CRIME

Notorious Neo-Nazis Claim They Have A ‘Corporate Sponsor’

It's not quite General Electric, but it helps pay the bills

CRIME
Feb 08, 2017 at 3:51 PM ET

The election of Donald Trump, and his divisive, nationalistic rhetoric, emboldened a fringe element of American extremists — who are now dreaming of greater prominence. One notorious racist is even boasting of corporate sponsorship.

Andrew Anglin, the publisher of one of the most-trafficked neo-Nazi websites in America, has been begging his band of bigots for money for the past several months to fund the operation of his Daily Stormer blog. Now, apparently, he’s got his first backer.

It’s not exactly General Electric — but it is an electrician. In Australia.

On Friday, in his latest plea for cash, Anglin announced the Daily Stormer’s first “corporate sponsor” was an electric company in Brisbane called Smerff Electrical. Smerff Electrical appears to be an actual company — not just a shell Anglin created to give the appearance that he actually has a somewhat “corporate sponsor.” (This would not be completely out of character for Internet trolls like Anglin.)

The company’s website is primitive and features “alt-right” imagery like Pepe the frog, the adopted symbol of racist provocateurs like Anglin and his “troll army.” But online reviews of the company from external websites date back to 2015 and it is registered with the Queensland Workplace Health and Safety office.

Why would any reputable business want to associate itself with a proud, card-carrying neo-Nazi who lobs conspiracy theories about shadowy Jews taking over the world onto the Internet as he promotes an impending race war? According to the company’s owner, Simon Hickey, the rest of the media simply can’t be trusted.

“The men at the senior level of media ownership will find themselves before the courts on serious charges soon,” he said in a rambling email. “Do you really want to be standing there along side them facing lengthy jail terms? The Daily Stormer is one of the few free, and honest news outlets from which to get our information.”

Hickey declined to say how much money he’s given to Anglin to earn the sponsorship designation. Anglin didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Most of the online reviews of Hickey’s work are positive, with the exception of one recent patron who described Hickey as “a complete nutter do not use him unless you want to pay twice,” and another who said “Simon was unprofessional and rude, would not recommend.”

Anglin’s frequent complaining about his seemingly dire financial situation has reached a fever pitch over the last few weeks. In the same post announcing his new “corporate sponsor” — and pleading for more businesses to jump on board — Anglin claimed that the he was recently forced to abandon the address he was using to accept donations and other mail (his dad’s office in Ohio) because of the Southern Poverty Law Center (who he referred to using a offensive word for Jews).

It’s unclear if Anglin would ever be able to monetize his site — respectable businesses aren’t generally in the business of backing Hitler-loving conspiracy theorists. And while Anglin claims his site could be making $60,000 a month in ad revenue, there’s no proof that anything like that is forthcoming.

“I can’t even receive normal donations because of you,” Anglin whined about SPLC researcher Mark Potok in a blog published Tuesday. “You shut down my mailing address and my bitcoin. And you’re going to call people who resist this ‘cowards’?” Anglin then challenged Potok to a “celebrity” boxing match.