Raleigh – Lt. Gov. Dan Forest refused to condemn the violent behavior of an extreme group – one accused of beating members, enslaving young people, and installing people in public office to protect the group – after the News & Observer found he cozied up to them at a fundraiser.
When asked to simply disavow an extremist, violent group, Forest’s spokesperson refused and instead dodged the question with a vague statement:
“Asked if Forest is concerned about the allegations against the church, [Forest spokesman Hal] Weatherman said Forest is ‘concerned with the well being of all 10 million plus citizens of our great state.’”
Forest actively courted members of the Word of Faith months after an investigation found that Word of Faith leaders enslaved young people, sexually abused minors, and viciously beat their members – including infants.
Forest is on the Republican short list for running for Governor and has reportedly set up a “shadow” campaign. It’s reprehensible that any elected official – let alone one seeking higher office – would court a violent, extremist group and refuse to denounce their behavior. His move raises serious questions about who he’d serve in higher office.
“A Republican leader is caught cozying up to members of an extreme group that, among other things, beat their members and enslaved young people – and he refuses to condemn their behavior. Let that sink in,” North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “Forest should immediately denounce this violent, extremist group and give back any money he raised from this fundraiser.”
News & Observer: Leader of church at center of scandal attends fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Forest
BY PAUL A. SPECHT
October 26, 2017
A photo provided to The News & Observer shows Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest at a fundraiser with a leader of a western North Carolina church that’s being sued by a former member who says church leaders tried to beat the “homosexual demons” out of him.
Forest, who was elected to a second term last year, is a socially conservative Republican who’s expected to run for governor in 2020.