On February 1st of this year, ex-lobbyist Rick Hill attended a private gathering, which included members of the Aryan Nation. The meeting took place near Thompson Falls, MT.
Rick Hill was there to address the Militia of Montana, which is headed by John Trochmann, who was also in attendance.
Montana Street Fighter received audio of a Democratic operative being kicked out of the event by Rick Hill himself. You can find a transcript of the audio at the bottom of this post.
According to the Andi-Defemation League (ADL), “Militia of Montana is one of the best known of the paramilitary ‘patriot’ militias that formed in the mid-to-late 1990s. John Trochmann, along with his brother David and nephew Randy, formed the group in January 1994 in Noxon, Montana. All three have been involved with the Idaho-based Aryan Nations — John as a featured speaker at the 1990 Aryan Nations Congress. AN founder Richard Butler has said that John helped write AN’s code of conduct; he has also been interviewed by The Spotlight, the conspiratorially anti-government and anti-Semitic journal, and was a featured guest at the Liberty Lobby’s 40th anniversary celebration.”
This is not the first time Rick Hill has associated himself with militias who have connections to the Aryan Nation.
According to a 1996 article in The Billings Gazette, “Hill downplayed his attendance at what The Billings Gazette described as a ‘militia meeting.’ Hill attended the Freedom Rendezvous ’96 event, which featured a number of anti-government speakers, including Larry Pratt, a militia supporter kicked off of Pat Buchanan’s Presidential campaign due to ties to white supremacist, Jack McLamb, who had previously spoken out in support of the Freemen militia group and Richard Mack, who filed a lawsuit against the Brady handgun law waiting period. A spokesman for Hill said that the candidate only “passed through” the gathering:”
In 1997, The Helena Independent ran an article calling out Rick Hill’s fundraisers for being right-wing extremists, ‘”William Wewer and Kathleen Marquardt, a couple who helped fundraise and campaigned for Hill and were right wing commentators who defended militia groups and attacked animal rights groups and green movements.”
Rick Hill’s ties to Montana’s militias and the Aryan Nation become even more alarming when you put them into perspective. Last year, the Associated Press announced that extremist groups were increasing their presence in the Pacific Northwest and Montana. The AP reported “a trend that has seen extremist activity on the rise nationally. The region has also been the base for some of the highest-profile ones, including the Aryan Nations and the Militia of Montana.
Travis McAdam of the Montana Human Rights Network said the reasons for the trend include the election of a black president, growing distrust with the federal government, the downturn in the economy and the continued growth of minority groups in the population.”
Rick Hill was willing to associate with extremists, including members of the Aryan Nation, as Montana’s Congressman and he’s now willing to do it as a candidate for Governor. Extremism and hate are not Montana values – do we want them in the Governor’s Mansion?
Here’s a transcript of the audio Montana Street Fighter received (it’s unclear what the “question” was):
Hill: This is a private…
Operative: That’s what I figured. Thought I’d come and check-in with ya.
Hill: That was unfair, that question that…
Operative: I did want to talk to you about that…
MOM Member: But he handled it really well, didn’t he?
Operative: He did a pretty good job.
Operative: I don’t want to start playing those games with you guys. I expect that to be a one time thing.
Hill: But, you know, it was a good shot.
Operative: Yeah. I wasn’t crazy about doing it. I talked to Brock [Hill’s campaign manager] about it [inaudible] but, like I said, “no games from me, I hope.”
Hill: Yeah, but this one’s kind of private.