleen Hanabusa in 2010 and in a rematch in 2012. In 2014 he lost to Democrat Mark Takai after Hanabusa left the House in an unsucccessful bid for the U.S. Senate.
The council is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, “the modern reincarnation of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South. Among other things, its Statement of Principles says that it ‘oppose[s] all efforts to mix the races of mankind.'”
Dylann Roof, the suspect in the shooting of nine African-Americans last week in a historic black church, is reported to have cited the Council of Conservative Citizens in “a manifesto-style text that was posted on a website registered in Roof’s name along with photographs of the gunman,” says The Guardian.
“The manifesto author, widely reported but not verified as Roof, recounted learning about ‘brutal black on white murders’ from the CofCC website,” says The Guardian.
Cruz, Walker, Paul and Santorum are among about two dozen Republicans who have returned more than $36,000 in campaign contributions from Holt in the wake of the shooting.
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.