An Indiana-based political action committee is gaining national attention after backing Alabama’s U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. But, the group’s support of Moore isn’t the only issue in question. It’s the group chairman’s past involvement with what’s being called a white nationalist organization.
Caleb Shumaker is the chairman of the Indiana First PAC. He and his group received attention from the Indy Star, USA Today, and several other national media outlets.
Shumaker says what’s happening is “dirty politics” and if his PAC didn’t come out and support Moore, his past would have never been brought into question.
“I condemn all forms of racism,” said Shumaker. “Including white nationalism but if I had been a democrat this would not have happened.”
Shumaker was born and raised in Washington, Indiana. He founded the Indiana First PAC about two months ago. The PAC was formed as a grassroots effort to fight the establishment and promote conservative Christian principles that push the Trump agenda.
“We don’t agree with everything President Trump does,” said Shumaker. “But we agree with his message. We promote conservatives that get into office, that will hold Trump accountable and fight for his message.”
The group has been in some hot water after publicly supporting Moore.
While Moore is facing several sexual abuse allegations, that did not sway Shumaker’s decision to support him through the PAC.
“Anybody can come out and have sexual misconduct allegations come out on them,” said Shumaker. “That doesn’t make them true. Unfortunately politics has become so dirty that we allow this type of stuff but if there were facts behind it, we wouldn’t support it.”
Through supporting Moore, an even more controversial past of Shumaker’s has made headlines.
In 2014, while beginning to get involved with politics Shumaker says he was contacted by a person about joining a group called National Youth Front.
“He said he was starting an organization that was sort of a cultural, Christian, conservative organization,” said Shumaker. “The Tea Party was still thriving and it was sort of like that and I was on board to meet new people around the country.”
In February 2015, the American Freedom Party, a known white nationalist group planned to officially launch National Youth Front as a youth wing of their party.
Shumaker says he left the group after realizing the direction the group was headed in. However, the American Freedom Party chairman says Shumaker was forced out because of his interracial marriage. But, in a letter to Shumaker, the group says Shumaker, “left the group at the start because of our controversial views on race and our support of primarily European-American issues and concerns.”
“Unfortunately because I was involved with something prior to its racial direction I’ve been labeled a white supremacist,” said Shumaker.
Shumaker says he condemns all forms of racism. No matter the color of someone’s skin or religion, if they have the same values and principles he does, he will support them.
While this national attention has had its negatives, Shumaker says it’s also been a positive. He says contributions to Indiana First PAC have increased.