PA-9: Founder of National Policy Institute Endorses Halvorson

Halvorson and Taylor seated together at Lincoln Day Dinner

Halvorson and Taylor seated together at Lincoln Day Dinner

Harrisburg’s Patriot News reported that businessman Art Halvorson, who is challenging Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair) for his seat in the 9th district, has accepted the endorsement of a founding member for a white supremacist think tank.

Franklin County GOP Chairman Dwight Weidman brought to attention Halvorson’s support from James B. Taylor, a former board member and and vice president of the National Policy Institute (NPI).

In the mission statement on their website, the NPI aims “to elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights. The institute … will study the consequences of the ongoing influx that non-Western populations pose to our national identity.”Jarring statement aside, civil rights group the Southern Poverty Law Center called the NPI one of the leaders in the world of “academic racism.”

Halvorson’s campaign defended themselves, stating that Taylor is no longer a member of NPI, which was confirmed for PennLive by the organization’s executive director Richard Spencer. The campaign also believed that Weidman was only bringing this up to show support for Shuster when the Franklin County GOP doesn’t endorse during primary elections.

   “We want to reiterate that Art Halvorson condemns racism, and will not knowingly associate with any person or organization that believes such opinions are acceptable. It is hypocritical for Mr. Weidman to accuse Art of a “lapse in judgment” when he himself accepted Mr. Taylor’s endorsement and extensive support when he ran for office. Mr. Weidman denied that he was asked to initiate this smear attack by the Shuster campaign, but he has been a strong, vocal supporter of the Shuster Campaign. These smears and lies orchestrated by the Shuster campaign, similar to the previous smears and lies they have made against Art Halvorson, are an attempt to deceive the voters.  They have resorted to the tactics of Barack Obama, using the term “racist” when anyone dares challenge or disagree with them. Art is running to take back the Republican Party from the people that believe these kind of tactics are acceptable.”

Weidman, though, said he is only concerned about transparency for voters. “It concerns me because it goes to the judgment of someone like Halvorson,” he said. “I warned him that it doesn’t show good judgment to take an endorsement from someone with such extreme views. If he didn’t know, it would be one thing. But he was warned.”

In a statement to PennLive, Halvorson’s campaign denounced racism and claimed he would never knowingly associate with someone who had such beliefs. “The Shuster campaign is trying to rehash this old story for purely political purposes to discredit a surging Halvorson campaign right before the primary on May 20,” his office said.

“Art Halvorson decided to stand shoulder to shoulder with Jim Taylor despite his past ties to racist organizations.  That is unfortunate,” Shuster’s campaign manager Sean Joyce told PoliticsPA. “Halvorson’s decision to double down on this endorsement and defend Jim Taylor is even more disappointing.”  

When the Chambersburg Public Opinion interviewed Taylor during his write-in campaign to represent Franklin County in the state Senate in 2012, Taylor noted that he had not been involved with NPI for years. He emphasized that he especially would not be involved at that time because of “what they have on their website now.”

Spencer labeled Taylor’s statement as insincere, saying that while it’s true Taylor is no longer a member, NPI is still the same organization it was back when it was founded in 2005. This was the time period when Taylor was on the board of directors.

“The idea that [NPI] has diverted from its mission is ridiculous,” Spencer said. “If [Taylor] didn’t know what this organization was about, then he is one of the most absurdly naive individuals on the face of this earth.”

Taylor has also been tied to a group similar to NPI. He was the executive director of America’s PAC when it donated $5,000 to the Charles Martel Society, as reported by The Public Opinion. The society was founded in 2001 by William H. Regenery, who is coincidentally also a cofounder of NPI.

Weidman said he believes it would be prudent for Halvorson to admit that accepting Taylor’s support was merely a mistake.

“We need to try to come together more and not split ourselves one way or another,” he said. “I know Art, and as county chairman I want to keep things clean and good in these races. [Halvorson] is not a bad guy, but I do think he has had a serious lapse in judgment.”

UPDATE: Taylor issued his own response.

It has come to my attention that the Harrisburg Patriot-News and other news

organizations have published stories referring to me as a “white supremacist” in an

attempt to damage the candidacy of Art Halvorson, a conservative running against

Congressman Bill Shuster for the 9th

These accusations are false, libelous and an insult to the voters of this district. I am

absolutely not a white supremacist or racist and, to be clear, I utterly reject any and

all forms of racism.

It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the purveyors of this story are Bill

Shuster and his henchman, Dwight Weidman, chairman of the Franklin County

Republican Party. It is disappointing because when I stepped down as chairman

in 2010, I endorsed and worked tirelessly for Weidman to replace me, to the point

that it affected my health. And Weidman greedily accepted my endorsement.

Mr. Weidman has been using his position as the Franklin County GOP chairman

to blatantly give advantage to Mr. Shuster in this race. He has used his official

email to recruit for the Shuster Campaign and spread this salacious attack around

Franklin County.

What makes Mr. Weidman’s attacks on me even more hypocritical is that he has

been accused as a racist and white supremacist himself. A 1998 Washington Post

article stated that a web site run by Mr. Weidman was described as pushing “racist

and white supremacist views.”

Mr. Shuster’s involvement is very disappointing. When I first moved to the district

I supported him and even donated $1500 to his campaign in 2006. My admiration

gradually diminished as I observed the congressman’s bullying tactics, his poor

record on fiscal votes and his less than admirable personal behavior.

District Congressional seat.

As our Congressman, Mr. Shuster should condemn such baseless, personal attacks

against fellow Republicans, not feed the fire.

The false accusations derive from my brief membership on the board of the

National Policy Institute and a donation made by America’s PAC to the Charles

Martel Group. The donation was intended to help start the NPI, and though the

NPI studied issues of race while I was associated with them, it was in no way a

racist organization. I left after only six months because of my participation in too

many other organizations which taxed my time and energy. While I believed NPI

was doing good work in 2006, I would not care to be associated with material I

found on their website in recent years. No one on the board and staff of NPI in

2006 is involved with the group today.

Those reporting these lies also fail to mention my more important and long-term

association with the Lincoln Institute. I co-founded and have maintained a 36-year

affiliation with that Institute; a black led conservative organization on whose board

I still sit. In my time with the Institute I have worked with many prominent black

conservative leaders, including Alan Keyes, Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams,

and many others.

I will let the voters decide for themselves what defines me: Six months on the

board of NPI or 36 years supporting African-American conservative leadership.

Shuster and Weidman use the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as their

authority for painting me as a racist. But the SPLC, a radical left group, calls all

manner of organizations hate groups or white supremacists. Anyone that disagrees

with them on any issue, ranging from illegal immigration to Common Core, is

automatically labeled as a racist or a hate group. The SPLC has even labeled

Focus on the Family as a hate group.

For Mr. Weidman, acting as Mr. Shuster’s puppet, to align with this liberal hate

group is desperate, distasteful and disturbing. Politics does indeed make strange

bedfellows, but to ally with this left-wing, pro-Democrat group to attack fellow

Republican Art Halvorson is the worst form of sleazy politics.

May 7th, 2014 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 18 Comments

18 thoughts on “PA-9: Founder of National Policy Institute Endorses Halvorson”

  1. Dwight Weidman says:

    Art, we’ve discussed this before. 1. No one knew of Taylor’s extremist ties until summer of 2011. By then, Taylor and I had parted ways because I cut off the party money to he and his cronies. Second, there was no racist website in 1998 or any other time, It was called “The Berkeley County Republican Journal” and you can go to the Internet Wayback Machine and find the pages. Art, I warned you in an email on Feb 24th about this.

  2. Skeptical Conservative says:

    That doesn’t explain why you accepted Taylor’s endorsement and strong support, Mr. Weidman. And did Shuster return the $1,500 when he did find out? What about your own racist website, referenced in the Washington Post article linked in a comment below? Why are you using Franklin County GOP assets to support a candidate? Isn’t that an abuse of your position of trust and a violation of state GOP protocols?

  3. Dwight Weidman says:

    It is true that Taylor’s PAC gave Shuster $1500 in 2006, but at the time, no one knew of Taylor’s involvement with extremist groups. That wasn’t uncovered until 2011, after Taylor started to circulate his hate sheet called “The TEA Party Press”. Taylor was so proud of his association with the NPI and Charles Martel Society that he kept it hidden. Also, if known, it may have dampened contributions to Taylor’s 501C3 “charity”, The World Youth Crusade. Now there is something that you all might want to check.

  4. John Olson says:

    Mr. Taylor stated: “I supported him and even donated $1500 to his campaign in 2006.” So why did Shuster accept the donation if Mr. Taylor is so bad? Just another case of the Establishment circling the wagons around John Boehner’s footstool — Shuster.

  5. John Olson says:

    This is McCarthyism at its finest. This is why I am personally disgusted with the Franklin County GOP

  6. DebunkingFrauds says:

    Dear Dwight

    The only blatantly progressive in this race is BILL SHUSTER!! The citizens of the 9th District know and understand what billy is all about. Money in his own pockets and kick-backs from all his friends. Are you a friend of billy too, Dwight?

  7. TGN says:

    That’s funny, the brochure NPI had up for a while (http://web.archive.org/web/20050815011549/http://www.nationalpolicyinstitute.org/) and their first website, that actually had content, (http://web.archive.org/web/20060101022354/http://nationalpolicyinstitute.org/) don’t seem all that different from their current white supremacist twaddle (http://www.npiamerica.org). And both of those archived documents have James Taylor listed on the board of directors. So no, Jim, these accusations are not “false [and] libelous.”

  8. William Braskey says:

    How do you not see this one coming? There have been stories done about this Taylor guy already. Even if he wasn’t warned, do a little research man! Halvorson is such an amateur in every sense of the word. I’m actually embarrassed for him.

    I think his battleship is sunk!

  9. HalvorsonVoter says:

    Dwight,
    In the months leading up to this 2014 Primary, YOU have been anything but fair. Remember when YOU turned headquarters into Shuster’s phone banking spot in Franklin County? Remember how you emailed your committee members not to attend a Republican function in Franklin County because the group was a “Renegade” Group? You speaking of fairness? Please. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, Dwight. Instead of throwing useless claims can we discuss real issues? Like for Example, Republican Registration numbers since you’ve been Chairman?

  10. Red State says:

    Yep, Dwight sat in the same meetings with Jim Taylor and campaigned for chairman. That is the real story!

  11. Chairman Dwight Hack says:

    I see the chairman is turning more of a Democrat with such tactics. This story is OLD, he’s tried to scare many people with this. Emails from untraceable accounts going to people in Franklin County, this isn’t new.

    His days in West Virginia

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/early/archive/early022098.htm

  12. David Diano says:

    Quick… somebody call McCord to show him a current (ie within the last 40 years) example of racism.

  13. PA Xena says:

    Shuster must be scared if he’s pulling stunts like this! He can’t stand on his record because he has done nothing to help the people!

  14. Murry says:

    Dwight Weidman NEVER handed out white supremacist papers on a military base, he’s not that dumb, and he has many years of military service stateside and overseas! You must be in with Taylor for such lies, or, it’s the TEA Party Express at work, again. I do believe you are a TEA party guy!.

  15. exTEA says:

    Dwight Weidman NEVER handed out white supremacist papers on a military base, he’s not that dumb, and he has so many years of military service stateside and overseas!. You must be in with Taylor’s gang to hear : such lies, or, it’s Taylor’s home made rag called The TEA Party Express.

  16. Dwight Weidman says:

    Ok, Erich Hawbaker and Joshua Bussard, I assume your claims can stand up in court as part of a defamation suit? The information on Taylor and Halvorson is fully documented. You had better hope that yours is also.

  17. KingOfSpades says:

    Last week the Shuster camp was calling Halvorson a liberal who would vote with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Now they’re calling him a white supremacist. Looks to me like they’re throwing every kind of excrement they can think of at him and just hoping that some of it will stick.

    And by the way, Dwight Weidman was also endorsed by Jim Taylor when he ran for Franklin County Republican Chairman. Apparently he wasn’t worried about “transparency for voters” when it was benefiting him.

  18. This is the same Dwight that was caught passing out white supremacist papers on military bases? Seems to me there’s a rule about glass houses that applies here. He should be ashamed of himself…this is low even for him!!!

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