WENATCHEE — Local political organizations protested a speaker Wednesday, during a conference for the Washington Farm Bureau.
KrisAnne Hall, president of Liberty First University, spoke to the Washington Farm Bureau as part of the organization’s annual meeting at the Wenatchee Convention Center. Organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and Hatewatch have reported that Hall has spoken to secessionist and far-right groups in the past.
The Southern Poverty Law Center does not list Hall as an extremist on its website.
Hall was invited to talk about constitutional governance and keeping the constitution strong, said John Stuhlmiller, Washington Farm Bureau CEO. In particular, Hall was asked to speak on her interpretation of property rights, as part of the organization’s discussion while setting its public policy agenda.
In an interview with The Wenatchee World, Hall said she teaches the facts and history of the constitution based on the documents written by the country’s founding fathers.
“In this particular aspect, I’m going to be talking about property rights,” Hall said. “What property meant to those who wrote the constitution. Why they limited the federal government’s authority to own and maintain property.”
The federal government is overreaching in its possession of public property, she said. When the constitution was written, the founding fathers opposed the actions of Great Britain’s parliament, not specifically the King of Great Britain. They intended the constitution to limit the powers of Congress, because they feared overreach by a legislative body, she said.
“So, as they are drafting the constitution, they were very aware of the dangers of Congress broadening their powers beyond the delegated authority,” Hall said.
She is aware that organizations have highlighted her as an anti-government extremist, but disagrees with that characterization, she said.
“I’m just not in favor of lawless government,” Hall said. “The constitution is called the supreme law of the land so it is the law of the land. When Congress and the federal government steps outside their delegated authority, it is acting lawlessly — that is what we have to learn again.”
Six protesters stood outside the convention center on Wednesday to protest Hall speaking there. The protesters were with a variety of groups, including Indivisible Wenatchee, and wanted to express concern about Hall’s viewpoints, said Suellen Harris, chairwoman with the 12th Legislative District Democrats.
“I just think that people who are coming to this meeting are unaware of who she is,” Harris said. “She is a self-avowed constitutionalist. She says that’s what she does. Not everyone agrees with her interpretations like not everyone would agree with mine. But at least we ought to know from what perspective she is speaking.”
In particular, Harris said immigration activists alerted local groups about Hall, because of Hall’s views on immigration, which are aligned with the Trump Administration’s stance.
Hall refused to talk about her stance on immigration. She said it was not the topic of her speech to the farm bureau and her opinion on immigration was well documented elsewhere.