He wanted to make abortion illegal, was against sex ed, and he thought we needed to investigate folk singers for their communist ties.
“There is increasing and cumulative evidence indicating a deep interest in, and much activity by, the Communist party, USA, in the field of folk music,” DeTar wrote in a Young Republican publication.
“It is becoming more and more evident that certain of the ‘hootenannies’ and other similar youth gatherings and festivals, both in this country and in Europe, have been used to brainwash and subvert, in a seemingly innocuous but actually covert and deceptive manner, vast segments of the young people’s groups,” he wrote.
In 1969, the 43-year-old DeTar packed up and moved his family from Reno to Michigan. DeTar was angry with the direction of the Catholic Church in Nevada and was unhappy sex education was being taught in the schools. In an interview with the Nevada State Journal, he cited as examples of his problem with the Catholic Church the decision to have folk masses with guitars while not saying masses in Latin. The DeTar family moved back to Reno in 1970.
DeTar twice ran for the Reno City Council. In 1973, his platform included making abortion illegal in Reno.
“The most important issue is that of the right to life itself,” DeTar said in outlining his platform. “All other issues are secondary, as there can be no justice if the innocent are
DeTar had a two decade-long battle with the Internal Revenue Service over unpaid taxes. An eight-count tax evasion conviction was overturned on appeal, and in 1988, he was sentenced to a year in jail on a single count.