Kootenai County GOP Chair Doubles Down On Support For Antisemitic Candidate

In late September a candidate for school board in Post Falls, ID was exposed as an antisemitic, homophobic, and misogynistic troll. The candidate, Dave Reilly, who was endorsed by the Kootenai County Republican Party, had tweeted that Iran should have bombed Israel, and that women shouldn’t have the right to vote.

Yet when confronted with the news that they had endorsed a flagrant bigot for office, the Kootenai County GOP didn’t rescind their endorsement. Instead, Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) Chair Brent Regan doubled down — complaining about “cancel culture” and falsely claiming Reilly’s statements were “fabricated.”

In an Oct. 6, 2021 post to his Facebook page, Regan quoted a message from Post Falls school board member Michelle Lippert. Lippert, who described herself in the message as a “registered Republican in Kootenai County,” said she was “appalled” at their decision to endorse Reilly and requested an explanation.

Regan, in turn, wrote that he was “appalled” by Lippert “form[ing] such an opinion” about Reilly based on a recent Daily Beast article about the controversy. The article quoted Reilly’s offensive tweets, including one in which he peddled a conspiracy about “Jewish subversion,” and one where he labeled Judaism the “religion of anti-Christ.”

Regan dismissed these antisemitic comments as “either fabricated or taken out of context,” but didn’t elaborate on this claim. Instead, he praised Reilly for overcoming an opiate addiction and “finding faith.” In fact, Regan wrote, “His story is remarkably similar to Mike Lindell’s, the MyPillow founder and successful entrepreneur.”

Screenshot via Facebook

Regan then shared a Facebook post from Dave Reilly which touted an endorsement from a man named Alan Golub, whom he described as the “son of a Holocaust survivor.” Reilly, who praised Poland for backing out of a Holocaust event in Israel, wrote that he was “glad to call Alan a friend.”

Regan wrote of the endorsement “Alan is a tremendous asset to our community. His opinion deserves respect.” The Kootenai County GOP Twitter account posted a photo of Golub and Reilly together along with the message: “Consider this endorsement if you have concerns about one of our school board candidates.”

The next day Regan authored yet another Facebook post addressed to other KCRCC members.

“You may have received an email from Ms. Lippert (please read my response below) or seen the story in the press accusing Dave of being an anti-Semite (he isn’t) and bringing up a decade old arrest,” he wrote. He added that it would be “unwise” to “rescind our recommendation” because Reilly’s “story is a remarkable one of salvation.”

After once again referencing Alan Golub’s endorsement of Reilly to refute the “false anti-Semite claim,” Regan’s post quickly morphed into a denunciation of “Marxists,” “cancel culture,” and the media.

“If we are to restore our Republic and enjoy both the freedoms and the responsibilities of liberty, we must resist the faux indignation and moral preening of the left that have come to be known as Cancel Culture,” Regan declared. He then cited Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, which he said “instructs would be Marxists to use ridicule as a powerful weapon.”

“Ridicule and false accusations are only effective if you BELIEVE they are effective,” he added. “If you succumb to the false narrative in this instance, who will come to your defense when it is your turn to be lashed? We must stand together or we will be swept away.”

Screenshot via Facebook

Regan also worked to defend Reilly from critical comments on the official Kootenai County Republican Central Committee Facebook page. One person who claimed to have “served about a decade on the KCRCC” told them not to “double down” on their support for Reilly. In response, Regan accused him of “forming an opinion based on incomplete information from a highly unreliable source.”

Regan compared Reilly to Brittany Pettibone, a far-right YouTube personality and early Pizzagate promoter. In 2019 the Kootenai County GOP passed a resolution calling on the federal government to allow Pettibone’s then-fiancé — white nationalist Martin Sellner — to enter the U.S. for their wedding. The pair instead married in Senftenberg, Austria, and Reilly attended the ceremony.

Regan also claimed that anyone who criticizes Reilly without talking to him or getting to know him is the real bigot.

Screenshot via Facebook

Another Facebook user posted a screenshot of the Daily Beast article about Reilly’s campaign for school board. Once again, instead of addressing the content of the article, Regan dismissed it outright and compared it to what he dubbed the “Charlottesville hoax” — likely in reference to the deadly white supremacist rally which took place there in 2017.

Screenshot via Facebook

When reached via email, Brent Regan refused to answer questions about which quotes from Dave Reilly were “fabricated” or “taken out of context,” or clarify what he meant by the “Charlottesville hoax.”

The bottom line, however, is that a candidate who called Jews “freaks” and targeted Attorney General Merrick Garland with the antisemitic “echo” meme popularized by white supremacist podcasters, still has the full backing of Regan and the KCRCC. And their actions will ensure that other bigots will follow in Reilly’s footsteps.