Midwest Extremists Dealt Setback

Midwest extremists seeking to exploit the farm crisis have been dealt new setbacks, according to the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

The ADL cited the “strong repudiation” of two rightwing gubernatorial candidates in the Republican primary in Nebraska–who received less than 9,000 of 190,000 votes–and the conviction by a Colorado jury of the publisher of a now defunct anti-Semitic farm newspaper for crimes connected with the publication.

The ADL said the candidates, Everett Sileven and Paul Rosberg, had employed farm belt related issues in their campaigns. Sileven after announcing his candidacy, spoke at a rally in Nebraska sponsored by an anti-Semitic paramilitary organization and Rosberg had offered his campaign contributors an anti-Semitic book, according to the ADL.

The editor, Roderick “Rick” Elliott, was convicted last month on 14 counts of theft and one of conspiracy in connection with more than $200,000 in unpaid loans made primarily to his anti-Jewish “Primrose and Cattleman’s Gazette” and to the National Agricultural Press Association, an extremist group Elliott says he formed to combat farm foreclosures. Barbara Coopersmith, associate director of ADL’s Denver office, testified as a witness in the case.

EXTREMISTS’ CAMPAIGN FALTERS

Previous ADL analyses of the efforts of extremists in the farm belt, including an ADL-commissioned Louis Harris poll conducted in Iowa and Nebraska earlier this year, revealed that their campaigns to scapegoat Jews for the farm crisis have not been successful.

During the Nebraska election campaign, Sileven, who is pastor of the Faith Baptist Church in Louisville, Nebraska appeared on the same platform with Larry Humphries, founder of the anti-Semitic paramilitary organization known as the Heritage Library.

During the campaign, the ADL noted, Sileven shared an office with Rudy “Butch” Stanko Jr., a Nebraska meat packer who in 1985 placed ads in Nebraska and Wyoming claiming that a Zionist-Jewish “conspiracy” controls the economy and media of the United States.

The ADL said that Rosberg, a farmer from Wausau, Nebraska recommended in his campaign booklet that voters read “The Spotlight,” the publication of the far right, anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby. He also offered in return for a campaign contribution a number of books, including “Billions for the Bankers, Debts for the People,” written by the late Sheldon Emry, a notorious anti-Semite.

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