QAnon Virginia Candidate Brawls At Texas Butterfly Center And This Headline Is Wildly Insufficient
We suppose nobody should be surprised by anything the QAnon loons come up with anymore, since their most recent exploits have involved gathering at Dallas's Dealey Plaza in hopes that JFK Jr. would show up to help Donald Trump unleash "The Storm" and regain the White House.
Nonetheless, we'll admit to being a bit surprised when we saw that the National Butterfly Center, a private nature preserve along the Rio Grande, announced it would be closing this weekend due to "credible threats" against the center and its staff.
You see, what with it being on the river that forms the US-Mexico border, the Butterfly Center has been previously targeted by the crazies who wanted to build a private WALL, because darned if the nature preserve wanted the butterfly habitat disturbed. That prompted Brian Kolfage, the now-indicted head of We Build The Wall, to accuse the Butterfly Center and a nearby historic church of "promoting trafficking of children," and specifically accusing the preserve of running a "rampant sex trade."
Back in 2019, Kolfage alleged in a tweet that when he went to the center, "The only butterflies we saw were swarming a decomposing body surrounded by tons of rotting trash left behind by illegals." Nice guy!
The bullshit accusations fired up the crazies, and the butterfly center's executive director, Marianna Treviño-Wright, started getting the usual run of online threats and phone calls telling her she would die for her crimes, because that's how rightwing patriots do retail politics these days.
And now, the operators of the Butterfly Center say they're again getting threatened by WALL enthusiasts, and are worried that this weekend's grifterpalooza in McAllen, headlined by former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn, will include a "car caravan" Sunday to come and scream at the river, the remnants of Kolfage's wall, and presumably the nearby butterfly center.
An email from the center said that it had been visited last Friday by an unnamed "congressional candidate from Virginia" who showed up demanding to "see the rafts with the illegal crossing" of the river, thanks to a fake photo the email says has been spread online by Kolfage and supporters:
The candidate was accompanied by another woman claiming to be a Secret Service agent, although in mere reality world, the Secret Service generally only protects the president and executive branch officials who want to speed through DC with lights and sirens while shopping for skin lotion and Trump Hotel jizz mattresses. But we digress.
The candidate and her plus-one were not very nice, the email says. When asked to leave, the candidate and her oddy-guard
tried to run over Marianna's son, who was filling in at the visitor's pavilion. Nick was trying to close the front gate to prevent the candidate and her friend from leaving with Marianna's phone, which they had taken from her after knocking her to the ground outside the pavilion. All of this was caught on our security cameras, and the visitor who witnessed the attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on Nick called 9-11.
Thanks to some sleuthing by the Daily Beast, we now have more information about that January 21 confrontation: the candidate was Kimberly Lowe, a "longshot congressional candidate" from Virginia, who apparently plans to attend this weekend's MAGA event.
And wouldn't you know it, Lowe recorded several now-deleted Facebook Live videos of herself and her ersatz Secret Service bodyguard to document their visit to the Butterfly Center.
In one video, from early on the 21st, Lowe and her colleague “Michelle” watch Border Patrol agents detain migrants, while Lowe describes herself as armed.
“I've got my 9mm just sitting right here,” she says in one video.
Also too, Wright, the Butterfly Center director, shared an affidavit with the Daily Beast about the encounter with Lowe and "Michelle."
Wright said she approached Lowe and Michelle and informed them that they were trespassing on private property. An audio recording, shared with The Daily Beast, reveals some of the confrontation.
“You are here to promote your agenda, and your agenda is not welcome here,” Wright says on the recording.
“You’re not for keeping the illegals out?” Michelle counters.
“So you’re not for helping all these poor people in the humanitarian crisis?” Lowe adds. “You’re OK with children being sex trafficked and raped and murdered.”
When Wright asks the pair to leave, Michelle claims that Border Patrol told them that they could enter the property and that, “I’m federal—I work for Secret Service, so nothing is off-limit for me.”
We gave it a listen (sadly, it's not embeddable), and it's every bit as batshit crazy as you'd expect.
The audio then gets seriously bizarre. Lowe seems to start narrating a new Facebook Live video, saying, “So we’re here with a woman who’s not a very nice person who’s OK that children—”
And then there are sounds of some kind of struggle, as Wright apparently grabs at Lowe's phone and Lowe says, "You did not take my fucking phone!" Then the audio gets pretty unclear and yelly.
Wright said in her affidavit that she "panicked," because she was worried about the video being used to incite more threats against her, so she knocked the phone out of Lowe's hands and took it inside the building to wait for police. Then, according to the affidavit, Wright was shoved to the ground by one of the women, and the two visitors made off with Wright's phone instead.
In Lowe’s now-deleted Facebook Live video, reviewed by The Daily Beast, Lowe and Michelle return to their car, where Michelle claimed to have Wright’s phone. In her affidavit, Wright said her son went to close the center’s gate to prevent the pair from driving off with the device. She says Lowe nearly hit her son while accelerating toward the gate.
In her deleted video, Lowe appears to drive toward someone, presumably Wright’s son.
“Get the fuck out of my way,” the congressional candidate says. “Get out of my fucking way. Get the fuck out of my way. Jesus Christ.”
Lowe told the Daily Beast in an email that's not what happened at all, and that she'd been assaulted by Wright, who she said
stole my phone, kidnapped us, and tried to keep us from leaving, and filed a false police report which the police have already found to be untrue and when she couldn’t get me on anything because this is purely a political attack she is now making up more stories saying I tried to hit her son when he ran to the gate to lock us in and blocked the exit with his arms out. I did not try to hit him!
Wow! It's exactly like that classic movie Rashomon, at least if Kurosawa had found a way to film in run-on sentences. She also told the Daily Beast she thought Wright was the one who said Michelle was a Secret Service agent, which doesn't make a damned bit of sense, since you can hear Wright laughing at Michelle's claim and saying it's "hilarious."
And because wingnuts are always the victims, Lowe "accused Wright of siccing social media followers on her," which would take some doing, considering that the Butterfly Center's email doesn't name the Virginia candidate at all.
That email also said that a former Texas state official, whose daughter is a local GOP chair, advised Wright
that she should be armed at all times or out of town this weekend, because the We Stand America events include a "Trump Train"-style, "caravan to the border." He said the National Butterfly Center would likely be a stop on this "take action tour," and she and the center are targets.
Here's hoping the weekend goes by peacefully, and that no people are harmed, and that no butterfly habitat is destroyed by monster trucks rampaging around the center. That's private property, after all, and if there's one thing the far Right respects, it's private land rights. Right?
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.