A 64-year-old retired insurance salesman in Chicago and three-time congressional candidate is blaming his last-place finish in the March Republican primary on a local reporter who outed him as an anti-Semite and xenophobe.
Arthur Jones, who has been known to organize “family friendly” celebrations at a local restaurant on Adolf Hitler’s birthday, believes he would have won the election had local reporter Lorraine Swanson not revealed his longstanding ties to neo-Nazis and objectionable views on the Holocaust and Israel at the end of February.
“Lorraine Swanson, you are very deceptive and cowardly to headline the story you wrote as if I was campaigning against the Holocaust. I care deeply about the way our country is being manipulated by the Jews and Israeli Lobby toward another war,” Jones wrote in an email to Swanson after her article appeared. “Yet you apparently care more about the damn Holocaust liars than you do about your own country. Your treason against America is revolting.”
On March 20, Jones received 3,851 votes, about 10%, in the Republican primary for Illinois’ third congressional district, currently held by Democrat Dan Lipinski.
“Philosophically, I’m a National Socialist,” admitted Jones, who said the only party he officially belongs to is the one he founded, the America First Committee.
On his campaign website, Jones accuses “racist criminal Zionist Israel” of carrying out a decades-long war against the Christian community in the Holy Land:
“This is UNACCEPTABLE [all caps his]. This cannot go on, but it is going on — hugely subsidized by the U.S. which gives more of our taxes to parasite Israel than any other nation on earth — more than $8 million dollars every single day. The Israeli government than [sic] takes our money to fund AIPAC, the most powerful lobby in Washington, which turns around and buys off our politicians so that they can continue voting for Israel. Those who refuse to be bought off are scared off by the ADL which will smear them with the bogus anti-Semite tag.”
Jones also blames Israel and the American Jewish lobby for masterminding the 9/11 attacks and, in his interview with Swanson, called the Holocaust “the blackest lie in history” and a Jewish “international extortion racket.”
‘It’s safe to say that Art lives and breathes the Jewish/Israel issue… Pretty much all of his answers included some aspect of Holocaust denial’
“It’s safe to say that Art lives and breathes the Jewish/Israel issue,” says Swanson. “Almost immediately into my first interview, Art blamed high food prices on the kosher certification process. Pretty much all of his answers included some aspect of Holocaust denial too.”
Swanson said that every April 21, Jones organizes an event at P.J. Klem’s in Lyons, Illinois to commemorate Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Last year, he reportedly hung a giant Nazi flag in the restaurant’s banquet room. In 1978, Jones joined neo-Nazi marches on Skokie, Illinois and Chicago’s Marquette Park.
Jones doesn’t deny his past affiliation with the American National Socialist Party, but criticizes the news media for bringing up his “moldy past.”
His campaign website also targets illegal immigrants, who, it claims, are “invading [America] on a daily basis.”
‘You apparently care more about the damn Holocaust liars than you do about your own country. Your treason against America is revolting’
“Latino Reds and Radicals such as La Raza are working to create ‘Atzlan’, a new Marxist country out of the states of the southwest,” says Jones, who adds that whoever does nothing to stop this “illegal conquest” is guilty of treason.
Fringe candidates on the far right are nothing new in American politics. One of the most famous examples was former Klu Klux Klan (KKK) Grand Wizard David Duke, who unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries and also lost bids for the Louisiana State Senate, the US Senate, the US Congress, and for Governor of Louisiana. (He was elected to one term in the Louisiana House).
‘The 24-7 national media environment makes it less likely for a local candidate with such problematic views to be able to fly under the radar’
“Such candidates seem to be less frequent these days,” says Hudson Institute scholar Tevi Troy, a Jewish Republican who served in the George W. Bush White House and as a deputy cabinet member. “They are less tolerated by mainstream society, and the 24-7 national media environment makes it less likely for a local candidate with such problematic views to be able to fly under the radar.”
Still, Swanson finds it “frighteningly disturbing” that Jones received almost 4,000 votes.
“On the other hand, I also believe that general voter ignorance played a role in many of those votes–or at least I like to think so,” she says. “I think the votes cast for Art in the primary were votes against Lipinski, Obama and the Democrats in general. The name ‘Jones’ on the GOP ticket had a ‘safe’ ring to it.”
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.