BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Where did Earl Holt, president of the Council of Conservative Citizens, get the money to make substantial donations to Republican Party politicos? According to Yahoo Finance, the source of Holt's largesse might be coming from his marriage to Katherine Ann Cook, the widow of Irving Falk, a "successful Jewish businessman."
Prior to Wednesday, June 17, Holt was going about his business in relative anonymity. Except for being on the radar of a few watchdog organizations that monitor, and write about right-wing movements, Holt spewed a fair amount of racist venom on the Internet, but it was clearly outside of the public's eye. Then, along came Dylann Roof's white nationalist-inspired rampage at a Bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which resulted in the deaths of nine African Americans. As a result of Roof's action, Earl Holt III suddenly was thrust into the media's spotlight.
In Dylan Roof's manifesto, he specifically cited the website of the St. Louis, Missouri-based Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which was founded in 1985 by a man named Gordon Lee Baum, as a major source of information and inspiration. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the CCC is the "modern day reincarnation" of White Citizens Councils. It describes the group as "a virulently racist group whose website has referred to blacks as 'a retrograde species of humanity.'"
The Anti-Defamation League has noted that, "although the group claims not to be racist, its leaders traffic with other white supremacist groups." Over the years the CCC has been associated with Southern politicians, mostly Republican, Raw Story recently reported.
The Daily Mail reported that the CCC's website, "collects news links of what it describes as racist crimes against white people, and also rails against the mainstream media, which it says is ignoring a problem." In his manifesto, Roof pointed out that it was outrage over the media's coverage of the Trayvon Martin case that helped drive his thinking.
Holt's racist slurs
According to a report by Yahoo Finance, due to increased attention paid to the CCC, "Holt has suddenly become notorious for racial slurs splattered across the Internet and for writings on his group's web site that supposedly inspired Dylann Roof, the alleged Charleston shooter, to carry out a massacre."
"A number of news and interest-group web sites contain incendiary racial remarks under the name Earl P. Holt III," Yahoo Finance's reported. "There are several references to blacks as 'Africanus Criminalis' (and worse). On The Blaze (which has since taken down his posts), Holt said blacks are 'the laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in the history of the world.' Holt attacks Jews less frequently, but no less aggressively. In 2012, on the web site Freedom Outpost, he said of attorney Gloria Allred, 'Jewish women (like this kike-bitch) are the greatest enemy of Christianity, America and the West in world history.' The same year, on the web site for CBS New York, he complained about the 'corrupt leftist Jews' media.'"
Holt's sudden uptick in political donations
Holt's political donations have also come under scrutiny. According to Yahoo Finance, the source of Holt's largesse might be coming from his marriage to Katherine Ann Cook, the widow of Irving Falk, a "successful Jewish businessman."
Falk, who came to Longview, Texas, in the late 1930s, started out in the scrap metal business and later "acquired dozens of oil and gas leases, several commercial real estate properties, at least two homes, and other assets." He apparently left "a sizable estate to his wife and other family members." Murray Moore, the former mayor of Longview, told Yahoo Finance that, "It's common knowledge he was extremely wealthy."
For most of his life, Holt had made few political donations. According to Yahoo Finance, "By 2015 ... [he] had made more than 150 political donations totaling nearly $70,000. All the money went to Republicans, including ultraconservatives such as Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. Holt also donated to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and to at least three 2016 presidential candidates: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum."
Yahoo Finance noted that after the Charleston Massacre, "Holt has become so toxic that Republican politicians who accepted campaign donations from him have returned the money or given it to charity."
The incongruity of a deceased Jewish businessman's wealth used to promote racism and anti-Semitism was not lost on Rick Newman, who reported the story for Yahoo Finance.
"Many people say her deceased husband would be rolling over in his grave if he knew she was spending his money this way," Branden Johnson, president of the NAACP's Longview chapter, told Yahoo Finance. "They feel Katherine has been brainwashed."
Besides being a successful businessman, Falk, who died in February 2009, was also known around Longview for his many charitable contributions.
While Falk was growing his businesses, Holt was a "slumlord" (his description); an elected member of the St. Louis school board (1989 to 1993); co-host, with Gordon Lee Baum, of a radio program called "Right at Night"; and, he became president of the CCC.
In 2009, Holt sold his home in St. Louis, and according to Yahoo Finance, his "next known residence was at Katherine Falk's home in Longview — the same home she had shared with her husband, Irving Falk."
How Holt and Falk's widow met is unclear, but they were married in 2010, a year after Falk's death.
According to Yahoo Finance, "The value of Falk's estate wasn't publicly disclosed, but Katherine Falk, his wife, inherited the properties they owned, and became president of IF Investments, which owned the commercial property. The year before he died, Falk owned interests in at least 54 mineral leases, according to county records. Those were transferred to Katherine Cook and her brother, Phillip Cook, and were then sold to Katherine Cook's son, Phillip Bayman, of Fort Worth. The sale price was confidential."
Murray Moore, the former Longview mayor, told Yahoo Finance "It just blows my mind they're probably spending his money, He's a bigot, and she's just as culpable as him."
Apparently, Holt has had enough of the media's spotlight. When contacted by Yahoo Finance, he said he didn't "do interviews, especially with the corrupt leftist media."