Reuters has a story today about Tea Party-backed Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell’s fundraising, noting that almost all of her support among GOP donors has dried up. The story notes that, failing that support, “the mainstays of O’Donnell’s campaign appear to be local activists associated with the Tea Party movement.” In particular, a group called the 9-12 Patriots and its leader, Russ Murphy, are generating significant support for O’Donnell’s campaign.
During her primary night victory speech, the 9-12 Patriots were the first group O’Donnell thanked, saying “I can‘t thank everyone by name because we would be here until midnight….but I specifically want to thank the 9/12 Patriots for laying the foundation and stirring things up in Delaware.” After her speech, she invited Murphy up to the podium to speak, gave him a hug, and told the crowd: “You’ve got to hear the story about how he started the 9-12 Patriots.” Watch it:
Murphy went on to talk about Karl Rove, but he did not share with the audience or the cameras his views on President Obama — that he believes Obama is not a U.S. citizen, and did not even win the popular vote in the 2008 presidential election. For his book “The Backlash,” author Will Bunch “traveled America looking for the heart of the so-called Tea Party movement” and interviewed members, and sat down with Murphy and two “lieutenants” in the 9-12 Patriots. They explained their opposition to Obama:
The trio led me through a long and mostly fact-free explanation of how Obama only won in 2008 because of the Electoral College, and they even tried to deny his 100,000-vote landslide win in Delaware, finally telling me it was only because of “the handout people” in Wilmington, with its large minority population. Murphy went further, telling me that Obama is “not American” and insisting he hasn’t presented “the documentation” to prove he’s eligible to be commander in chief. The second factor that empowered their movement was the blend of news and misinformation they receive from the popular Fox News Channel and especially from Glenn Beck, whose televised call for the creation of a 9-12 movement is what inspired Murphy to launch his band of “patriots.”
In September, the blog Political Chili outlined some of Murphy’s views that are even more disturbing. He was a “delegate” to the “Continental Congress” held in St. Charles, Illinois in November 2009. The “Articles of Freedom” the delegates produced there called for, among other things, abolition of the Department of Homeland Security, the establishment of 50 state militias, and they declared that President Obama “was not born on U.S. soil” and called for the U.S. Congress to investigate the “citizenship status of the President,” with impeachment as an eventual recourse.
As Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center reported, the “Continental Congress” documents implied violence against the government, saying that “any infringement on the people’s liberty as laid out in the Constitution is ‘an act of WAR’ that ‘the People and their Militias have the Right and Duty to repel.’”
O’Donnells open embrace of Murphy has not yet been questioned by the national or local press in Delaware, but his involvement in the “Continental Congress” and his views on President Obama are disturbing and deserve further scrutiny.
The NAACP just released a report called Tea Party Nationalism, which outlines connections between some Tea Party members and racist or anti-government groups.