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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Political Memory

I was contacted by Peter Goldmark to help support ($) his run for Washington Commissioner of Public Lands, a position that is a lot more interesting than it sounds. I did donate to his run for congress because of my connection to the Fifth Congressional District and the vicious persecution of his father and brother by Washington State fascists. I think Fascist is an appropriate term for John Birch Society organizers and neo-nazi murderers. 

Peter's brother, the brother's wife and two children were murdered at home during Christmas  Eve 1985 by an American Nazi who mistakenly thought he was killing the father / grandfather  John Goldmark, former state legislator. Stirring in the sewer that is Eastern Washington Rethuglican politics is a nasty strain of Christian Identity and anti-Semitic ugliness. John Goldmark a State Senator, was attacked weeks before the '62 election by Ashley Holden in his newspaper, The Tonasket Tribune, as a communist bent on the destruction of America. Reds under the rug was a decade late coming to Eastern Washington, and the Bircher Holden preyed on the unsophisticated folk in the district by employing a big smear against Goldmark and his wife. By the time the Goldmarks realized that people were taking the lies seriously the election was over and a Rethuglican was elected. Goldmark sued the paper and several of the Birchers involved in the smear, and won a substantial settlement. Later the Supreme Court vacated the decision when it ruled for the first time that a public figure cannot be slandered. 

The lore of the Rethuglican Right cooked up a legend that they were just uncovering a communist plot, and that here was an office in the Kremlin dedicated to ruining the Washington apple industry (I was actually told this once by a guy who was dead serious). The Christian Identity group called by the innocuous name "Duck Club" stewed for a decade, amplified the lore and sent a little nobody named David Rice out to kill the Goldmarks. He stabbed and beat them to death with an iron, and thought he was saving America from the commie jews. The Duck Club now mostly concerns itself with anti indian and anti-immigrant causes.

Peter Goldmark doesn't like to revisit all this crap, for obvious reasons, but those old wheat ranchers have long memories and defeated him in his run for congress. He was perfect. A rancher, biologist who had his own lab alongside a bunkhouse on his
 acreage.  He has a PHD in Bio Chemestry. Exactly the sort of congressman rural Washington State needs.  Smart, modern and reasonable.

Now Peter is running for the Lands spot, and once again he is perfect for the job. This time Eastern Washington wingnuts won't be calling the tune. 

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