White nationalists—particularly Nick Fuentes and his Groyper army—have never made any bones about their intention to take over the Republican Party. So now we are able to observe them attempting to do so in real time, working to take control of the GOP apparatus on the state and local levels around the nation.
In Michigan, a Groyper named Alex Roncelli recently secured a seat as a GOP precinct delegate for St. Clair County, despite the full awareness of his white nationalist beliefs by local Republicans. But the scene in Idaho—where a far-right faction has already taken control of the state Republican Party apparatus—features a notorious and unapologetic white nationalist named Vincent James Foxx, who has a history of associating with neo-Nazis, as he recently led an attempt at a factional takeover of the Idaho Young Republicans (IYR) club.
Foxx, who is the national treasurer for Fuentes’ “America First” organization, made a classic far-right pitch to the club members on Saturday in Boise during the IYR’s annual convention, saying that current Republican leadership “is nothing but liberalism going the speed limit,” later declaring: “Instead of arguing for limited government, I say we take control of government for the bottom up.”
Foxx went on to say that America First activists must “take absolute control of the government” and then engage in the “regulation of morality” for the state. Foxx promised to “quadruple the membership of the IYR” and then “funnel hundreds [of activists] into precinct positions across the state.” These, he said, would become “springboards” to taking over Idaho state government.
He later described his IYR takeover attempt for his Cozy.tv podcast audience, saying he had recruited about 70 Groypers from Idaho into his white nationalist Telegram channel to sign up to participate in the biannual IYR leadership vote. Foxx had lined up a slate of candidates (“all Groypers, by the way”) to run for the various positions.
“The reason we were running was that the chair of the organization gets a seat at the table with the executive committee, with the state party,” he said. “So, uh, imagine me, like, sitting next to [Gov.] Brad Little,” he giggled.
However, “they got wind of what was going to happen, and about two hours before the election, they began denying credentials to about 40 of our people,” Foxx said—illegitimately, he claimed.
Only a few weeks before, on Jan. 6, Foxx gave a similarly white nationalism-themed speech to the North Idaho Pachyderms Club, a longtime Republican social organization. Jason Wilson of Hatewatch describes Foxx’s speech as focused on white nationalist “replacement theory” ideas, claiming unspecified conspirators had “intentionally and deliberately and consistently changed the demographics of this country ... because they know that certain groups vote a certain way, and they know they can use that, that’s a benefit to them.”
Foxx also launched into a diatribe defending the Jan. 6 insurrectionists. He described the attack on the Capitol “basically what amounts to a bunch of people going inside the Capitol and taking a selfie inside of Nancy Pelosi’s office. … There are people rotting away in prison now for that.”
“I think all of us in this room know what really happened on Jan. 6,” he continued. “It went exactly the way the FBI wanted it to go.”
James has also been active in the organizing and discourse around the recent far-right takeover of the board of trustees for North Idaho College (NIC), which may result in the longtime Coeur d’Alene institution losing its accreditation. Last month, he joined the public comment portion of the trustees meeting, saying he found descriptions of the board’s agenda commendable.
“It sounds like this board is awesome, actually,” he said. “And you talk about a population boom—people come here because it’s conservative. They wanna get away from liberals. So liberals, just take the L and go home.”
Foxx has become closely aligned—like the NIC board—with the cabal of far-right ideologues who surround Kootenai County Republicans Chair Brent Regan, who has played a central role in the demographic takeover of Idaho’s politics by extremist ideologues who are moving to the state. Indeed, Foxx—who moved to Idaho in late 2021—has been one of the more outspoken and unabashed heralds of the takeover.
“We are going to take over this state,” Foxx declared in a February 2022 video. “We have a great large group of people, and that group is growing. A true, actual right-wing takeover is happening right now in the state of Idaho. And there’s nothing that these people can do about it. So if you’re a legislator here, either get in line or get out of the way.”
Regan also oversees the hyper-influential Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF). Both the IFF and Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) under Regan encourage right-wing extremism in Idaho not simply through far-right legislation, but by embracing the white nationalists and other bigoted activists who move to Idaho, drawn by the “white homeland” siren song. The most obstreperous and troublesome of these activists is the cabal of extremists who moved to the Post Falls area after the KCRCC attempted to support European white nationalist Martin Sellner’s wedding. (The ceremony was eventually held in Austria.)
All of these activists were notorious before moving to Idaho, particularly “Red Ice”—the husband-and-wife team of Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff. Originally based in Gothenberg, Sweden, their YouTube channel—which originally specialized in UFO-style conspiracy theories—swelled to 335,000 subscribers by promoting white nationalist ideology, including Holocaust denial and the myth of white genocide before it was removed from the platform in October 2019 for hate speech. One month later, Red Ice also was given the boot from Facebook. Since then, it has continued to publish videos online through the independent provider Epik.
Red Ice has been a prominent platform for the white nationalists they host on their program, including Richard Spencer and Michael “Enoch” Peinovich, as well as neo-Nazis Andrew “weev” Auernheimer and Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer. Red Ice was “often noted for its role in helping to introduce viewers to new alt-right figures and ideas,” according to a 2018 Southern Poverty Law Center report. Palmgren was among the far-right figures mingling in the crowd on June 11 at Coeur d’Alene’s Pride in the Park event before a phalanx of neofascist Patriot Front marchers were arrested for attempting to cause a riot there.
Foxx moved to the Post Falls area in late 2021. Prior to that, he had built a large national audience on YouTube and other social media platforms—most of which he is now banned from—for his neofascist “Red Elephants” propaganda operation. He first received attention in 2017 for being closely associated with the neofascist street-brawling group Rise Above Movement in California; in one video, he can be seen with the neo-Nazi “14 Words” slogan with members of the gang.
Another major player in the newly hatched Post Falls white nationalist scene is Dave Reilly, a Pennsylvanian who had been present supporting the alt-right at the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. He had moved to Post Falls in 2020 and promptly began running for the local school board, earning Regan’s endorsement, but he narrowly lost.
Reilly and Foxx had played central roles in attracting the Patriot Front neofascists to the Coeur d’Alene Pride event. After the arrests, Reilly was defiant, eager to tell the LGBTQ community in Coeur d’Alene—a number of whom are multigenerational natives—they should leave the state.
"We do not need outsiders coming to North Idaho, to defend what isn't theirs,” said Reilly. “They can go to Seattle or Portland or San Francisco. But not here. We will not accept it. So, spread the word: You're not welcome. Satanists. LGBT groomers. Drag queens. Satanists. Pagans. Find somewhere else to call your home.”
The scenario playing out in Idaho appears to many longtime observers of the radical right in Idaho to be the realization of the vision that Richard Butler, founder of the Kootenai County-based Aryan Nations, had for the state in the 1970s—namely, to gradually transform it into a white nationalist “homeland” designed for right-wing white people only. The kind of vision that would appeal deeply to the Groypers and Fuentes, who recently mused that he’s hoping to impose a “dictatorship” so that they can “force the people to believe what we want them to believe.”
Boise resident Cherie Buckner-Webb—an African American, as well as a fourth-generation Idahoan—observed to The Idaho Statesman: “There’s a critical mass that is no longer doing this in the shadows. Crosses used to get burned in your yard in the dark of night, or you covered your face. These people are bold. They’re emboldened.”