Apple Valley is a town of 69,135 in the high desert of Southern California it is mostly white and solidly Republican, but when voters learned that Richard Bunck, a candidate for town council, had been a member of a Neo-Nazi group in the 1970s they found that was just a bit too conservative for their taste.
The two big issues in that race had been water rates and jobs, but that all changed when Bunck’s past was revealed.
Television station KABC reported that Bunck said that he knew when he decided to run for office that his past would come out and made no attempt to deny it. What he has done is to try to downplay it and brush it off as a youthful indiscretion.
“I left that organization that I was associated with for about nine months because I didn’t agree with the rhetoric and I didn’t agree with what they were doing,” Bunck told the TV station.
Some might wonder why it was that he needed 9 months to decide that the rhetoric was offensive. Didn’t the Nazi uniform he was photographed wearing and the swastika he was standing under in the photo tip him off to what this group stood for?
Bunck passes it all off as something from the distant past, after all it was more than 40 years ago, however it was only ten years ago that he inherited a church that is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Bunck says that’s all just a misunderstanding, the church, he says is no longer active although he does hold Bible study sessions.
“They’re just simply wrong on that,” he told a reporter. “They’ve got bad information or whatever. Again, they’ve never come and to talked to me and asked me anything about it.”
Councilman Russ Blewett of nearby Hesperia City said that he doesn’t really like to get involved in politics in another city but that he had to make an exception in this case.
“Getting a man like Richard Bunck elected, who is a known, practicing neo-Nazi will bring disgrace, dishonor and horrible publicity for the High Desert,” Blewett said.
“Public office is a public trust, and I believe that with all my heart,” he went on. “I don’t believe that I could trust a man like Richard Bunck.”
Watch the report from KABC below.