Arkansas Republicans are distancing themselves from two state legislators and one legislative candidate who have written in favor of slavery, the deportation of all Muslims and the institution of the death penalty for rebellious children.
State Republican Party leaders have announced that they will no longer be offering support to Reps. Jon Hubbard and Loy Mauch, along with former state Rep. Charlie Fuqua who is seeking a return to the state House.
On Friday, the Arkansas Times reported that Hubbard called slavery "a blessing" in a 2010 book, while Mauch wrote a series of letters to the editor over the last decade supporting slavery and opposing former President Abraham Lincoln, while also organizing an event with a keynote address in favor of Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Fuqua wrote in a 2012 book that he supports deporting all Muslims and wants to create a system that would allow parents to seek judicial consent to kill rebellious children.
Fuqua said over the weekend that he believes his Muslim comments are "fairly well-accepted by most people." He declined to comment on the death penalty for children writings when contacted by HuffPost Monday. Fuqua has also written that he believes that liberals and Christians are the "anti-Christ" and support a "bloody revolution."
The Associated Press reported that Arkansas Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb said the state party will no longer be making future donations to Mauch, Hubbard and Fuqua, including in-kind contributions. The party has supported the candidates in the past. U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin (R) has asked each to donate his $100 contribution to charity. He addressed Mauch's comments, which included calling Lincoln a "fake neurotic Northern war criminal," and comparing Lincoln and Civil War generals to Nazis. Griffin described Mauch's comments as "outrageous to historically inaccurate and anachronistic to downright odd."
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack (R) also distanced himself from the group; his spokeswoman told HuffPost that he does not agree with or support their views. Womack donated $250 to each of the three.
"Offering donations to their campaigns—and to all other Republican candidates seeking office in the Arkansas Legislature this fall—should not suggest otherwise," Womack spokeswoman Claire Burghoff said in an email.
A look at campaign donations for the group shows backing for Hubbard and Mauch from their colleagues, including House Minority Leader Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs), Rep. John Burris (R-Harrison), the former minority leader and others. Most of the individual legislative donations were between $100 and $250.
Rep. Prissy Hickerson (R-Texarkana) said her $200 donation to Mauch was due to a friendship the two struck up sitting next to each other on the House floor and that she does not support his pro-slavery beliefs. She said she will not be making any donations to Fuqua or Hubbard.
"I don't agree with any of that, of course," Hickerson told HuffPost. "If they wrote that, then they agreed with it at that time."
Rep. Jane English (R-North Little Rock) had "no comment" about her $100 donation to Mauch. Other legislators who donated could not be immediately reached.
Benton County Republican Party Chairman Mike Sevak told HuffPost that the party's $250 donations to Hubbard and Mauch were part of a plan to help GOP candidates around the state as Republicans try to take control of the Arkansas Legislature. He said the party is against the comments and is considering following Griffin in asking the donations be made to charity.
"Those comments are inappropriate and unnecessary," Sevak told HuffPost. "We were on good faith that we were giving to good candidates."
Sevak said he does not expect the group's comments to hurt Republican chances in Arkansas this year. He did note his particular dislike of Mauch's comments regarding Lincoln.
"Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation because he felt all people were created equally," Sevak said. "I support the Emancipation Proclamation