Gov. Scott Walker’s spokeswoman says he will give away at least $3,500 in contributions from the leader of a white supremacist group that reportedly influenced Dylann Roof, the suspect in the shooting deaths of nine people in a South Carolina church last week.
Earl Holt III, a Texas man who leads the Council of Conservative Citizens, gave at least seven donations totaling $3,500 to Walker’s gubernatorial campaigns from 2011 to 2014, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign database. The contributions first were reported by Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative.
The Council of Conservative Citizens was cited by Roof in what appears to be his online manifesto posted before the shootings.
AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Walker’s political nonprofit, Our American Revival, said in a statement Monday that Walker will donate Holt’s contributions to charity.
Walker wasn’t the only potential Republican presidential candidate to get money from Holt.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania also received donations from Holt but since have said they will give them to a charity for the shooting victims’ families, according to The Guardian, the British news outlet that broke the news of Holt’s widespread political donations.
Roof’s manifesto credited the council’s website with alerting him to “brutal black-on-white murders,” part of an evolution that he said led him to the attack, according to a Tribune News Service report.
Holt’s group says it opposes “all efforts to mix the races of mankind … and to force the integration of the races.”
In a statement posted online, Holt said the group did not condone Roof’s actions. The council “does not advocate illegal activities of any kind, and never has,” he said in the statement.