Friends of Mark Krause, the Arkansas man the feds say planted an IED made out of a Pepsi can at a polling place during the Democratic Senate primary in Arkansas this summer, are rallying to the 40-year-old blacksmith’s defense.
“Mark’s a complete liberal. He’s not a Tea Party-type at all,” long time friend Eugene Sergeant told TPM. “I think he almost always voted Democrat. He thought Republicans were just rich fucking assholes. But socially he was a liberal and he was definitely an odd mix - a freedom loving artist liberal who had a taste for tinkering with machines. And of course he likes to blow things up.”
“Mark Krause is not only liberal, but also a respected artist, metalworker, and machinist in Fayetteville,” friend Jacey Dalton wrote TPM in an e-mail. “I too assume that the person who did (tragically) place a bomb at a Democratic polling location in a rural Arkansas town (double-digit population) would be (is) a very disturbed or paranoid sociopath with right-wing affiliations. Mark does NOT fit this profile.”
“His political affiliation is very LIBERAL,” Dalton additionally wrote. “There is no evidence placing him in Osage. He is not a sad, disturbed, or hateful person. He is very kind and peaceful. The very nature of his work demonstrates that metal supplies and sketch journals of machinery or switches would be in fact a job requirement rather than possessions of a terrorist.”
“He is a talented artist and a valued member of our community here in Northwest Arkansas,” wrote Sarah K. Moore, another friend of Krause’s. “Arkansas (and many other places, both north and south, I might add) is full of closed-minded, ignorant individuals, but Mark Krause is not one of them.”
“I would find it amusing that anyone could remotely link Mark to anything other than far left! Wow, Tea Party? I can say with some certainty that he loathes that line of thinking… or lack thereof!” said Anna Thomas, yet another friend. “I suppose I can see how someone who doesn’t know him could be led off in that direction, but a few minutes with the guy, and one learns he is a gentle soul….”
“I have known Mark for many years. He is a caring, thoughtful, compassionate, and considerate individual,” said friend Jessica Liles O’Baugh. “He is an amazingly brilliant artist that I consider myself extremely lucky to know. He is not capable of doing what the FBI is accusing him of.”
“I cannot get into specifics of the case due to laws concerning confidentiality. I will not speculate on alternative theories/explanations for fear of compromising Mark’s case. My goal is to help my friend, not hurt his case,” O’Baugh said.
“As far as whether or not he is a liberal- Mark calls himself a liberal. It is under his “political views” section of his facebook page. Every media outlet has already exploited the ‘gun totin’ liberal’ quote from his page. But I, myself, have never had a conversation with Mark concerning politics,” O’Baugh added.
As we told you this week, Krause stands accused of planting a bomb made out of a Pepsi can in front of a church gymnasium that served as a polling location on the day of the Democratic Senate primary runoff. According to an FBI affidavit a poll worker found a 12-ounce can of Pepsi soda sitting by the gym door, which she reportedly placed on the desk of the church secretary. It wasn’t until the following day that someone saw the wires coming out the bottom and called authorities.
Last month, contractors cleaning out a house that used to be owned by Krause discovered troubling materials and contracted authorities, who arrested Krause last week in Washington state. He’s being held without bail, and the Associated Press reported last night he would be returned to Arkansas by the U.S. Marshals Service.