An affiliate of a “pro-white” group who marched in Charlottesville last year was elected to a Republican Party post in Washington state last week, part of his campaign to take over the GOP for the alt-right.
James Allsup, 22, attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists chanted anti-Semitic slogans and one allegedly drove a car into a crowd, killing a protester and injuring more. Allsup was filmed marching with Identity Evropa, an anti-immigrant alt-right group. Fallout over the rally led to Allsup stepping down as president of the Washington State University College Republicans, a group he once boasted of taking over. Now he claims he’s on the way to taking over the local GOP.
Immediately after his election Allsup said he was attending a Spokane GOP dinner headlined by former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (who did not return The Daily Beast’s request for comment), and claimed he or an associate were scheduled for a private meeting with an unnamed congressperson.
On June 2, Allsup posted a picture of a certificate on Facebook. “As of today I am officially an elected official in the state of Washington and Republican party,” he wrote. “Cool!”
The piece of paper certified that Allsup was now a precinct committee officer for the Whitman County, Washington Republican Party. Allsup’s certificate declares that he was awarded the post after his candidacy remained uncontested for four days. The county’s auditor confirmed the certificate’s authenticity to The Daily Beast.
Allsup’s post is a small one on its face, but it’s influential.
“If you want to take over a political party in this state, the best thing to do is to start at the PCO level and get a whole bunch of people who agree with your views elected as PCOs,” Hugh Spitzer, a professor of law at the University of Washington, told The Daily Beast.
PCO races are usually uncontested, and write-ins are not allowed, Spitzer said.
“From the party’s perspective, the responsibility of PCOs is to visit every house and apartment if they can, meet the people, and then determine [how they might vote],” Spitzer said, adding that PCOs also carry campaign materials for their party’s candidates, and vote for members of their party’s county central committee, who influence the selection of party officials on a more statewide basis.
The Republican National Committee denounced Allsup.
“We condemn this individual and his hateful, racist views in the strongest possible terms,” a spokesperson for the RNC told The Daily Beast. “There’s no place for it in the Republican Party.”
The Washington State Republican Party’s chairman told The Daily Beast the party doesn’t “condone identity politics, in any form, whatsoever,” adding, “We condemned this hateful ideology before, we condemn it today, and will continue to condemn it in the future.”
Shortly after posting a picture of certificate, Allsup appeared on a podcast by Identity Evropa where he encouraged members of the far-right to push their way into more mainstream conservative politics like he did.
“I happen to be involved in the Spokane GOP. I am now actually an elected official in the Whitman County GOP down here where I live,” Allsup said. “You have a seat at the table. And that’s the most important thing, getting that seat at the table, and you can get that seat at the table by, yes, showing up, yes, by bringing people in, and again this doesn’t necessarily only have to be IE members.”
Allsup clarified that he planned to push “our” political agenda—not the GOP’s.
“Of course I’m not the GOP shill here. I’m not going to tell you that knocking doors for a Republican congressman is going to save the West or save European Americans,” he said. “That’s not at all what I’m saying, but it is a means to an end. This political involvement is a means to our political ends.”
This isn’t the first time Allsup has tried “entryist” tactics.
A month after Charlottesville, Allsup told white nationalist podcast Fash the Nation that he tried to take over WSU’s College Republican club with “fashy goy” (fascist, non-Jewish) friends.
“If you are a college guy, or a college girl, and you are on a college campus, if you have three or four fashy goy friends, you can take over your school’s College Republicans group and move it to essentially being an alt-right club,” Allsup said.
“You can easily do that and it gives you access to so many more resources. It gives you political credibility. It gives you all of these things that come along with the name of being a Republican.”
The “entryist” tactic worked for Allsup for a while in WSU’s College Republican club. As president of WSU’s College Republican club, he clashed with members who denounced his “Trumpist tone” and “xenophobia,” The Spokesman-Review previously reported. But Allsup’s attendance at Unite the Right, where he said he was invited to give a speech and filmed himself fawning over white nationalist Richard Spencer, was a step too far for some college Republicans. Allsup resigned from the group.
But he stayed close to Identity Evropa, the group he was filmed marching with in Charlottesville.
Founded in 2016, Identity Evropa lifts its messaging from Europe’s identitarians: a movement that uses “pro-white” innuendo to push a racist reactionary message, particularly against immigrants. Identity Evropa’s founder Nathan Damigo entered the white nationalist movement reading a book by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke while in prison, where he was serving time for drunkenly robbing a Arab cab driver of $43 at gunpoint.
Damigo stepped down after Unite the Right, to be replaced by Elliott Kline, an alt-righter who goes by “Eli Mosley” and who bragged on a podcast of supposedly killing Muslims while in Iraq.
“I work in HR firing n----rs and spics all day,” he said during a March 2016 podcast. “Before that, I was in the army and I got to kill Muslims for fun. I’m not sure which one was better: watching n----rs and spics cry because they can’t feed their little mud children or watching Muslims brains spray on the wall. Honestly both probably suck compared to listening to a kike’s scream while in the oven.”
A New York Times investigation revealed that Kline had lied about his military record, and had never been to Iraq. Kline left Identity Evropa in late November to be replaced by the group’s current leader, Patrick Casey, who recently described the group’s goal as a white “super majority” in America and a halt to all immigration.
On the Identity Evropa podcast, Allsup said he hopes to streamline the group’s anti-immigrant rhetoric with that of the broader Republican Party. He used the example of a hypothetical alt-righter landing a community board seat and teaming up with more subtly racist members to steer funding and approvals away from pro-immigrant applicants.
“We could certainly be advantageous in helping those people express their perhaps more deep-seated or implicit biases about immigration, perhaps, toward a larger audience,” Allsup said.
The Whitman County GOP, of which Allsup is now a minor official, is the county’s largest political organization. Spitzer said Allsup’s uncontested election acts as a wake-up call to the local GOP, whom he described as more “traditional” Republicans: farmers and businesspeople.
“While many of them are conservatives,” Spitzer said, “they’re not fascists.”