Following efforts to recruit law enforcement in North Carolina, the far-right pro-militia Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) is heading to Minnesota. From October 2-10, CSPOA leaders will cover more than 800 miles across the state, trying to recruit law enforcement and community members in 9 different cities: Le Center, Freeport, Brownton, Deerwood, Champlin, Princeton, Rochester, La Cresent, and Blaine.
At two of those events, CSPOA leaders will share the stage with an organizer for one of the country’s most significant anti-immigrant groups.
CSPOA and FAIR
In recent years, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has been working more closely with the other far-right “Constitutional Sheriff” group, Protect America Now. The Minnesota events mark a reunion of sorts for FAIR and CSPOA.
FAIR Senior Field Representative and “Special Projects & Law Enforcement Relations Manager,” Susan Tully is slated to appear as a “special guest” at two events featuring Richard Mack, the founder and Advisory Board President of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA).
The FAIR leader’s guest appearances are slated for October 8 in Rochester and October 9 in La Crescent.
Tully’s Minnesota appearance with CSPOA is not being promoted on FAIR’s social media. However, FAIR’s relationship with CSPOA goes way back. In 2015, Mack gave a presentation at FAIR’s border school.
FAIR has a long history of racism. FAIR founder, the late John Tanton, had an affinity for eugenics and spent years cultivating relationships with a eugenics-supporting white supremacist foundation. Between 1982 and 1994, because of Tanton’s efforts, FAIR received $1,289,000 from the Pioneer Fund, a fund established in 1938 to promote Hitlerian notions of eugenics and “race science.”
Tanton’s machinations with eugenicists were reflected in his pining for a white majority society, writing, “I’ve come to the point of view that for European American society and culture to persist requires a European American majority, and a clear one at that.”
In recent years, FAIR has lacked an activist ground game. The organization took steps to spark one in mid-2022, leading the formation of a national coalition of anti-immigrant and far groups. Susan Tully’s alliance with CSPOA can be considered an ongoing effort to keep the group relevant at the grassroots and part of FAIR’s ongoing commitment to woo law enforcement.
Earlier this year, CSPOA attempted to recruit sheriffs in Illinois. Their efforts flopped after IREHR contacted sheriffs across the state to warn them of CSPOA’s many concerning ties to white nationalists and insurrectionists.
On September 28, IREHR sent a letter to the Minnesota Attorney General and every sheriff’s department in the state expressing our concerns about CSPOA’s Minnesota tour. IREHR will continue to monitor these events closely, including a closer look at the local organizers facilitating the CSPOA tour.
https://cspoa.org/events/. Accessed September 28, 2023. Federation for American Immigration Reform. FAIR Staff. Susan Tully. https://www.fairus.org/staff/susan-tully. Accessed September 28, 2023; Search for “CSPOA” and “Richard Mack” FAIR. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/FAIRImmigration; Federation for American Immigration Reform. https://www.fairus.org/; FAIR. Twitter (X). https://twitter.com/FAIRImmigration. Accessed September 29, 2023.
 Center for New Community, “Crossing the Line: U.S. Sheriffs Colluding with the Anti-Immigrant Movement” Center for New Community website. July 2017. https://newcomm.org/files/imagine2050-sub/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/crossing-the-line_final.pdf.
 Arellano, Gustavo. John Tanton, quiet architect of America’s modern-day anti-immigrant movement, dies at 85. Los Angeles Times. July 18, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/obituaries/story/2019-07-18/john-tanton-dead-anti-immigrant.