Politics

Rick Santorum Invites Ex-Yahweh Member Michael The Black Man To Open Rally (Video)

​After stinging losses in New Hampshire and South Carolina, Rick Santorum came to Florida this weekend hoping to reboot his push toward the White House. But the ex-senator may want to vette his opening acts a bit better: At a Coral Springs rally yesterday, he invited local conservative Michael the Black Man to open the shindig.

Yep, that's the same Michael who once served the vicious Yahweh ben Yahweh cult and was charged (but never convicted) in two gruesome Yahweh murders. As you'd expect, Michael's intro went a little off the rails.
 

In between a some soul-singing, Michael offered his spiel about Republicans saving black America and Democrats being "Nazis" in disguise.

"The Democrats, they're the worst thing that ever happen to the black man," he tells the crowd. "They're the slave masters."

We've written extensively about Michael's bizarre transformation from Yahweh follower to Tea Party-courting firebrand.

Last year, one of his nephews -- who was charged and later convicted in federal court of murder and fraud -- accused Michael of trying to resurrect a Yahweh-style cult himself. Michael denied the charge, telling us that his nephew was saying "what he thinks will get him out of prison."

Michael, whose real name is Maurice Woodside, was charged along with cult leader Yahweh ben Yahweh and 15 other followers in 1990; Yahweh and 14 others were convicted of murder conspiracy, but Woodside walked (despite testimony from his brother against him.)

More recently, Michael has run a pirate radio station, waved insane signs at an Obama rally, been involved in a bizarre AK-47 shootout at his North Miami Beach home and claimed in 2008 that Obama was conspiring to have him murdered after a gunman opened fire on a bus Michael had chartered to go to a protest.

He's been charged with four other felony crimes in recent years -- including accusations of bringing a loaded gun onto an airplane and stealing a car -- but has never been convicted. 

(You can check out his full story in our feature piece, "Yahweh ben Yahweh is back.")

We're curious if Santorum's folks knew Michael's back story before inviting him to Coral Springs -- and if we'll see him on future stops around the Sunshine State. You can bet this won't be the last time you hear Michael's name during Florida's GOP primary race.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink