The increasing extremism of the Republican Party is on display as Ryan Kelley runs for governor of Michigan.
"The Allendale Township planning commissioner is a real estate agent and lifestyle vlogger who boosted his profile while organizing right-wing opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus orders. Throughout 2020, Kelley built a following among aggrieved Michiganders under the banner of the American Patriot Council, a group he co-founded with longtime friend and former classmate Jason Howland," MLive reported Saturday.
The story was headlined, "Ryan Kelley pushed to arrest lawmakers, then stormed the Capitol. Now he wants to be Michigan's governor."
"The APC's message went beyond how best to manage the public health threat or reform election processes. Kelley organized rallies that embraced armed paramilitary groups, spread misinformation about COVID-19 and called for the arrest of Whitmer and other government officials they labeled traitors. At least seven of the 14 men who were arrested for allegedly plotting to kidnap Whitmer and try her for treason attended American Patriot Council events," MLive explained.
Kelley also has liability for his role in the fatal January 6th insurrection by supporters of Donald Trump seeking to overturn the 2020 election.
"Video footage places Kelley near the front of a crowd that stood face-to-face with police on the west side of the Capitol around 1:27 p.m. Roughly 15 minutes later, the mob clashed with officers and broke the police line. Kelley held his phone up to record the melee," MLive noted. "When protesters pushed police back at the top of the stairs leading to the west courtyard, Kelley followed behind. He was recorded waving his hands to encourage others to follow once he reached the top. By then, rioters had already breached the doors and entered the Capitol building."
"National security officials defined the Jan. 6 riot, which left five people dead and more than 140 police officers injured, as a domestic terror attack. Kelley said the incident has been blown out of proportion. Most protesters were 'patriots' motivated by legitimate grievances about the election, Kelley said. It wasn't insurrection, he argues," MLive reported.
Read the full report.