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The Aryan Nations white supremacy group is targeting logging communities embroiled in the spotted owl controversy to recruit members of a new political party in the Pacific Northwest.

"If this will get us a foothold and show them that Aryan Nations is concerned about the white working class, then we have a start," said Floyd Cochran, public affairs chief for the white supremacy group.Cochran was traveling through the Northwest this week to gauge support for a political party he said would represent "the white working man."

He said he and Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler plan to enter politics to promote their goal of a five-state Aryan nation in the Northwest.

"We're mainlining and that will make us a lot more powerful," he said. "To obtain political clout we have to do it at the ballot box. In that respect, Aryan Nations has changed its tactics."

Cochran said economically depressed timber towns that blame their plight on the government and environmentalists are ripe for a political party that represents their views. And, he noted, "most loggers are white."

Cochran also planned stops in rural southern Oregon and in Washington.