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Secessionists on the ballot

There are now two U.S. Senate candidates in the South who've been friendly with neo-Confederate, pro-secessionist organizations.
People visit the field of field Pickett's Charge, Monday, November 18, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
People visit the field of field Pickett's Charge, Monday, November 18, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
It was rather unnerving to learn recently that a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Mississippi attended a neo-Confederate and pro-secessionist conference as recently as June. Molly Redden reports this morning that he's not the only one.

Of all the tea partiers running for Senate in 2014, Greg Brannon, a GOP primary candidate hoping to topple vulnerable North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan, is one of the most extreme. He opposes public education, claiming it "does nothing but dehumanize" students. He doesn't believe that states have to follow Supreme Court decisions. He contends bipartisan compromises in Washington "enslave" Americans. He hails the late Sen. Jesse Helms -- who died in 2008 without ever renouncing his support for racial segregation -- as a "modern hero." He claims that "all ten of [Karl] Marx's planks of Communism" -- including the abolition of private property -- "are law in our land today."In October, Brannon cosponsored and spoke at a rally supporting nullification -- the notion that states can invalidate federal laws at will -- that was cosponsored by the League of the South, a secessionist group seeking "a free and independent Southern republic."

Remember, Brannon isn't some vanity candidate, running for notoriety -- a recent PPP poll showed him as the only Republican candidate leading incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (R) in a hypothetical, general-election match-up.
What's more, Brannon has already been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), among others.
So, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Mississippi is friendly with a neo-Confederate group; a leading Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina is friendly with a secessionist group; and a Republican senator from Kentucky hired a neo-Confederate, pro-secessionist activist to help write his book and work on Capitol Hill, despite the fact that the guy used to make public appearances in a Confederate flag wrestling mask and has boasted that he "raise[s] a personal toast every May 10 to celebrate John Wilkes Booth's birthday."
It's 2013. I just thought I'd mention that.