A full three months before what police said was his fatal rampage this week, Arizona white supremacist JT Ready spilled his guts to TPM.
Ready was angry and wanted to be understood. He was running as a long shot candidate for sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., but he was tired of being seen as a caricature.
On Jan. 23, following an interview by phone about his candidacy, the border vigilante and longtime neo-Nazi sent an email to TPM that totaled more than 4,800 words. It was obviously written in advance, but it revealed bits of his life story and told how he became arguably the loudest racist in the state.
On Wednesday, authorities said Ready walked into a house in a suburb east of Phoenix and opened fire, killing four people, including his girlfriend and a toddler, before killing himself.
Far from disabusing anyone of the idea he was bigot, Ready’s email was filled with invectives about Jews and immigrants. But it detailed the politicians and events he said helped him find his way to extremism over the years.
“I was not born with a Klan robe on,” he wrote. “Contrary to popular belief, my mother did not Sieg Heil! a bottle into my chubby cherub face with Nazi zeal. I was actually raised pretty liberal and in a democrat home with multiculturalism all around us. Zionists even. But all was not right in Disneyland.”
The same lengthy rant he sent by email was also published in a corner of the website Ready maintained for his militia-style border watch group, which he called the U.S. Border Guard. That website disappeared this week following his death. The only thing left was a message that said the site had been “suspended indefinitely out of respect for the family and friends of the deceased.”
In light of these events, TPM is publishing some of the emails key excerpts, which either show his connections with mainstream politicians in Arizona or else demonstrate his awareness that he and his group were being watched by law enforcement.
Some of the events he described in the email have not been independently verified. Others, like his relationship with former state Sen. Russell Pearce, are well documented. Be warned, some of the text below is filled with language that may be offensive. The email was also written in an unusual style with certain internet URLs written in the middle of sentences rather than included as links. Those URLs have been removed for clarity.
Ready was often on the fringes of Arizona politics and aspired to someday hold elected office. Here, he named the people who helped him with those ambitions, including a religious and political fundraiser.
I became the fastest promoted CS3 within Jay Mount’s conservative fundraising power wagon MDS. I started my own charity “Manna for Mesa” and fed hordes of homeless. I worked tirelessly in Mormon charitable endeavors. Still, friends and neighbors considered me an opinion molder and prodded me into local politics. From President of the Mesa Community College Republican’s Club, to shadowing elected officials such as former Speaker of the House Jeff Groscost who took me under their wing, to working my way up the food chain in the state republican party with Senator Russell Pearce, I had an innate knack for delivering powerful speeches, winning debates, and delivering one line knock out blows to political rivals. I became a precinct committeeman, precinct captain, county delegate, state delegate, and national delegate alternate as well as making a strong show in a city council race where I came in ahead of a well-funded Latina activist in a largely Hispanic district.
Ready claimed, even beyond his politics, his extremism was mentored by then-state Sen. Russell Pearce.
My leap into the extremist right was more of a push off the cliff than a preplanned adventure, however. Having the tutelage of Senate President Russell Keith Pearce for years, I knew very well how to work fringe elements slowly into the system. I even raised money for body armor for Israeli settlers and helped raise a bi-racial step-daughter for five years. I was not born with a Klan robe on. Contrary to popular belief, my mother did not Sieg Heil! a bottle into my chubby cherub face with Nazi zeal. I was actually raised pretty liberal and in a democrat home with multiculturalism all around us. Zionists even. But all was not right in Disneyland. No matter how much appeasement and concessions were made, the Zionist fanatics and leftist loons had a fever pitch and blood lust against all patriots who worked to save America and secure the borders. Make believe memes such as “racist”, “neo-Nazi”, and “xenophobic”, were like I.E.D.s going off at every turn no matter how much one tried to avoid them.
He boasted that his militia-style group, called the U.S. Border Guard, which patrolled the desert between Phoenix and Tucson looking for undocumented immigrants, had never been in trouble with the law.
Despite all the naysayers who cried that we were going to get killed or thrown in prison, Operation Line In the Sand was a resounding success. On the very first weekend of operations which included the public and media, we netted three smugglers and a dead body to boot. More importantly, we showed that a diverse group of citizens could come together, arm themselves, and halt the narco-terrorists. We proved that all the law enforcement who were too afraid to leave their air-conditioned cruisers, little-less actively patrol with assault weapons against deadly sicarios, could in fact be done with the proper willpower. And we did it all with meager resources to boot! The U.S. Border Guard volunteer Border Rangers have been going strong for going on two years now with no arrests or felonies committed by members and no fatalities.
Ready described his fellow neo-Nazi Jeffery Harbin, who was caught transporting homemade bombs for an operation on the border in 2011 and later sentenced to two years in prison, as a “patriot and a hero.”
The three individuals venturing miles behind narco-terrorist controlled territory were Jeff Harbin, Harry H. Hughes III, and myself. Jeff would later go on to be entrapped in an F.B.I. sting operation utilizing a paid agent provocateur who lured this young patriotic American into bringing makeshift plastic pipe bombs to battle the heavily armed cartel on the border. In another time, Jeff Harbin would have been hailed as a patriot and a hero. In this day and age of deceit where media pundits ignore rape trees and exaggerate fictitious “racism” nonstop, this young man was fed to the wolves and now spends his days in an unnamed federal prison complex somewhere.
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him: nick [at] talkingpointsmemo.com