How will you be spending your Fourth of July? Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt will be spending his with former congressman and convicted felon Jim Traficant and former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney at an event hosted by the Holocaust-denying frontman of an anti-government rock group with ties to the Hutaree militia.
The anti-Semitic weekly American Free Press reports that Pratt, Traficant and McKinney are all signed up to speak at the southeastern Pennsylvania “Freedompalooza,” hosted by Paul Topete. Topete heads the rock group Poker Face, which got national attention in 2010 when the Anti-Defamation league reported that it had licensed a song to and defended the violent right-wing Hutaree militia. Topete himself is an unabashed anti-Semite who, according to the ADL, once called the Holocaust “one of the largest if not THEE largest scam every played on humanity” (sic).
Topete’s anti-Semitic view of world history doesn’t stop there. He has also claimed that “the Rothchilds set up the Illuminati in 1776 to subvert the Christian basis of civilization.”
Responding to the ADL’s report, Topete’s band issued a statement saying, “We are not anti-Semitic, but, we will shine the spotlight on those of Jewish faith who use their heritage to escape criticism, especially when it comes to crimes against this country, but also against their own people.” In the statement, the group also doubled down on its speculation that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks: “Was Israel involved? It’s not beyond the scope of reasonable doubt.”
Topete is so extreme that, according to an NAACP report, his band has “been kicked off venues at Rutgers University in 2006 and a Ron Paul campaign event in 2007.”
In 2010, the Colbert Report reported that now-Sen. Rand Paul attended a gun rally where Topete threatened an armed revolt against the government.
Pratt, who has been credited with bringing down background checks legislation in the Senate, has a history of ties to unsavory characters. In 1996, he was forced to step down as a co-chair of Pat Buchanan’s – Pat Buchanan’s — presidential campaign when it was discovered that he had delivered an address to a group of neo-Nazis, shared a stage with an Aryan Nation official, and served as a contributing editor to an anti-Semitic publication.