The town of Leith, North Dakota is being systematically taken over by white supremacists, says a report in The Bismarck Tribune.
According to city council member Lee Cook, his town, which consists of only 24 residents, has been bought up piece by piece over the past year by a man named Craig Cobb. Cobb allegedly has plans to turn the town into a white supremacist community and to control the local government.
The Tribune reports that Cobb is a self-described “white supremacist” who was charged by the Canadian government in 2010 with distributing hate material on the Internet.
When The Tribune examined public records of real estate transactions, it found that Cobb has purchased a total of 13 lots, some priced as low as a few hundred dollars . He had transferred ownership of one of the lots to Tom Metzger, who was once the grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in California, and another was transferred to Alex Linder, who founded a white supremacist website called Vanguard News Network.
Hatewatch, which tracks extremist groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center, first detected Cobb’s plans last year when he announced them on Vanguard News Network’s forum by bragging that the town had cheap utilities and good paying jobs nearby. Cobb’s post on the forum also urged people to move to the town right away “without letting the cat out of the bag.”
Cobb apparently had some very elaborate plans for the town. In addition to taking over government, the AP reports that he had hopes for building a park and a swimming pool dedicated to a prominent white supremacist. He also told workers at the Grant County Courthouse that he would like to rename the town “Cobbsville.”
Since Cobb’s plans were revealed last month in an article by The Tribune, things have escalated rapidly in the tiny town, with a town hall meeting being scheduled at 3:00 PM on Sunday to discuss the situation. Jeff Schoep, leader of the National Socialist Movement, will be at the town hall meeting to try to prevent Cobb’s ouster. In addition, a group called UnityND will be taking a caravan of people to the town on Sunday to protest Cobb.
One extreme move that the town is considering in an effort to block Cobb is dissolving the town government and turning power over to the county. While Cobb would still own his property in the town, he could not control the government because there would no longer by a government.
Cook, the city councilman who spoke with The Tribune, says the community needs all the help it can get because they have not been able to get any help from the county or state. Both financial help and moral support are appreciated, Cook added. The town has set up a legal defense fund to try to prevent the white supremacists from taking over the town. The fund is accepting donations at Grant County State Bank in Carson.
Written by: Nancy Schimelpfening