A Washington, Indiana, based political action committee has put itself in the middle of a controversy in the already heated Alabama Senate Campaign. Indiana First PAC announced its backing for the campaign of Judge Roy Moore whose run for office has been dogged with allegations of child molesting.
Indiana First PAC, which claims to be established for the success of the Trump agenda, announced late last week that it would support and campaign on behalf of Moore in the upcoming Dec. 12 special election. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones.
“Roy Moore has served his community honorably and proudly embraces the America First agenda,” PAC Chairman Caleb Christopher said. “With the establishment openly targeting Roy, we were compelled to intervene. Washington elites are afraid of Roy because he’s a threat to their do nothing agenda. Our leadership team is excited to be on the ground this month, fighting for the next Senator from Alabama.”
Caleb Christopher though has been identified as Washington, Indiana, native Caleb Christopher Shumaker, who has a digital history of involvement in racist national politics. Reports have surfaced that Shumaker was at one time chairman of the National Youth Front, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center described as “the youth wing of the white nationalist American Freedom Party.”
A YouTube video on an account for Caleb Shumaker called America, “a nation ethnically fractured by a failed utopian social experiment of massive immigration and multiculturalism.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center at one time identified Shumaker as president of the NYF and quoted him as saying “our goal is to take power rom those who have weaponized our institutions against us. To put an end to the invasions of our nations. To stop the ongoing defamation of our people...to eliminate the endless ideological subversion of our nations most precious gift. Its youth.”
Shumaker reportedly left the NYF in a resignation letter stating: “Due to recent attacks against me, my family and by those whom I believed would support and appreciate what we are doing, I feel it best to step down from my position as chairman of the National Youth Front and step away entirely from the organization.”
In an interview with the Indy Star, Shumaker admitted that at one time he was a member of the group in 2014.
“I fully, 100 percent condemn any form of racism including white nationalism,” he told the Star.
Shumaker’s PAC is his latest foray into politics. Earlier this year he had been contracted by Indiana Republican Senatorial candidate Mike Braun of Jasper to collect signatures for the Braun’s candidacy petition. He was dismissed once the Braun campaign became aware of his past.
Braun advisor Barney Keller issued a statement regarding the news Wednesday about Indiana First PAC, saying, “Mike Braun strongly and unequivocally condemns Mr. Shumaker’s disgusting beliefs and believes they have no place in American politics.”
Prior to that Shumaker had approached Daviess County Republican officeholders and political leaders about a potential run for a Washington City Council seat.
“He was a young, dynamic individual and wanted to get involved and run for city council,” said Daviess County Republican Party Chairman Jan Schuler. “We didn’t know him, so we did some checking on the internet and found a number of things connected to him that do not represent the Republican party in Indiana and Daviess County. I met with him again and advised him to clean up his record, work with some community groups and volunteer in some campaigns. That was the last I heard from him.”
Indiana Democrats roundly condemned the Indiana First PAC and its chairman.
“There is no place in Indiana politics--or anywhere in America--for groups led by bigots and white supremacists,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, senior media strategist with the Indiana Democratic Party.
Indiana First PAC appears to have only been formed earlier this month. It has not registered with the Federal Election Commission. Currently, it appears to have a Facebook page. Local officials say it appears to include Shumaker and a couple of other people. There is no word whether it has any financial backing.
Caleb Christopher Shumaker responded to Times Herald reporters’ questions too late Wednesday for inclusion in this story. There will be a follow up story in Friday’s newspaper.