By Nancy West, InDepthNH.org
State Rep. Mindi Messmer asked Attorney General Gordon MacDonald for help on Tuesday after learning her name, photo and home address have been posted on a neo-Nazi website because of a House Resolution she wrote last September condemning hate crimes and racism.
The Rye Democrat, who is running in the 1st District U.S. House race, told MacDonald it is particularly alarming to be targeted by the New Hampshire Nationalists site because it is so long after she sponsored the resolution and it is “likely due to my political endeavors.”
Hers is among the latest names and photos to be targeted as “anti-white” after a July 26 conference hosted by Eversource that examined diversity as a way to ease New Hampshire’s labor shortage. Gov. Chris Sununu tops the list as “Top Cuck,” a derogatory term implying lack of masculinity.
The rolling list on New Hampshire Nationalists website now contains the names and photos of upwards of 120 leaders in New Hampshire’s civic, political, nonprofit, law enforcement and spiritual communities. Little is known publicly about the group’s membership.
The anonymous post beneath Messmer’s photo and detailed home information went further than the others:
“Mindi, I think Rye might be too White. We think you would feel better about everything if a few thousand Somalis got imported into Rye. I’m sure your neighborhood has plenty of room.”
She has children, Messmer said, “and this is quite disturbing.”
“I have reported it to the local police and asked them to step up patrols around my house which they agreed to do,” Messmer told MacDonald.
Messmer’s resolution passed the House floor in February on a vote of 234 to 69, but it wasn’t taken up by the Senate so it went no further.
“I wrote this in response to the anti-semitic incidents across the state,” Messmer said. The last straw was the alleged attempted lynching of an 8-year-old boy in Claremont last summer, Messmer wrote.
She was referring to an incident that MacDonald’s office investigated into allegations that an 8-year-old boy was injured when he was pushed off a picnic table with a rope around his neck by an older boy.
Messmer isn’t alone to be targeted. Also on the list most recently added and singled out as “anti-white” on the site are the 21 other House Democrats and Republicans who voted for the resolution she sponsored.
Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes, whose photo and contact information are on the website’s list because of his work on Gov. Sununu’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, referred InDepthNH.org’s questions to Rogers Johnson who chairs the council and is president of the Seacoast Chapter of the NAACP.
Gov. Sununu didn’t return an email seeking comment.
Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Lahey, head of the civil rights unit, said she only briefly saw Messmer’s complaint on Tuesday. Lahey’s name is also on the “anti-white” list.
While Messmer’s addition to the New Hampshire Nationalists’ website is relatively new, a number of the people who attended the July 26 conference have received troubling emails and calls that they have referred directly to local law enforcement, Lahey said.
Lahey said the office is monitoring the situation and suspected illegal behavior will be reported to local law enforcement.
“We’re looking at it and making sure it is actively monitored,” Lahey said.
InDepthNH.org sent a request seeking more information about New Hampshire Nationalists to an email address on the website. Trevor Jefferson responded and said he is the president of the organization. He declined a phone interview saying, “We don’t use phones.”
He didn’t respond immediately to emailed questions about the group.
The website contains racist language and links to books written by white supremacists such as David Duke, American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell and also includes Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
The first words on the website after its name are: “White Rights, Men’s Rights, Anti-Feminism, Freedom of Speech, Guns. Join us in preserving our home state.”
Messmer asked MacDonald what the next steps would be relative to an investigation saying she wants to file an official complaint.
“It is troubling that a woman legislator would be targeted in this fashion,” Messmer wrote.