Town bans building to deter white supremacists
LEITH, N.D. — Leaders in a small southwestern North Dakota town have approved a moratorium on any new construction — a move a white supremacist who is trying to take over says unfairly targets him and his aspirations.
Craig Cobb has bought a home and 12 other lots in Leith and is encouraging others with white power views to move there and help him take control of the community that had 23 residents before he arrived. He is living with three other male white supremacists and two children in a house with no water or sewer service and only space heaters for heat.
City officials on Sunday night put the building moratorium in place while they work on an ordinance that will require Cobb to install water and sewer service, The Bismarck Tribune reported). Another ordinance would prevent tents and campers from being set up on a city lot for more than 10 consecutive days.
Cobb, who has encouraged others to move tents and trailers onto his vacant lots, calls the proposals "patently unfair" and says residents of the town are "evil and nasty."
"Why now?" he asked. "Is it a wonderful coincidence that the moment I show up these (measures) are necessary?"
Cobb is a hate crimes fugitive from Canada with extremist neo-Nazi views, and many area residents want him gone.
"Until this is resolved, we're not going to let our guard down," Councilman Lee Cook said. "This is just the beginning."
Cobb told The Associated Press late last week that he feels he is being harassed and that he will take the town to court if necessary.
"They're working a flimflam of terror on me," he said. "This is America, and they targeted the wrong man."
Leith City Attorney Tom Kelsch told the Tribune that he is satisfied with steps the town is taking.
"It puts the city in a position where it can start to handle it," he said.