FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022
Jennifer Ellis, Board Chair
Take Back Idaho Calls for McGeachin to Resign After Speech to
White Nationalist Convention
AFPAC attendees shouted support for Putin during five-hour event
BLACKFOOT, Idaho (Feb. 26, 2022) – Take Back Idaho issued the following statement, calling on Idaho Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin to resign after learning that she spoke at America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC).
“McGeachin’s participation in AFPAC shows that she is openly courting the most extreme fringes of society—including QAnon conspiracy theorists, January 6 insurrectionists, white nationalists and Holocaust deniers—on a national stage. She intends to be their voice in Idaho politics. McGeachin is dangerous to Idahoans and to all of us who value the rule of law.
“The fact that McGeachin didn’t announce or mention the speech to her constituents shows she knows enough about AFPAC’s extremist leadership and followers to know Idahoans would not approve. Her secrecy, hypocrisy, and lack of moral character should now be crystal-clear to all Idahoans: She’s unfit to hold her current office, and certainly should not be one heartbeat away from the governor’s office.
“McGeachin must resign immediately.”
AFPAC is widely viewed as a far-right, white nationalist alternative (“alt-right”) to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Since 1974, CPAC has annually convened elected officials and conservative leaders and is considered “too mainstream” by AFPAC organizers. White nationalism is a U.S. social movement with a goal of creating an all-white state through political violence and extreme exclusionary policies that expel Jews, people of color, and immigrants, among others.
AFPAC’s listed attendees and speakers included a roster of white nationalist and extremist figures, including its founder Nick Fuentes, Gavin McInnes, Vincent James, Milo Yiannopoulos, Baked Alaska, and Beardson Beardsly.
In his speech last night, white supremacist Fuentes said: “The US government has become the Great Satan that many have called it,” borrowing a phrase from Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. He then suggested that comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler is “a good thing,” before nervously laughing, adding “I shouldn’t have said that.”
At one point in the five-hour event, attendees chanted: “Putin! Putin!” and cheered the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Fuentes praised the crowd as “our secret sauce … young white men.”
In her remarks to the in-person AFPAC crowd and thousands watching online, McGeachin said: “Congratulations on your event. Keep up the good work fighting for our country.” She went on to say, “I need freedom fighters… even when that means fighting amongst our own ranks because too many Republicans don’t exhibit the courage today.”
McGeachin is supported by many Idaho Freedom Foundation board members, donors, and has previously shared staff members with the organization.