The Tampa congressional district (FL-14) is pretty safely blue. The PVI is D+7 and Trump only managed 41.6% of the vote. Rep. Kathy Castor, a garden variety Democrat, won her first congressional election in 2006 and is usually reelected with around 60% of the vote. Last year 7 Trumpist crackpots jumped into the GOP primary to take her on. Most of the fringe nuts either dropped out or were disqualified, including one violent former Army sergeant with 20 years in the military, Jeremy Brown.
Brown, who attended a fake "university," Liberty, is a member of the Oath Keepers, a domestic terrorist group based on whack-a-doodle right-wing conspiracy theories and fear-mongering and composed of former and current military veterans and law enforcement officials. The group played a major role in the attempted coup on 1/6. Two days before the Capitol Hill riot, Oath Keepers founder, Elmer (aka, "Stewart") Rhodes posted this on the organization's national website:
"It is CRITICAL that all patriots who can be in D.C. get to D.C. to stand tall in support of President Trump’s fight to defeat the enemies foreign and domestic who are attempting a coup, through the massive voter fraud and related attacks on our Republic. We Oath Keepers are both honor-bound and eager to be there in strength to do our part."
That's a photo of Elmer above but Jeremy Brown was right on message. WTSP in Tampa reported this morning that he was arrested for, among other things, giving other rioters transportation to DC in his RV, which he dubbed "Ground Force One."
"In probable cause documentation," reported WTSP, "the Department of Justice-- citing video and photo evidence-- accuses Jeremy Brown of being on Capitol grounds in full military apparel. He, too, is said to have carried surgical trauma shears, tactical gear and zip ties on his body... According to the documents, the FBI received a complaint from a witness who knew Brown for several years... One of the photos, published by the news outlet Reuters, indicated Brown was a self-described member of the Oath Keepers extremist group."
Another person charged in connection to the riot told investigators he used a rideshare to travel to Brown's house on Jan. 4 in preparation for traveling to Washington, D.C., the document reads.
That person shared an earlier group chat, which the FBI says shows Brown helped to coordinate travel plans and rendezvous points. One message on Dec. 23, 2020, read: “We have a RV an Van going. Plenty of Gun Ports left to fill. We can pick you up.”
Brown allegedly called his RV "ground force one" — a Jan. 1 message reads, in part:
GROUND FORCE ONE Departure Plan:
If you can, come to my house anytime Saturday. You can stop by and drop stuff off, or stay the night. This way we can load plan, route plan, and conduct PCIs (Pre Combat Inspections).
The FBI says, citing a message from the conservative social media app Parler, Brown published a message asking others "if you need transportation or Security, we can adjust to pick you up."
Brown faces two charges, including knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted area and intending to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions.
This morning, Raw Story reporter Brad Reed wrote that the newly unsealed indictment against Brown indicates he offered Roger Stone a lift to the coup too. He wrote on the neo-Nazi Parler site-- basically run by the FBI to keep track of domestic terrorists-- "Mr. Stone, this is Jeremy Brown. I am headed to D.C. on or about [January 3] in our RV with myself and some others... If you need transportation or Security, we can adjust to pick you up."
How dangerous are these heavily armed insurrectionists? Before the ex-GOP congressional candidate was arrested, at least 18 other Oath Keepers had been, including 8 from Florida (more than from any other state). When the coup failed, Elmer Rhodes and his neo-fascist Oath Keepers operation turned on Trump but not behaving enough like Hitler and Mussolini. On January 20, he posted this on the official Oath Keepers website:
"Well, I think what we have to realize is that, you know, Trump actually failed. … He had a duty and responsibility to step up. But he failed to do that and he allowed a ChiCom puppet into the White House and I think we now need to just declare that to be illegitimate and refuse to comply with anything that comes out of his mouth, anything he signs, anything passed as so-called legislation. Label it ‘pretend legislation’ like the Founding Fathers did."
In an unrelated story, you may have been one of the MSNBC viewers a couple of nights ago when Rachel Maddow showed the live footage of a domestic terrorist, then unknown Ryan Faircloth (30 years old) breaking the glass door of the Democratic Party headquarters in Austin and tossing in a Molotov cocktail. The police arrested yesterday him and tossed him into the Travis County jail ($40,000 bail on 2 arson and weapons charges, but no terrorism charges yet). Slaps on the wrist for domestic terrorists like Faircloth, Jeremy Brown, Elmer Fudd and the rest of the insurrectionists, rioters and seditionists is sending the wrong signal. The way those arrested have been treated will only encourage for like them-- as well as seditionist politicians like Marjorie Traitor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert, Tommy Tuberville, Paul Gosar, Madison Cawthorn, Andy Biggs, etc. The 14th Amendment should be taken seriously: "No personal shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same."