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Third District U. S. Rep. Clay Higgins speaks during a Republican rally last year in Lafayette. Higgins faces three challengers in the Nov. 3 election.

A Lafayette man is behind an ad that hit YouTube and cable TV this week painting 3rd Congressional District Congressman Clay Higgins as an Oath Keepers supporter whose rhetoric helped to incite the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Kenneth Miller recently formed the Blackthorn PAC that paid for the ad, he said Tuesday.

A resident of Lafayette, Miller is a founding partner in BlackRose Advisers and vice president of mergers and acquisitions with Colliers International, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is the sole officer of Blackthorn LLC, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office online database.

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A Republican from Lafayette, Higgins replied through a spokesman, “I’m not concerned with targeted lies and false attacks coming from left-wing organizations. I’m a Constitutionalist. I work for We, the People. I’ll continue to do so. Socialist lies mean zero to me.”

Higgins was dubbed the Cajun John Wayne for his tough-guy image and anti-crime videos while working in law enforcement. As a congressman, he has posted several controversial videos online, including one shot at a former Nazi death camp gas chamber.

In a news release Tuesday, Miller said while watching the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol he decided to make sure what happened is not forgotten and to hold those whose rhetoric incited the attack accountable, including congressmen. Higgins, he said, is an obvious choice for Blackthorn's first ad, which hopes to force the congressman "to answer for his words and actions."

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Miller said he wants the ad to spark a conversation about the Republican party and Higgins.

"Can someone who is so far out there actually do anything for constituents like create jobs and fix our roads?" he asked. "I don't see how that is possible."

Higgins threatened Gov. John Bel Edwards over COVID-19 restrictions, saying that if Edwards didn't open businesses in Louisiana, people would do so by force, Miller said. Higgins also threatened to kill protestors in a Facebook post that led to a large armed demonstration in Lafayette, he said.

The Blackthorn PAC ad shows Higgins saying if Republicans were to lose the House, Senate and White House in 2020, "patriots are going to have some hard decisions to make." He is shown speaking at what Blackthorn PAC says is an Oath Keepers rally. Oath Keepers is a far-right anti-government militia organization composed of current and former military, police, and first responders, and were among those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“I want to hear Clay Higgins explain what he meant by these 'hard decisions,'" Miller said. "I want him to explain why he is a member of both the Oath Keepers and Three-Percenters and, in fact, has the Three-Percenter logo on his pistol grip and campaign t-shirts. Clay Higgins needs to tell us all what he is really up to and what he really wants to see happen to this country.”

The ad closes by urging viewers to call Higgins' office and asking him to resign.


Email Claire Taylor at ctaylor@theadvocate.com.