Back in June last year, LCRW reported that a Phoenix-area Three Percenter, Paul Alan Carver Jr., was running for Deer Valley Unified School Board. Carver, whose campaign was filled with anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-“CRT” rhetoric, won his race in November. More recently, Carver was found to be affiliated with former Arizona Oath Keeper president Ray Epps. In Epps’ newly released January 6 Committee deposition, Epps is asked numerous times about his time in D.C. with Carver the night before the insurrection.
ARIZONA GOES BLUE, BUT NOT ENOUGH
The 2022 election resulted in several major flips in Arizona politics with the Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General seats all going blue. Unfortunately, the QAnon-heavy republican majority legislature remains. Their first wave of anti-drag, anti-trans bills shows the AZ GOP will continue their attacks against the local LGBTQ+ community. The newly-established Turning Point USA-heavy Arizona Freedom Caucus is already preparing to challenge Governor Katie Hobbs’ executive order, which updates and reinforces nondiscrimination laws for LGBTQ+ workers in Arizona.
Governor Hobbs’ veto power will stop the Arizona legislature from passing their most extreme bills, however, the far-right saw major gains in the schools. Tom Horne replaced Kathy Hoffman and returned for another term as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Horne previously served as Superintendent from 2003 to 2011 and spent his career trying to outlaw Mexican-American studies classes from the Tucson Unified School District. Despite bringing white supremacist and convicted pedophile David Stringer to his campaign team, Horne still beat out Hoffman, who was a repeated target of anti-queer hate inciter Chaya Raichik (aka Libs of TikTok).
School boards also saw big wins from the far-right. Kurt Rohrs, endorsed by and affiliated with the far-right Purple for Parents, won his Chander school board race. Maricopa “audit” rogue canvasser James Knox won his Queen Creek school board race. Local anti-LGBTQ+ hate monger Heather Rooks won her Peoria school board race. Both Knox and Rooks were also endorsed by Purple for Parents. Common campaign themes included hatred of all things LGBTQ and CRT, and the promise to fight against all possible COVID safety measures.
At the Deer Valley Unified School District, the lead registered agent for an Arizona Three Percenter militia group, Paul Alan Carver, won his seat.
The Three Percenters are a decentralized militia movement with hundreds of reported sects throughout North America. Members have been connected to numerous acts of violence including the bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, MN. In Canada, Three Percenters are a designated terrorist group. Three Percenters were also present at the deadly neo-Nazi Unite the Right rally and members have been indicted for charges related to the January 6 insurrection.
As LCRWnews previously reported, Paul Carver appeared as the lead register for a local militia called The Union of the Three Percenter American Patriots (UTPAP). Documents available on the Arizona Corporate Commission show Carver removed himself as UTPAP’s lead agent, signing it over to Cecil McDole in June.
UTPAP’s website displays the traditional Three Percenter roman numeral logo and Carver himself admitted to his affiliation with the militia after LCRW’s article.
“I tried to find organizations that are like-minded that I could partner with to help defend the Constitution,” said Carver. “In doing so, I searched out the Three Percenters, which, a lot of people equate them to being a terrorist organization.”
Carver’s win is another addition to the Three Percenters entering local politics. In Washington, over a dozen Three Percenters have been elected throughout the state, with five serving on school boards as of 2022.
Despite his open affiliation with the Three Percenters, the Arizona Republican Party still recommended him on their “golden ticket” vote suggestion pamphlet. Turning Point Action also canvassed for his campaign and several AZ GOP members gave their official endorsement to Carver, including Rep. Justin Wilmeth and Rep. Steve Kaiser.
In a more recent development, Carver was also revealed through the January 6th Committee documents to be present in D.C. during the insurrection.
CARVER’S DINNER WITH RAY EPPS
There are many conspiracies surrounding Ray Epps’ involvement in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The right-wing ecosystem has latched onto clips of Epps shouting about entering the Capitol and used it as “proof” that he’s a secret federal agent solely and entirely responsible for the chaos of January 6. Conservative politicians and influencers who helped fuel the insurrection quickly latched onto their scapegoat. At an Arizona rally last year, Donald Trump repeated the “Epps did J6” claims. Tucker Carlson used clips of Epps in Patriot Purge, his 3-part “Originals” series that characterized the insurrection as a “false flag.”
On January 21, 2022, Epps sat down with the January 6 select committee to answer questions about his time in D.C.
In the interview, Epps described his life in his home state of Arizona. Until at least 2011, Epps served as president of the Arizona chapter of the Oath Keeper militia. In Queen Creek, Epps and his wife also ran a barn-themed wedding/event business on their farm. The Epps couple left for Colorado after their home/business became a regular visiting spot for journalists and conspiracy theorists looking for answers.
Epps is also asked about his affiliation with the recently elected DVUSD school board member Paul Carver. According to the committee interview and phone records, Carver called Epps numerous times on January 5 and the two met for dinner the night before the insurrection. Epps describes their D.C. dinner date as uneventful, claiming to be a distant acquaintance of Carver.
“Q: Can you share a little bit more with us, Mr. Epps, about what you and Mr. Carver talked about at dinner on the 5th?
A: Just regular – not much. I mean, surface talk. You know, how’d your day go, that kind of stuff. Got to know each other. What time are you going to the rally, we’re going to get there early, that kind of stuff. I mean, it was a party atmosphere.”
In an interview with far-right disinformation website The Gateway Pundit, Carver also confirms his presence in D.C. for the insurrection and his dinner with Epps. However, Carver describes the dinner much differently:
“Caught up with Ray… The three of us caught a bite. We talked about the things that we’d seen on the 5th… He was telling me that he was pretty sure that we should be going into the Capitol the next day,” said Carver.
It’s important to note, the Gateway Pundit writer conducting the interview, Jordan Conradson, has his own history with Carver. Both organized at a “Trump Train” rally together back in 2020. Also note, the error-ridden article also switches back and forth between referring to Carver as “Paul” and “Peter.”
While the interaction between Epps and Carver seems mostly uninteresting, the deposition further confirms Carver’s presence for January 6. A deleted Facebook post from Carver previously suggested he was there. There is no evidence showing Carver went beyond the restricted boundaries.
Epps is also asked if he’s aware of Carver’s affiliation with the Three Percenters or Oath Keepers. Epps denies knowing about Carver’s militia connections but claims he’s tied to an anti-5G group called Rise.
Q: “Just one more follow-up about Mr. Carver. Were you aware of any involvement he may have had with Three Percenters or Oath Keepers or any other groups?”
A: “No, sir. There’s a political group called Rise. Political group. They’re an action group. I think he’s part of that, I’m not sure. I attended one meeting at VFW to see what they were about, and they were talking about things like the five – what is it? Your phones, if you go to this five gigabyte or whatever it is – 5G, that it’s going to give us all cancer and stuff.”
ARIZONA RIGHT WING WATCH
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