Two Iowa Republicans are redirecting a campaign donation from a white supremacist who reportedly influenced the man accused of killing nine African Americans in a South Carolina church last week.
Senator Joni Ernst and Congressman Steve King are giving the money to church in South Carolina and the families of those murdered there.
Earl Holt of Longview, Texas, is a leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens and the church shooter has said he was inspired by information he found on the group’s website. Holt’s occupation is listed as “retired” alongside the FEC’s record of his $1,000 donation to the Ernst campaign as well as those made to King.
Holt gave $1,000 to Congressman Steve King’s 2012 campaign and another $1,500 to King’s 2014 reelection effort. “Our prayers are with the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy (in South Carolina),” King said in a statement posted on his campaign website early this evening.
Holt, who has called African Americans “the laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in the history of the world,” also donated to presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum, all of whom have denounced Holt in the past two days and redirected his money to help the South Carolina church and the families of the African Americans who were slain there.
Holt has posted a statement on the website saying his group is “hardly responsible” for the actions of a “deranged” shooter “merely because he gleaned accurate information from our website.” The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies Holt’s “Council of Conservative Citizens” as the “reincarnation” of “White Citizens Councils” of the 1950s and ’60s that served as a national network for white supremacists.
(This post was updated at 7:34 p.m. with additional information about Congressman King’s announcement.)