[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Color us surprised: Another Ron Paulite Republican succumbing to the "sovereign citizenship" extremist scam:
The Republican candidate for a state Senate seat in eastern Iowa has ended her campaign and instead declared herself a U.S. Senator for the state of Iowa.Jonathan Terbush at Raw Story has more details:
In a letter dated July 4, the candidate, Randi Shannon of Coralville, argued that the legitimate federal government of the United States was replaced by illegitimate “corporate” government in 1871 and has been operating since then in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
She learned this fact just recently, she said, and has come to believe it after months of research.
Dropping her bid for state office was a rejection of that illegitimate government. Now, she said she has been appointed to serve as a U.S. senator in the recently revived and constitutionally legitimate Republic of the United States of America. She was placed in the office, she said, by Iowa’s four U.S. House members in the “Republic” government.
In a letter fittingly posted to her campaign’s Facebook page on July 4, Shannon wrote that the country was founded as the Republic for The United States for America in 1787, and that it remained as such until the 1860s, when it was abandoned during the Civil War. Once the war ended, she wrote, the government was replaced by the, “UNITED STATES CORPORATION,” [sic] which has endured to this day as the nation’s farcical governing body.It's also no surprise that this is coming from the Ron Paul wing of the GOP, since Paul has a long history of promoting "sovereign citizen" schemes, along with the usual accompanying right-wing extremist beliefs, such as a fetish about the gold standard and fringes on flags and the "New World Order".
In a statement riddled with curious capitalization meant to emphasize the government’s foibles, Shannon derides the federal government for, she claims, stomping out entrepreneurship, infringing on personal liberties, and just generally being an unconstitutional entity. Perhaps worst, she says, are the elected lawmakers who have perpetuated this system and in doing so have, “committed the most egregious acts against ‘We the People.’”
“Therefore, in order to affect the most good on behalf of The People of Iowa’s 34th District and in keeping with my conscience, I have accepted the position of U.S. Senator in The Republic of The United States of America, where I may better serve You and All of The People of Iowa,” Shannon wrote. “I want you to know I have taken an Oath to Uphold, Support and Defend The Constitution of The United States of America. This I will do to the best of my ability, So Help Me God.”
Shannon, who describes herself as a Ron Paul supporter, backs many of the same policy positions famously espoused by the Libertarian-leaning Texas congressman. She advocates eliminating the Department of Education (following its transfer to the Republic of the United States) and drastically cutting taxes while ending foreign occupations and stopping the Affordable Care Act. And, since she believes the government has been a false one for a century and a half, she considers all amendments to the Bill of Rights from the 14th on to be invalid.
“Again, Remember, where the de jure Republic of The United States of America exists the de facto UNITED STATES CORPORATION, having no standing, must go away!,” Shannon wrote.
I've been reporting on the sovereign citizens for a long time, including a number of posts here at C&L. Most of you are well familiar with this particular form of extremism, especially because it produces so much senseless and wanton violence, largely a product of the mentally and emotionally unstable personality types the movement naturally attracts.
Watch the above video and you can see that, before her sovcit epiphany, Shannon was a typical, bland, "I'm a fighter!" kind of Paulite Republican -- but also a painfully naive and clueless sort of candidate as well. No doubt that had a role in her descent.
Lilburn Patch had an interesting and revealing interview with a former leader in the "Republic" organization:
Ron Hawkins, a Georgia resident who works in new home construction, served as the Republic's senator and ambassador until recently, when the group kicked him out.Of course, Hawkins is still a True Believer -- but as always happens with far-right scam operations, the egos and the control freaks drove him away from the operation, which he also now recognizes is a scam.
“There's a lot of double talk [in the Republic],” Hawkins said in a conversation with Patch, “a lot of patriot mythology.”
Hawkins was already having doubts about the organization when the Georgia branch met at a Ryan's in Norcross with Tim Turner, the “president” of the Republic.
Turner asked everyone present to sign a document and leave their thumbprint. If they didn't sign, according to Hawkins, they were out. The document outlined what the Republic stood for and what members should do or not do.
“He was really overstepping his bounds,” he said. “That put it over the edge for me.”
Hawkins is no longer in contact with anyone from the organization, after serving for two years as ambassador, representative and senator.
The Republic for the United States is the largest sovereign citizen movement in the U.S. The basic philosophy is that our current government is a de facto government, and that the Republic's version is the legitimate one.