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Columns
Polman: In Illinois, an actual Nazi is running for Congress

Forget Washington for a moment. Forget the news that the Republican Congress has voted to massively deepen the budget deficit, the same deficit they used to blame Barack Obama for. Instead, let’s trek to the American Midwest and play “Meet the Nazi.”

In case you haven’t heard—and this will be a worthy footnote in the annals of dystopic 2018—an actual Nazi is the official House Republican candidate in Illinois’ third congressional district. There’s virtually zero chance that he will triumph in November, given the district’s longstanding Democratic tilt, but we do have to wonder what in blazes is wrong with the GOP that it would leave a vacuum for a Nazi to fill.

It’s rare to see on cable TV the kind of exchange that transpired on the air last week. A CNN host conversed with Republican candidate Arthur Jones—who spent eight years in the National Socialist White People’s Party, who assails “the Jew-party system,” who thinks the Holocaust is a crock—and we got this:

Host Alisyn Camerota: “Mr. Jones, it is shocking to hear how vocally and unapologetically racist you are. Are you a Nazi?”

Jones: “Well, for the past 15-20 years I have not had anything to do with any national socialist organization on a formal basis... I call myself an American patriot and statesman, OK?”

Camerota: “You’ve been part of anti-Semitic groups since the 1970s. You go to neo-Nazi rallies—we have pictures of you there. You are—were part of the White People’s Party. You dress in Nazi garb and you celebrate Hitler’s birthday. You’re a Nazi...”

Jones: “You Jews-media, you’ve gone absolutely nuts...”

Jones has been quite candid about his life-perspective—he calls the Holocaust “an international extortion racket by the Jews,” he stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Donald Trump, he says he’s a “white racialist” who thinks blacks are dumb—and I’m loath to detail his loathsomeness any further, lest I risk lowering the ambient IQ of this column. Suffice it to say, this dude doesn’t exactly burnish the GOP’s reputation.

So how did Jones wind up on the Republican congressional ballot, with the GOP primary just weeks away—running for the party nomination unopposed?

For starters, Illinois’ Congressional 3rd District, which takes a slice of Chicago and adjoining liberal-leaning suburbs, hasn’t elected a Republican congressman since the 1970s. Some people blame Democratic gerrymandering, but no matter how you carve up that particular area, the district would be solidly blue. As a result, the Illinois GOP has had a tough time recruiting quality candidates.

But as Illinois political analyst Christopher Mooney reportedly said the other day, “Anytime you’ve got a Nazi running, somebody was asleep at the switch.” By all accounts, the state GOP is extra somnolent this year because Trump, who lost Illinois in a landslide, has further soured the grassroots’ mood. Nobody wanted to risk time and money losing the 3rd District race in the midst of a nationwide blue tsunami.

So as the GOP sat on the sidelines, Jones sallied forth, taking advantage of Illinois’ easy ballot-access rules. All he needed to get on the Republican line was 603 petition signatures. He did the job all by himself, going door to door, talking vaguely about economic security, ending wars in the Middle East—and saying nothing about his Nazi track record. He found a sufficient number of incurious citizens (you find 603 people to sign anything). And now that he’s on the ballot, he’s dialing up the candor: “I don’t believe in this doctrine of racial equality.”

With the March 20 primary looming, with all deadlines having expired, the state GOP can’t even field a write-in candidate. All it can do is distance itself from Jones with all deliberate speed: “The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office.” The national GOP says: “We condemn this candidate and his hateful rhetoric in the strongest possible terms.”

Well, at least that’s something. No party wants to be publicly defined by its worst bottom-feeder. But for the next nine months Jones will be peddling what he pitched on CNN—“I am not campaigning as a National Socialist, I campaign as a Republican”—and in a tough election year, Jones will be dead weight on the GOP’s potentially heavy lift.


Letters
Your Views: Raising the gasoline tax to pay for roads makes sense

When gas was $4 per gallon, everyone still bought gas. Then why is it so difficult to add 25 cents to a gallon when gas is $2.50 per gallon? I am all for a gasoline tax increase if the 25 cents goes to fix infrastructure. If one penny less goes for something else, I am against it. If gas would rise a lot, an adjustment could be made.

Quit talking and do it now and don't make this part of another deal. How complicated is this?

THOMAS SHERMAN

Milton


Our_views
Our Views: Rock County at epicenter of Moly-99 innovation

NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes reached the finish line first in the race to become the first company in North America to produce molybdenum-99, a radioisotope used for diagnosing cancer and other diseases.

The Beloit-based company received permission this month from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell and supply moly-99 it produces using a government reactor in Missouri.

A Janesville-based competitor, SHINE Medical Technologies, is still years away from bringing moly-99 to market, though SHINE officials expressed confidence last week when asked about NorthStar’s achievement.

A SHINE official said NorthStar produces a type of moly-99 different from what SHINE plans to produce. SHINE plans to produce moly-99 on site, and SHINE is building a prototype to demonstrate the viability of its process.

There seems to be enough room for both NorthStar and SHINE to operate in an industry still in its infancy.

That Rock County has become the epicenter for moly-99 innovation is a curious development. The county’s proximity to Madison, where SHINE got its start, provides an explanation. Janesville emerged as an eager partner, luring the company with tax incentives worth millions of dollars.

Most other moly-99 producers are in Europe, and medical providers and government officials alike have taken an interest in boosting and securing the moly-99 supply for North America.

The supply chain is precarious in part because moly-99 decays rapidly. “It’s like running through the desert with an ice cream cone,” Ira N. Goldman, senior director of global strategic supply at Lantheus Medical Imaging in North Billerica, Mass., told a reporter with Kaiser Health News.

The Kaiser report states stabilizing the moly-99 market is critical for patient health, noting the globe experienced shortages in 2009 and 2010 when two nuclear reactors unexpectedly shut down. Some doctors had to switch to more dangerous concoctions for diagnostics. “For cardiac imaging, we had to shift to a more expensive agent and expose patients to more radiation,” said Dr. Andrei Iagaru, chief of the division of nuclear medicine at Stanford Health Care.

We don’t claim to understand the science behind producing this stuff (NorthStar officials, in particular, have been reluctant to discuss their operations), but we wish both SHINE and NorthStar success. If the two companies can become dependable suppliers of moly-99, patients throughout the United States and all of North America will be safer.

And as an added bonus, Rock County will solidify its reputation as a medical technology innovator, bringing more jobs and prosperity to the area.


Sound_off
Sound Off for Wednesday, Feb. 14

On voter ID speech at UW-Rock County (Sunday, Page 2A): Rick Daniels, just go home. These people are so poor, downtrodden and beat up, they just can’t make it to vote. But they’re the first ones in line for the freebies the government hands out, so I don’t want to hear any more about his voter registration problem. He’s the problem.

  • I received notification of my driver’s license renewal, and I am stunned to find I must chose between retaining my driving privileges and condoning and becoming complicit in voter ID suppression of my constitutional right to vote. What is this, Nazi Germany? Are Democrats no longer citizens?

On $50,000 donation to YMCA of Northern Rock County (Sunday, Page 2A): The McKennas own a business that gets paid by public school system for computer services, and the Milton School District is just one example. Schools are so strapped for cash, but a company that does business with the schools seems to have lots of money from all those taxpayer dollars funding the public schools.

  • It’s sort of bittersweet because the city taxpayers of Milton granted an incentive package for their company (Diamond Assets), plus they’re in a TIF district. It would be nice if the taxpayers got a little pat on the back, too.

On Wisconsin Supreme Court race: Have you seen Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Dallet’s TV ad? She takes a shot at President Trump, saying he’s attacking our civil rights and our values. She in turn promises to protect them. Do you hear anything in her ad that says she’ll interpret the law as written? She’s telling us she plans to legislate from the bench. If she wants to do that, she should run for the Senate or the Assembly. I want judges who will interpret the law as written. That’s not Rebecca Dallet.

On Sunday snowfall: We just had 3 inches of snow. This is Sunday morning. I want to know why the trucks in Janesville have to plow snow as fast as they can into our driveways. The man across the street was late for his job because of this. We had to go try to get him out of the mess that Janesville made. I really wish they would be more cautious in what they do to people’s yards. What if somebody had to get out of the driveway in an emergency.

On Rep. Paul Ryan: I would like someone out there to list three things Paul Ryan has done for his district and his hometown of Janesville after being in Washington for 20 years and why he deserves another term.

On a military parade: Looks like the Trump-hating liberals are at it again. This week they are criticizing Trump’s mere mention of a parade to honor our military. I can guarantee that if the same suggestion had been made by their liberal idols Barack Obama, Bill Clinton or Joe Biden, they would be all for it. Just shows how narrow minded, devious and petty they have all sadly become.

On Russia sanctions: Congress has voted 517 to 5 to impose sanctions on Russia. The problem is Trump has shut down the sanction office. Maybe it’s Putin’s birthday; we know how Trump admires Putin.

On roundabouts: Have you noticed that the center of the roundabouts is raised and blocks vision for certain vehicles but not all? Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t to me.

On former Rock County Republican Party’s elections board chairman: Why did The Gazette writer (Saturday, Page 6A) include a paragraph connecting Wade Hallett to a volunteer job he had working on the 2016 election cycle? This part-time job has no relevance to the subject matter of the article. It appears to simply be a cheap shot against the Republican Party. The media wonders why they are held in such low regard. This is a prime example.