Land-grabbing Koch group literally recruits ‘Joe Six-Pack’ to run for Montana legislature
It looks like a Koch brothers-backed group may have tapped the actual “Joe Six-Pack” to run for a seat in the Montana state legislature.
But a guest post at the MT Cowgirl blog shows the moniker might be aptly applied to Brian Kenat — an employee of the American Lands Council and a Republican candidate for state representative.
Kenat, who is also an insurance salesman, has a history of making racist, sexist, homophobic and other offensive remarks on Facebook and over the phone.
At least two candidates for Billings City Council said they received harassing phone calls last year from Kenat, a former council candidate himself.
Kenat identified himself and said he was a GOP and Tea Party activist, he allegedly told one candidate he was “unqualified” and “too poor” to run for City Council.
“I work with alpha males, so I didn’t find it threatening,” said the candidate, Kevin Hamilton, who works with welders, riggers and pipefitters. “He was clearly trying to tell me to get out of the race.”
Kenat, who has made numerous anti-LGBT posts on his Facebook account, defended a racist post by Jennifer Olsen, a Yellowstone County Republican official.
She posted an image of a watermelon underneath a box propped up by a stick, which was described in a caption as “a plot to kidnap the president,” Barack Obama.
But Kenat insisted that he didn’t understand how the image perpetuated racist stereotypes.
“All this shit-eating politically correct, morally ambiguous absolute relativistic finger pointing annoys me,” Kenat posted on his own social media account. “Can anyone provide an explanation with credible sources why a watermelon is racist?”
Around that same time, he appeared to blame some of his controversial posts on drinking alcohol, although his comment fell short of an apology.
“When you’re a drinker you f*ck up,” Kenat posted on Facebook. “F*ck the f*ckers who expect their pussy ways of kissing everyone’s ass. Don’t f*ckin work that way. Be happy.”
Kenat is running a GOP challenge to incumbent state Rep. Kelly McCarthy, a Democrat.
He lists on his campaign filing that he’s employed by the ALC — a Koch-funded lobbying group caught last month spreading a misleading propaganda video produced in December by Ammon Bundy, the jailed Oregon militant leader.
The ALC promotes legislation that would give states and individuals control of federally owned land, a goal shared by the Bundy-led militants who now face a variety of charges related to their occupation of a national wildlife preserve earlier this year.
A columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune said the ALC videos were so similar that their text repeated the same spelling errors made by Bundy.
The lobbying group is currently headed by Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, who has proposed several bills that would loosen federal control of public lands.
Another Koch-backed group, Americans for Prosperity, has urged Montana lawmakers to support her measures seeking the large-scale transfer of federal land to state control.