Jewish Journal


November 1, 2010

White supremacists campaign for office in Inland Empire


When “pro-white” candidates Bill Johnson and John Ubele ran for elected office, they at least pretended to be part of the mainstream. But it hasn’t always been that way. Who can forget Tom Metzger and W.A.R.?

Two candidates for minor office in the Inland Empire—my old journalism stomping grounds—are following in Metzger’s hatemongering footsteps. They are loud and proud neo-Nazis. And they want your vote.

Here’s a quick overview from KPCC’s Steven Cuevas:

As chief of the National Socialist Movement’s California chapter, Jeff Hall has led swastika-waving demonstrations against a Riverside synagogue and organized anti-illegal immigration protests in Latino neighborhoods that sometimes turned violent.

Hall, a Riverside plumber, says he’s putting aside the Nazi garb to run for a seat on the Western Riverside Municipal Water District.

“I’m running on a conservative platform of conservation and sensible solutions and green jobs,” says Hall.

The Western Riverside Municipal Water District manages water supplies for nearly 900,000 Inland residents. Hall is trying to unseat an incumbent with 30 years in the energy business. The district covers east Riverside, including March Air Reserve Base. Hall insists he’s not looking to promote the NSM’s dream of an Aryan nation.

“The water you receive, the water the Jewish family or the black family across the street receives is not going to be any different from the water I receive,” says Hall.

Kind of gives new meaning to poisoning the well.

The other hatemongering horse is Dan Schruender running in the Rialto school board race, which is beyond frightening because, if I remember from my time as the Rialto beat reporter for The Sun, there are more blacks and Latinos than whites in Fontana’s ugly little brother.

I don’t want to say these guys have a chance—I don’t want to give them hope—but the reality is that low-level elected positions like these, especially in the age of diminished local news reporting, are often voted on arbitrarily. Remember the Orange school board’s Steve Rocco?

In 2004, Rocco was elected to Orange Unified School District despite making no public appearances or comments about his campaign. Although some were not sure if he would even show up to the meetings, he began attending meetings where he made speeches about conspiracy theories involving charter schools, his father’s death, and a group of politicians and other leaders he calls The Partnership, which he claimed was trying to control the United States and kill Rocco for speaking out against them. Soon, an attempt to recall Rocco was established but failed to garner enough signatures to be put on a ballot. The board did vote to censure Rocco which caused Rocco to sue the board, but he lost the case in court.

More on Hall and Schruender from the AP. Oh, and by the way, Metzger is still around and is running for Congress in Indiana.

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