Tag: doug mastriano
Doug Mastriano

Possible Mastriano Senate Bid Terrifies Keystone State Republicans

When Politico's Holly Otterbein reported, in early March, that Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano (a far-right MAGA Republican) was seriously considering a U.S. Senate run for 2024, she predicted that the news was "sure to give GOP leaders heart palpitations." Otterbein's prediction was spot on.

According to reporting in The Hill, Republican strategists fear that if Mastriano decides to run and receives his party's nomination, it would doom their chances of capturing the U.S. Senate seat presently held by three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA).

Mastriano is the QAnon-friendly conspiracy theorist, election denialist, and Christian nationalist who ran against Democratic now-Gov. Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania in 2022 and lost by 15 percent. Shapiro's campaign ads slammed Mastriano as a dangerous extremist, noting his ties to Gab (a favorite among white nationalists) and his opposition to abortion under any circumstances.

Now, Republican strategists fear that Mastriano could cause them to lose another statewide race in the Keystone State.

In an article published by The Hillon March 15, journalist Al Weaver reports, "The prospect of a Pennsylvania Senate bid by State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) has Republicans feeling a sense of déjà vu and reigniting fears that he could cost them up and down the ballot. The state and national GOP machinery is lining up solidly behind David McCormick, who was narrowly defeated in the 2022 Senate primary, believing he's the party's only chance to defeat Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in what could be a tough presidential cycle. Put simply, it's McCormick or bust for Republicans in Pennsylvania and in the U.S. Senate."

One of the Pennsylvania Republicans who is hoping that McCormick runs and wins the nomination is someone who once held that U.S. Senate seat: Rick Santorum. In 2006, Santorum was voted out of the Senate when he lost to Casey, the son of the late Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey, Sr. The younger Casey was reelected in 2012 and 2018, and a victory in 2024 would give him a fourth term in the U.S. Senate.

The centrist Casey, Jr., in 2006, attacked Santorum, a strident social conservative known for his anti-gay views, as being too far to the right. But Mastriano is even to the right of Santorum.

Santorum told The Hill, "A lot of people want [McCormick] to run, put it that way. I think Pennsylvanians have learned a lesson here, and (the) lesson is you go with candidates that are strong principled conservatives that don’t have baggage that can hurt you in a general election.… Tying yourself to the [stolen] election stuff and tying yourself too close to (former President Donald) Trump is destructive. It hurt the entire ticket [in 2022]."

A Republican operative in Pennsylvania, interviewed on condition of anonymity, believes that Mastriano hasn't learned anything from his 15 percent loss to Shapiro.

That Republican told The Hill, "Usually, when you get your pants taken down on a statewide scale, a race that has national attention, you don't want to go for it again because there's some level of embarrassment people feel. That's clearly not the case with [Mastriano]. I think he lives in his own la-la land…. He's a lost cause."

But if Mastriano does run for the Senate he has, according to Public Policy Polling (PPP), a good chance of winning the nomination. PPP, in a poll of Pennsylvania-based Republican voters released on March 13, found that McCormick would lose to Mastriano by 14 percent in a hypothetical matchup. Among those voters, Mastriano had a 47 percent favorability rating compared to only 22 percent for McCormick.

The Philadelphia-based Otterbein, in an article published by Politico on March 14, notes that Mastriano's hardcore supporters from 2022 haven't given up on him despite his 15 percent loss.

Jamie Crowe, a Mastriano supporter and conspiracy theorist who favors releasing all of the January 6, 2021 rioters from jail, believes that the 2022 election was stolen from Mastriano — a claim that there is absolutely no evidence to support.

Crowe told Politico, "Doug Mastriano's a true patriot. He's for the American people. He's for the state of Pennsylvania…. Doug Mastriano won that election. It was a false election, and I think the people know that it was a false election."

Crowe, according to Otterbein, is a prime example of what McCormick and the GOP establishment will be up against if McCormick runs.

"In a midterm cycle that was disappointing for the GOP across the country [in 2022]," Otterbein explains, "Pennsylvania Republicans were among the biggest losers. Along with Mastriano's flogging, GOP candidates fell short in the Senate contest and the majority of state House races."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

John Fetterman Flips Pennsylvania Senate Seat, Defeating Mehmet Oz

John Fetterman Flips Pennsylvania Senate Seat, Defeating Mehmet Oz

“I got knocked down but I got back up,” Pennsylvania lieutenant governor and Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman tweeted last month, referring to the stroke that took him off the campaign trail for months. Even as Fetterman fought his way back, including doing interviews with the help of closed captioning to help him adapt to a temporary auditory processing disorder, the media worked on painting him as unqualified while giving Oz a pass on things like having hundreds of dogs killed for medical research and promoting quack medicines.

Now Fetterman has gotten all the way back up, defeating Republican Mehmet Oz in the race for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. This is a big pickup for Democrats in the fight to retain control of the Senate.

[With more than 93 percent of precincts reported, Fetterman was projected to win with just over 50 percent to 47 percent for Oz. Democrat Josh Shapiro easily defeated Republican Doug Mastriano in the Pennysylvania governor's race.]

How Can Jews Still Support A Republican Party Infested With  Anti-Semites?

How Can Jews Still Support A Republican Party Infested With  Anti-Semites?

The anti-Semitic outbursts of Kanye West have exposed again the increasing tolerance of foul bigotry within the Republican Party and among its "conservative" mouthpieces. With West now touted as a new Black GOP voice (despite or perhaps because of his admitted mental illness), his sickening threats against Jews were quickly excused by the likes of Tucker Carlson, the top Fox News host whose own embrace of explicit anti-Semitism appears imminent.

Over the past few years, nearly every day has seen an anti-Semitic outrage perpetrated by some figure or organization associated with the Republicans; as the intensity and frequency of these offenses grows, the response by the party and its officials, never robust, has only become weaker and more cowardly.

The question is what Republicans — not the burgeoning caucus of neo-Nazis who call themselves Republicans, but actual conservatives — will do about this cancer on their party. It is a question especially pertinent to the handful of American Jews who have provided substantial financing for the Republicans, and for the man who has stimulated so much hate, former President Donald J. Trump.

When Trump initially excused the murderous Nazi rioters in Charlottesville, Virginia, he upset at least some of the Jewish Republicans who had supported him, such as the financier Stephen Schwarzman and the investment banker Gary Cohn. They felt the disdain of the overwhelming majority of Jews who want no part of Trump or Trumpism.

And yet many of those same Jewish Republicans continue to support the party as its extremism endangers their community and every other minority in the United States. It is curious indeed that someone like the hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay and therefore a target of fascist violence, would continue to subsidize this social poison.

Despite the fact that his own daughter and grandchildren are Jewish, Trump revived the "America First" slogan first popularized here by Hitler's agents and supercharged the return of fascist movements, with their animus against Jews, Blacks, gays and anyone else deemed "different." Having recently donned a "Q" pin to advertise his affinity for the conspiratorial, anti-Semitic and violent QAnon movement, the former president clearly understands that these hideous elements are crucial to his base. But the blame for this menace can no longer be attributed to him alone. Too many other Republicans are directly implicated or complicit.

In Arizona, much of the Republican apparatus is tainted by anti-Semitic rhetoric and ideologies, in particular state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who sucks up to the neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes and his America First Political Action Committee, and Rep. Paul Gosar, the member of Congress notorious for posting homicidal images of himself murdering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden. Mark Finchem, the party's nominee for secretary of state this year, is touting his endorsement by the openly anti-Semitic social media site Gab and its founder Andrew Torba, whose speeches explicitly echo the German Nazi Party.

In Pennsylvania, the Republicans nominated for governor a Christian nationalist state senator named Doug Mastriano, who hired Torba to send Gab's anti-Semitic subscribers to his campaign. He followed up with a bit of unsubtle Jew-baiting of his Democrat opponent Josh Shapiro.

In New York, the Republicans chose Carl Paladino, a raving racist, for an upstate congressional seat; his endorsement of Adolf Hitler as "the kind of leader we need" didn't bother Rep. Elise Stefanik, third-ranking Republican in the House, enough to evoke comment, let alone a disendorsement. And let's not forget Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the lunatic anti-Semite and apostle of QAnon violence who was nevertheless backed by nearly every House Republican last year when Democrats moved to strip her committee assignments.

The roster of white nationalists, fascists and neo-Nazis who identify as Republicans goes on much longer and includes such prominent party figures as Trump adviser Steve Bannon. There is now an entire wing of the party, bidding for dominant status, that bills itself as "nationalist" and promotes the authoritarian anti-Semitic leader of Hungary, Viktor Orban, as a Republican role model. That wing even has its own financier, the gay tech billionaire Peter Thiel, whose attraction to white nationalism may someday make him the Republican version of Ernst Röhm.

Whatever has motivated decent Republicans, including those of Jewish descent, to continue supporting what is rapidly becoming the party of fascism and anti-Semitism, they must stop and reconsider. If they imagine that they are using the far Right to achieve a political agenda of lower taxes or less regulation, they ought to recall how that worked out a century ago, when German conservatives, aristocrats, and nationalists thought they were manipulating Hitler and his movement to thwart socialism.

Those willing instruments of Nazism are stained forever — and that legacy of disgrace will be shared by the Republicans who are now enabling fascism in America.

Mastriano Would Charge Women Who Get Abortion With Murder

Mastriano Would Charge Women Who Get Abortion With Murder

New audio uncovered of GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano reveals him plainly saying in 2019 that women who have an illegal abortion should be charged with murder.

Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator, was discussing an abortion ban bill he had sponsored that would have outlawed abortion after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, typically around six weeks into a pregnancy. NBC News uncovered the audio of Mastriano's interview with radio station WITF in which he was asked if a woman who has an abortion at 10 weeks, which would be considered an illegal abortion under the proposed bill, should be charged with murder.

Mastriano initially dodges by contextualizing the question. "Is that a human being? Is that a little boy or girl?” he offers. “If it is, it deserves equal protection under the law.”

But pressed for a response a second time, Mastriano bluntly confirms that he believes murder charges are in order.

"So you're saying, 'Yes,'" asks the interviewer.

"Yes, I am," Mastriano responds.

Before Mastriano won the GOP primary and went dark on abortion, he had called it his "No. 1 issue" and said he wanted to ban abortions without exception, "period."

But the revelation that he wants to charge people who have illegal abortions with murder is surreal. In May, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found just 16% of adults support imprisoning women who get abortions, while 73% of Americans oppose it.

On the bright side for Mastriano, he has now locked up the fringe group of voters who favor putting women behind bars for what in some cases is standard health care for people who experience complications during the course of their pregnancy.

The Shapiro campaign, on the other hand, is plenty happy to forfeit the fringes for the remaining three-quarters of sane voters.

"Doug Mastriano has said his number one priority is banning abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother — and now, it’s clear he also wants to prosecute women for murder for making personal healthcare decisions," Shapiro spokesperson Manuel Bonder told NBC in a statement. "Mastriano has the most extreme anti-choice position in the country — and there is no limit to how far he would go to take away Pennsylvania women’s freedom."

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.