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Anti-Muslim TN campaign chair makes perfect sense for Cruz

Aaron Patrick Flanagan • Jun 09, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has appointed a local anti-Muslim activist as a state chairman for his 2016 presidential campaign.

Kevin Kookogey will oversee the Texas Senator’s campaign in Tenneessee.

As the former chairman of the Williamson County GOP, Kookogey was involved in a series of far-right resolutions circulated throughout the state that condemned Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. Williamson County’s resolution charged that Haslam had “elevated and/or afforded preferential political status to Sharia adherents in Tennessee.”

Given the company Cruz keeps, Kookogey is a logical choice to chair the senator’s campaign in Tennessee. Logical for Cruz, that is.

The incident that provoked Kookogey’s rage: Haslam’s office had hired a lawyer who also happened to be Muslim.

In a press release, Cruz praised Kookogey for his “experience and knowledge of both the landscape in Tennessee and the issues that matter to Tennesseans,” according to the Associated Press. Cruz also noted Kookogey’s leadership on issues like “American sovereignty, defense, and religious liberty.”

It’s no surprise that Cruz would bring such an individual into his campaign’s fold. His own extremist beliefs regarding Muslims are well documented and demonstrated. Over the past two years, Cruz has spoken at events hosted by two major leaders of the organized Islamophobia movement in the U.S., for example.

The Tennessean: Anti-Shariah activist Kevin Kookogey joins Ted Cruz camp

Twice already this year, the GOP presidential primary candidate has spoken before anti-Muslim events orchestrated by the Center for Security Policy’s founder and head, Frank Gaffney, one of the most verbose conspiracists leading the Islamophobia movement. Gaffney regularly proclaims that operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood either are or already have infiltrated nearly facet of cultural or governmental authority in our country.

At the Center for Security Policy’s “South Carolina Action Summit,” Gaffney’s acknowledged track record of bigotry didn’t stop Cruz from heralding him as “a clarion voice for truth.”

And twice back in 2013, Cruz spoke at retreat-style events hosted by David Horowitz, who funds and/or operates multiple anti-Muslim campaigns and websites, including Robert Spencer’s “Jihad Watch.”

That said, Horowitz hardly seeks to limit his hate. He has claimed that President Obama would never have been elected president if “he weren’t black,” given his “curious background and radicalism.” He believes this is “part of the racism of our society,” that “if you’re black you can get away with murder.” In 2001, Horowitz published an ad in college campus newspapers titled, “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery Is a Bad Idea—and Racist Too.” In it, he asks where “the gratitude is from black America,” as without the “sacrifices of white soldiers and a white American president” slavery in America never would have ended. In that same ad, Horowitz claims reparations for slavery have already been paid to black Americans in the “form of welfare benefits and racial preferences.” He adds paying reparations would “burden” the black community with a “crippling sense of victim-hood,” and that it’s not the United States’ fault “blacks can’t seem to locate the ladder of opportunity.”

At one of those retreat-style events in November of 2013, Cruz said, “David [Horowitz] is profoundly principled and he commits one simple act that has incredible power over and over again. He tells the truth.”

Given the company Cruz keeps, Kookogey is a logical choice to chair the senator’s campaign in Tennessee. Logical for Cruz, that is.


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