by William Skink
Jon Tester’s campaign must have been pumped to get an endorsement from the Union that represents border agents. The official announcement came back in September, as reported by MPR:
The president of the union that represents border patrol agents said while the organization more often endorses Republicans, today they were getting behind Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bid for a third term.
The announcement came during a press conference in Billings.
Brandon Judd of Malta is stationed along the Northern U.S. border with Canada. He said the National Border Control Council’s endorsements, including one for President Donald Trump, goes to those who support strong border security.
“The Republicans don’t own border security (as an issue),” said Judd. “There are Democrats that do support border security. There’s a lot more that run away from it unfortunately, but Senator Tester is not one who does that.”
When a Democrat acts like such a Republican there are usually ready-to-go excuses, like someone explaining to the wavering faithful that the candidate must take certain positions in the heat of the campaign in order to win, but would never act on those alleged inclinations.
So Jon Tester can strut his tough border stuff and a blog for the faithful, like the Montanan Post, won’t take him to task for it.
But about that Border Patrol Union endorsement.
It’s being reported by The Intercept, today, that the same Border Patrol Union that endorsed Tester also endorsed an extremist video featuring White Nationalists:
THE NATIONAL BORDER Patrol Council, the union representing Border Patrol agents across the country, is featured in a new video that includes white nationalists and anti-Muslim extremists. The video, titled “Killing Free Speech,” was endorsed by the union and recently shown by agents at a private screening in San Diego. The video is also expected to be shown in Texas, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., according to union representative Terence Shigg, president of the San Diego chapter of the NBPC.
The nearly hour-and-half-long video refers to Democrats as “dark and evil” and features a bevy of American and European far-right, anti-Muslim white nationalists who make a correlation between gang rapes, Islam, and immigration. The documentary also features members of the Proud Boys, a hate group designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center, that often aligns with white nationalists and are known for being misogynists and anti-Muslim. The Proud Boys participated in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in mid-October several members of the Proud Boys were arrested in New York City after a violent street confrontation with anti-fascists.
What is a “dark and evil” Democrat like Jon Tester to do? It’s pretty late in the campaign game–and I doubt many Montanans regularly check The Intercept for the latest articles–so my hunch is the Tester campaign will cross their fingers and hope that no one really notices this awkward overlap between White Nationalists, Proud Boys, and Proud Farmer Jon.
And what about the blog that increasingly represents itself as a Montana news platform, referring to its content as journalism, The Montana Post? Any Republican with a whiff of ties to extremist groups are immediately identified and outraged over, so if there are any principles at play over there that trump partisanship (pun intended), I would expect some principled request for the Tester campaign to denounce the Border Union endorsement.
If the Tester campaign does the improbable and denounces the endorsement, I may reconsider leaving that race on my ballot blank.
I’ll be dropping off my ballot sometime next week.