By now, most people who follow state and regional news even casually are familiar with the story of Craig Paul Cobb and the tiny town of Leith, N.D.
Cobb, a renowned white supremacist, has apparently lived in the community for around a year, and has recently been buying up property and now owns 13 lots, according to news reports.
With these lots, Cobb apparently has plans to turn Leith into a little village for like-minded racists and has reportedly already given one of lots to a former grand dragon in the Ku Klux Klan.
Last Sunday, the leader of a major white supremacist group from Detroit came to Leith to help support Cobb, who is neither welcomed by the citizens of Leith or apparently, within city code with many of his ramshackle properties.
The visit from National Socialist Movement Jeff Schoep was met with hundreds of protestors from outside of Leith, as well as national media attention.
So how does this affect you, reader of the Pierce County Tribune?
Well, a Pierce County citizen tipped me off last week that there was some mention of Rugby and Pierce County in a story about Cobb in the Bismarck Tribune last week.
Sure enough, I went online and read through the story, which previewed Schoep’s visit to Leith and chronicled the issues between Cobb and the other citizens.
At the very end of the story was the following line: “Cobb said he’s bidding on other property and posted an 80-acre parcel in Pierce County near Rugby as a good possibility for a town site.”
I called the author at the Tribune, who explained that Cobb told her in a phone interview that he was looking at other land and wouldn’t tell her where. But a post on his blog, Cobb’s Corner, at the site www.whitenations.com had mentioned the property, which is apparently nine miles west of Rugby.
But later that evening when I visited the Bismarck Tribune site again the last line of the article had been removed. I contacted the reporter by email to ask why, but she didn’t email me back.
PCT’s Bryce Berginski and I did some digging and Bryce was able to find the online discussion of the property in Pierce County, as well as contact info for Cobb.
I emailed him about his interest in the property. He didn’t respond, but did post on his blog that he’d received the email.
I think I speak for a great majority of the residents of Pierce County when I say we don’t want Craig Paul Cobb in this county, or this state, for that matter, and we certainly don’t want a white supremacist village just nine miles from Rugby.
That being said, I don’t think the interest in the property was incredibly serious, and it appeared the land is at least partly under water and more suitable for duck hunting than setting up a town.
And generally speaking, it’s sometimes better to ignore people with these extreme views as opposed to giving their views credence by publicizing what they say and do.
But nonetheless it’s worth noting that Cobb is looking for land throughout the state.
Could Rugby become the next Leith?
Probably not, but it will be worth watching how the situation in Leith unfolds.
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