Art Robinson has caught the Koch brothers’ eye for his radical brand of climate denial.
Sprinkling radioactive waste from airplanes builds humans’ resistance to degenerative illnesses, says one congressional candidate.
Though it sounds like a statement taken out of an article from satirical newspaper The Onion, the idea that radioactive material can actually be good for humans is one that former congressional candidate Art Robinson, who last week became the Oregon Republican Party’s new chairman, believes in.
Last week Robinson replaced former Chairwoman Suzanne Gallagher, who stepped down after party officials accused her of mismanaging the party and the group’s finances. Robinson, also former president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, narrowly defeated the party’s vice-chair, Bill Currier, in a third round of voting 55 to 52.Prior to being named head of Oregon’s GOP party, Robinson, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry, had two unsuccessful campaigns for Congress against progressive candidate Rep. Peter DeFazio, where it was discovered that Robinson not only believes climate change is a myth, but that AIDS is a “natural consequence of the gay lifestyle” and that a daily dose of radioactive material is not only safe, but beneficial to the human immune system.
Robinson’s arguably out-there ideas have been published throughout the past three decades in his monthly newsletter, “Access to Energy,” and were publicized during his congressional run in 2010.
Despite having a slew of controversial stances on issues ranging from nuclear waste to public schools to AIDS, Robinson has continued to garner support from many libertarians, including an endorsement from Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), as well as many tea party activists, specifically for denying that climate change is a problem created by humans.
The Koch brothers also took note of Robinson’s stance on global warming and financially backed his run for Congress in 2010. According to an article in the Daily Kos, Robinson’s belief that radioactive material had a health benefit, DDT was 100 percent safe and that Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring,” was a hoax, only strengthened Robinson’s relationship with the Koch brothers.
While there has been momentum for the Republican Party in the liberal-leaning state — especially in 2010, with voters electing an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in the state’s House of Representatives, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley coming close to a win — Robinson’s new role as party leader is concerning for some in the party who fear his controversial stance on a variety of issues may spell doom for the party’s success in the state, especially during the 2014 elections.
Four party officials — Jerry Jackson and Stan Baker, chair and vice-chair of the Benton County Republicans and Suzan Ellis Jones and Kyle Knight, chair and treasurer of the Baker County Republicans — filed a petition challenging the results of the final vote. They cited that there were problems with the credentialing of voters and the balloting process at the convention.
Specifically, the election challenge alleges that the Clackamas County Chair and party credentials chairman John Lee interfered with the election, destroyed two ballots and had a “known bias” against Currier. Lee has denied the allegations.
Though some have expressed concern about Robinson’s leadership, others have applauded the election, saying that the “smartest man in Oregon” was elected to lead the party.
On Facebook, Oregon resident Eric Dubin wrote, “Art Robinson is a good man — an independent thinker. He was among the scientists that first questioned the so-called consensus of global warming. He’s more of a libertarian and champion of free enterprise and property rights than a standard republican….”
Others, like Jim Moore, a political science professor at Pacific University, said that Robinson’s role may have no effect on voters so long as the party has strong candidates running for office. He said, “The chair of the Republican Party is either a crucial player because there’s no other statewide face of the party or almost totally irrelevant to voters.”
Robinson’s views on the issues
When it comes to nuclear waste, Robinson said “All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean — or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases. If we could use it to enhance our own drinking water here in Oregon, where background radiation is low, it would hormetically enhance our resistance to degenerative diseases. Alas, this would be against the law.”
This theory likely won’t sway many Democratic voters in the state, since Portland just voted to ban fluoride from the city’s drinking water.
Though he taught chemistry at the University of California’s San Diego campus, Robinson said, “Public education (tax-financed socialism) has become the most widespread and devastating form of child abuse and racism in the United States. Moreover, people who have been cut off at the knees by public education are so mentally handicapped that they cannot be responsible custodians of the energy technology base or other advanced accomplishments of our civilization.”
Instead, Robinson advocates for homeschooling children and sells a how-to information packet for $149.
When it comes to AIDS, Robinson said, “AIDS is not a unique disease—it is an increased susceptibility to many ordinary diseases presumably as a result of depressed immune response. This depressed immunity can result from many other factors including those especially prevalent in the AIDS afflicted population—drug abuse and unhygienic exposure to very large numbers of different disease vectors.
“Moreover, large numbers of HIV carriers who are symptom-free are being treated by powerful life-threatening drugs that kill people in ways very similar to AIDS.”
He wrote that “The arguments presented against the HIV hypothesis are sound, although they are difficult to independently evaluate. In part, they cite lack of evidence, and that AIDS is conveniently serving as an excuse for all sorts of social engineering, especially in the public schools, that could not be sustained without a ‘crisis.'”
While Robinson has tried to distance himself in recent years from his articles, he has not rejected the ideas — no matter how controversial they are. Instead, he has called his ideas such as sprinkling nuclear waste on the U.S. “politically impossible” and said he should have explained himself better when it comes to his stance on public education.