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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: senate

Arizona GOP Nominee Endorses Anti-Semitic State Senate Candidate

According to comments posted to social media by Jarrin Jackson, a Republican running for a seat in the Oklahoma state Senate who has gained notoriety for his antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ comments, his campaign has been endorsed by Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.

In a series of tweets on August 17, Jackson claimed that Lake had said, "We need fighters in EVERY state that's why I'm proud to endorse Jarrin Jackson for Oklahoma state senate! Jarrin is an America First patriot and does so much to advance our America First movement. RINOs & the Soros media attack him relentlessly because he's over the target. Jarrin is a winner and a fighter we need in the state senate!"

Lake herself had not shared any endorsement of Jackson herself as of Friday afternoon. Her campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Lake had endorsed Jackson.

Jackson, whose Twitter profile calls him a "Christian, family man & Army combat vet. Biz owner," has made repeated bigoted comments about Jews and LGBTQ people.

In a post to the social media site Telegram that was highlighted by the media watchdog organization Media Matters for American, Jackson wrote, "The answer to Zionism or any other -ism is the gospel of Jesus Christ. His death, burial, & resurrection for the salvation of sin. I'm not beholden to Jews or any other group. People need to repent & believe the gospel. Hell is gonna be hot."

He wrote in criticizing a so-called documentary on "enemies" within the Baptist Church, "Outline & detail the evil. Amen. The Jews. Illuminati. Covid shots kill. Rothschilds. Communists. Woke pastors. Social gospel. Christ will chuck a bunch of stuff in the fire."

In addition to the antisemitism of references to conspiracy-theorist favorites such as the Jewish Rothschild banking family, Jackson has also repeatedly condemned and insulted the LGBTQ community. The Washington, D.C., Metro Weekly reported in June on comments Jackson made in a video highlighted by Right Wing Watch. Jackson said:

Pride Month is in full swing. I think it would be deliciously ironic and eternally entertaining if God comes back today, gets us up out of here, and then burns the whole place down. It would be amazing, not only because it would be just and righteous and deserving, but because everybody who celebrates this godlessness — which is very few, by the way — most people are doing it because they are coerced. They are compelled.

He added:

People find it disgusting, especially straight dudes. … Whenever they see other dudes kissing. It is gross. Being gay is gay. It is the most disgusting, despicable, stupid thing ever. Insert barf emoji. And yet, we're supposed to celebrate this? We're supposed to think it is normal? It ain't normal! ... These godless commies, these homosexual gay fornicating godless commies, are trying to foist upon everybody else that which is disgusting and dangerous and eternally damnable.

Jackson also repeats a blend of Christian nationalist viewpoints, racist conspiracy theories claiming white people are being targeted, and anti-immigrant sentiment in such rants as one noted by Media Matters in July:

It's not nativism. It's common sense. But the real issue at the core here is that — I can't believe no one else sees this. They want to get rid of white people because of their Christianity. ... What I'm saying is that if you had a culture that focused on the gospel, you wouldn't have mass migration. ... My whole point for this: Zionism, Jews taking over the world, the Rothschilds, the Kalergi Plan, the white replacement theology or white replacement theory. I largely agree that all of those things are happening. But if I believe that their premises are true, that white people are better than other people, that we have to elevate to protect and we have to bend public policy to make sure that America stays white, we are losing what the entire premise of America is, that because God exists, he has an order. ... Yeah, I guess the problem isn't the fact that I'm white and these guys aren't white and I don't want them here. It's the fact that, well, I don't want my culture changing, but I'm not willing to actually sacrifice to fight for my culture. What I want is I want someone who's going to elect to go to office to make sure that the borders are closed so no one comes in. It's like a nation of liars will be well-represented. Why do we have Congress full of corrupt godless commies?

Jackson highlights endorsements on his campaign website from other far-right Arizona Republicans as well: Secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem and state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who is seeking reelection.

Jackson will participate in a primary runoff for the Oklahoma state Senate seat on Aug. 23.

Lake, who won the primary to run as the Republican nominee for governor with the endorsement of former President Donald Trump in early August, has centered her bid around the false conspiracy theory that Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Lake has vowed to imprison those involved in the administration of that election, including her Democratic opponent in the gubernatorial race, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

FiveThirtyEight's polling average shows Hobbs with a 3.8-point lead over Lake.

However, Inside Elections, a nonpartisan political handicapping outlet, rates the race a toss-up.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

McConnell Fears Low Quality GOP Candidates Will Doom His Senate Majority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is sounding less than thrilled with the choice of MAGA America in Senate primaries. He’s been left with a “quality” issue, he says.

“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different—they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,” McConnell told reporters at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday. “Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly.”

It is not a 50-50 country. It is a country in which less than one-fifth of the population elects half of the Senate because the Senate is an inherently undemocratic institution. That aside, LOL! “Candidate quality.” LOL!

He kind of does have an issue there, doesn’t he? Take Pennsylvania, where New Jersey transplant Mehmet Oz isn’t just being wholly owned by Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on social media, he’s being owned in the polls. Which might have something to do with New Jersey, crudité, $70 T-shirts, and the fact that he doesn’t know the name of the place where Pennsylvanians do their food shopping or how many houses he owns (10). And Oz just can’t stop himself from digging.

Ohio’s great Republicans hope, J.D. Vance, has all but disappeared from the campaign trail. Vance and Democrat Tim Ryan have been trading polling leads in the last few weeks, but the real issue for McConnell and team is that they’re going to have to invest there. The conservative Senate Leadership Fund has been forced to reserve $28 million in ad buys for the final weeks of the campaign. Republicans went into this general election Ohio assuming that Vance wouldn’t require any national funding.

Then there’s Georgia Republican nominee Herschel Walker, who has proven to be such a disaster a Republican PAC is running ads against him. It’s Georgia, which is still definitely not blue, so the polls are tight there. That’s with minimum public exposure of Walker. Just wait until the debates. If Walker finally agrees to them, that is.

It’s not just the opens seats, though. Republicans incumbents aren’t distinguishing themselves, either. Sen. Ron Johnson is trailing Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes by 7 points in a Marquette University Law School released Wednesday, 51-44. Barnes is up 4 points on Johnson in a Fox News poll released Thursday, 49-45. Johnson isn’t doing himself any favors, stubbornly insisting on saying things out loud, in public, where God and everybody can hear how his mind works.

Then there’s Florida, where yet another Fox News poll this week has Sen. Marco Rubio trailing likely Democratic challenger Rep. Val Demmings. Not by a lot, 48 to 44. But that is not where a three-term incumbent wants to be less than three months ahead of an election. It’s not where McConnell wants anyone on his team to be at this point.

Yeah, McConnell’s remarks are about managing expectations. They’re also about reality. He’s got some really problematic candidates, as well as incumbents he’s been battling with for months on messaging. Meanwhile, new voter registration numbers in battleground states are demonstrating just how fired up women are about abortion.

He might be expectation-setting, but he’s right. Republicans do have a quality problem and it is giving him heartburn.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Herschel Walker Profited From Shady Outfits That Exploited Veterans, Elderly

Republican Georgia Senate nominee Herschel Walker has been under fire for misrepresenting his work for a for-profit company accused of exploiting veterans and service members. But it appears that another controversial company for which he worked may also have targeted veterans in a multilevel marketing scheme.

Walker, a former professional football player and contestant on former President Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" game show, is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

He has repeatedly been caught lying and exaggerating about his past: overstating his work on the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition; lying about having graduated from college; and significantly exaggerating his achievements in business and the number of employees he hired.

Walker has frequently presented himself as having worked to help members of the armed services and assist them with mental health challenges. He has touted his work with a program called Patriot Support, which he claimed to have created to provide treatment for thousands of soldiers annually.

But an AP investigation in May found that Patriot Support, which was founded 11 years before Walker was hired to be its spokesperson, is actually a for-profit program created and offered by the hospital chain Universal Health Services. The program has been accused of fraud and of exploiting veterans and service members.

The company paid Walker $331,000 in 2021 alone.

A spokesperson for Walker's campaign did not respond to an inquiry for this story. However, in response to an ad released by the Warnock campaign criticizing Walker's involvement with Universal Health Services, the campaign said in a statement: "The accusations levied in the ad were brought against Universal Health Services. Herschel Walker played zero role in the founding of Universal Health Services, and the allegations against the company had absolutely nothing to do with Herschel."

In July, CNN broke the story that, starting in 2012, Walker worked as a "partner" and "spokesman" for Momentis, which was then a multilevel marketing subsidiary of an energy company called Just Energy.

The report noted that Just Energy had been accused by regulators and state governments of deceptive practices, including tricking older customers and people who are not fluent in English into signing long-term contracts.

In 2014, Mother Jones included Just Energy on its list of "6 Shady Power Providers," noting that it and its predecessor had been fined by states for deceiving and misleading customers.

CNN's reporting noted that it does not appear that Walker's role or the online marketing service he touted were targets of any state investigation.

A spokesperson for Just Energy, which filed for bankruptcy in 2021, said in an email the company "sold all of the assets of Momentis in March 2014 and has had no relationship with Momentis since that time."

While Walker was working for Momentis in 2012, it launched "Project Hope," a "veterans business development program" targeting military families and veterans.

"US Military Veterans and their spouses need opportunities for income both during and after serving in the US Military," reads the description accompanying a YouTube ad for Momentis for Veterans. "Momentis has designed a program, in fact are the only company to date that has created a Military marketing program allowing military families to participate as a business owner.”

The Federal Trade Commission warns about multilevel marketing on its consumer advice website:

Businesses that involve selling products to family and friends and recruiting other people to do the same are called multi-level marketing (MLM), network marketing, or direct marketing businesses. Some MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes. ... If the MLM is not a pyramid scheme, it will pay you based on your sales to retail customers, without having to recruit new distributors. Most people who join legitimate MLMs make little or no money. Some of them lose money. In some cases, people believe they’ve joined a legitimate MLM, but it turns out to be an illegal pyramid scheme that steals everything they invest and leaves them deeply in debt.

Walker will face incumbent Sen. Warnock in the November general election. Warnock was elected in a January 2021 special election runoff against appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler to fill the final two years of the term of the late Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson. He is now running for a full six-year term.

During his year and a half in office, Warnock has backed legislation to expand health care for veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits while serving and introduced S. 4561, the Increasing Home Ownership for Service Members Act, and S. 4563, the Building More Housing for Service Members Act.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

New Hampshire 'Secession' Extremists Endorse GOP Senate Candidate

Several state legislators who backed efforts to secede from the United States or dissolve the state government have endorsed Don Bolduc, a Republican Senate candidate in New Hampshire.

Bolduc is one of several GOP candidates seeking the party's nomination for Senate in the Sept. 13 primary. The winner will face Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in November.

On July 26, Bolduc — a retired Army brigadier general and failed 2020 Senate candidate — released a list of 41 Republican state representatives endorsing his candidacy. This amounts to about one-fifth of the 206 current members of the New Hampshire House Republican Caucus.

In a press release, he praised the lawmakers as "true patriots" committed to the nation:

As I've campaigned and held over 25 town halls throughout the state, I've been lucky enough to be joined by some of the Granite State's great local representatives along the way. I'm honored to earn the support and trust of these true patriots who believe, like I do, our greatest days are ahead, and together we can build back American Strength.

Six of Bolduc's endorsers — Reps. Max Abramson, Dustin Dodge, Dennis Green, Raymond Howard, Diane Kelley, and Paul Terry — backed a proposed state constitutional amendment to provide "that the state peaceably declares independence from the United States and proceeds as a sovereign nation."

Those six were among just 13 "no" votes as 323 of their colleagues successfully moved to kill the amendment by deeming it "inexpedient to legislate."

Dodge, Green, and Howard also signed on as co-sponsors of the secession legislation.

In December 2020, Howard and three others on Bolduc's endorsement list — Reps. José Cambrils, Dave Testerman, and Scott Wallace — reportedly co-authored a letter calling for "termination of the state" of New Hampshire's government based on "fraud" in the 2020 election and declaring it "is, and Right ought to be a Free and Independent State as defined by Part I, Bill of Rights, Article VII."

Their "Declaration of Independence" was signed by six state representatives in total and 31 other activists.

A Bolduc spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

His endorsers' pro-secession position is outside the mainstream. A June SurveyUSA poll found that 29 percent of New Hampshire adults would prefer the state "govern itself as an independent country," while 58 percent would not.

Some of the other state legislators backing Bolduc have come under bipartisan criticism in the past for sharing bigoted messages online.

Rep. Dawn Johnson faced criticism and calls to step down in December 2020 after she shared an anti-Semitic story and cartoon from the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website accusing Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp of conspiring with Jews to rig the election. She later apologized but refused to resign.

In October 2021, Rep. Ken Weyler stepped down from his committee assignments, but not his state House seat, after sending colleagues a 52-page anti-vaccine manifesto that included anti-Catholic conspiracy theories. Among these were a baseless claim of a secret Pope and an accusation that church leaders are Satanists.

In September 2018, an image shared on Rep. Harry Bean's Facebook page reportedly showed Hillary Clinton and her campaign vice chair Huma Abedin with nooses, suggesting that the two should be hanged. Bean claimed to be unaware of the image a year later and told a local news outlet that his account had been hacked.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Senate Adopts Massive Climate And Health Plan In Big Win For Biden

The US Senate's passage of a major climate and health plan is a significnat victory for President Joe Biden ahead of midterm elections

Washington (AFP) - After 18 months of arduous negotiations and a marathon night of debate, the US Senate on Sunday passed Joe Biden's ambitious climate, tax and health care plan -- a significant victory for the president ahead of crucial midterm elections.

Voting as a unified bloc and with the tie-breaking vote cast by Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrats approved the $430 billion spending plan, which will go to the House of Representatives next week, where it is expected to pass before being signed into law by Biden.

The plan, crafted in sensitive talks with members on the right wing of his Democratic Party, would include the biggest US investment ever on climate -- $370 billion aimed at effecting a 40 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

That would give Biden a clear victory on one of his top agenda items and go some way toward restoring US leadership in meeting the global climate challenge.

Biden hailed the passage of the bill, highlighting the work that went into it -- and acknowledging that not everyone is happy with the final result.

"It required many compromises. Doing important things almost always does. The House should pass this as soon as possible and I look forward to signing it into law," the president said in a statement.

Electric cars

The bill would provide ordinary Americans with a tax credit of up to $7,500 when purchasing an electric car, plus a 30 percent discount when they install solar panels on their roofs.

It would also provide millions to help protect and conserve forests -- which have been increasingly ravaged in recent years by wildfires during record heat waves that scientists say are linked to global warming.

Billions of dollars in tax credits would also go to some of the country's worst-polluting industries to help their transition to greener methods -- a measure bitterly opposed by some liberal Democrats who have, however, accepted this as a least-bad alternative after months of frustration.

Biden, who came to office with promises of sweeping reforms, has seen his hopes dashed, then revived, then dashed again.

Democrats' narrow edge in the Senate has given a virtual veto to moderates like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who earlier had used that power to block Biden's much more expansive Build Back Better plan.

But in late July, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer managed to engineer a compromise with the West Virginian, whose state's economy depends heavily on coal mining.

And on Saturday, senators finally opened their debate on the text.


Late in the day, senators kicked off a marathon procedure known as a "vote-a-rama," in which members can propose dozens of amendments and demand a vote on each one.

That allowed both Republicans, who view Biden's plan as too costly, and liberal Democrats, who say it does not reach far enough, to make their opposition clear.

Influential progressive Senator Bernie Sanders used that platform through the evening to propose several amendments aimed at strengthening social planks in the legislation, which were considerably weakened during the months of negotiation.

The bill would provide $64 billion for health care initiatives and ensure a lowering of some drug costs -- which can be 10 times more expensive in the United States than in some other rich countries.

But progressive Democrats long ago had to give up their ambitions for free preschool and community colleges and expanded healthcare for the elderly.

"Millions of seniors will continue to have rotten teeth and lack the dentures, hearing aids or eyeglasses that they deserve," Sanders said from the Senate floor. "This bill, as currently written, does nothing to address it."

But fellow Democrats, eager to pass the legislation ahead of November midterms when control of Congress is at stake, have rejected any change in the text.

To help offset the plan's massive spending, it would reduce the US deficit through a new 15-percent minimum tax on companies with profits of $1 billion or more -- a move targeting some that now pay far less.

That measure could generate more than $258 billion in tax receipts for the government over the 10 next years, by some estimates.

Trump Booed At Rally When He Promotes Dr. Oz For Senate

Former President Donald Trump recently attempted to convince his skeptical supporters that Dr. Mehmet Oz is a viable candidate for the U.S. Senate. According to HuffPost, the former president attended a rally on Friday, May 6 in support of Oz where the crowd of Trump supporters responded with boos of disapproval.

In response to the disapproval, Oz attempted to sway the crowd with a remark targeting President Joe Biden. “I love you guys, Pennsylvania!” he declared. “I love that you’re out here in the rain in Westmoreland, and I know why you’re excited: Because the only thing that Joe Biden has built back better is the Republican Party. Do I have it right?”

The audience, which was filled with die-hard Trump fans who only attended to hear the former president speak, reacted with lackluster applause. Speaking to HuffPost, rallygoers shared their reactions to Oz and many admitted they were on the fence about him.

“I think he’s Hollywood,” said Timothy Lohr, a truck driver in Westmoreland County, Penn. “That’s just my opinion. I don’t like Hollywood.”

Dave Popola, a coal mining machinist, also expressed apprehension about Oz. “In his past, he spent a lot of time with the left,” said Popola. “He was hanging around with the Obamas way too much, and Obama tanked the coal industry the first time.”

At one point during the rally, Trump attempted to discredit Oz's opponent, Dave McCormick, a hedge fund manager whose allies have relatively deep pockets.

“So I don’t know David well and he may be a nice guy, but he’s not MAGA, he’s not MAGA,” Trump said as he referred to his own campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” “I do know that he was with a company that managed money for communist China, and he is absolutely the candidate of special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment.”

Trump continued, “As your senator, Oz will fight to end illegal immigration, end sanctuary cities, and put dangerous criminals behind bars. That’s what he wants to do. He’s going to stop the Democrats, socialists, and communists, and confront China like no senator in the history of our state.”

He also added, “I’ve known him a long time. He’s on that screen,” Trump said. “He’s in the bedrooms of all those women, telling them good and bad. And they love him.”

Newly-elected Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance also joined Oz and Trump on Friday. “It’s not about Dr. Oz,” Vance said. “It’s not about anything other than you and Donald Trump.”

He added that a faction of top Republicans is “trying to make it so that Trump-endorsed candidates get defeated because when they do, the fake news media back there will say, ‘Well, Donald Trump’s endorsement doesn’t matter.'”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Despite Near Unanimous GOP Opposition, Senate Confirms Jackson In Historic Vote

Forty seven Republican senators voted against approving Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

The U.S. Senate voted 53 -- 47 Thursday to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. Over nearly unanimous Republican opposition, Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the high court in its 232 -- year history.

Just three Senate Republicans — Maine's Susan Collins, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, and Utah's Mitt Romney — joined with every one of their Democratic colleagues in support of Jackson's confirmation. On Monday, 47 Republican senators opposed even allowing Jackson's nomination to come to a vote on the Senate floor after the evenly divided Judiciary Committee split along party lines.

In February, President Joe Biden named Jackson to succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, keeping his 2020 campaign promise to appoint a Black woman to the most powerful court in the country. Biden highlighted Jackson's impressive record as a federal appellate court judge for the District of Columbia, a former public defender, and a former Supreme Court clerk for Breyer.

Jackson has promised to be an impartial and fair arbiter on the court. "I decide cases from a neutral posture," she told the Senate. "I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath."

Jackson was unanimously recommended as "well qualified" for the post by the American Bar Association, the highest rating from the nonpartisan group of lawyers that is praised by Republican and Democratic senators alike as the "gold standard."

The American public also strongly backed Jackson's confirmation, with polls showing her as one of the most popular Supreme Court picks in modern times, with the support of two -- thirds of those polled.

Despite Jackson's eminent qualifications for the role, Senate Republicans went on the attack and spent weeks trying to block her confirmation.

First, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham criticized her for having gotten her law degree at Harvard Law School, although he had previously backed other nominees from the same school.

Then Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley began making widely debunked claims that "Judge Jackson has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes, both as a judge and as a policymaker" and that she had demonstrated an "alarming trend of lenient sentencing."

Finally, GOP senators resorted to what they had previously called "embarrassing antics" at Jackson's confirmation hearings, demanding she weigh in on policy questions that are up to Congress to decide.

Though Jackson has now been confirmed, she will not join the Supreme Court immediately. Breyer's resignation goes into effect at the end of the current term, meaning she will likely be sworn in late June or early July.

She will be just the sixth female and third Black Supreme Court justice in U.S. history.

Biden tweeted a photo of himself with the newly confirmed justice on Thursday, writing, "Judge Jackson's confirmation was a historic moment for our nation. We've taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America. She will be an incredible Justice, and I was honored to share this moment with her."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Billionaire Linked To White Nationalists Backing GOP Senate Hopeful In Ohio

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance announced on Thursday that he would be running for the Republican nomination for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat in 2022.

The seat is currently held by GOP Sen. Rob Portman, who is retiring. Vance is the seventh Republican to officially file for the election. Also currently running is serial failed Senate candidate Josh Mandel.

The seat is currently rated as "lean Republican" by the Cook Political Report, while Inside Elections says it is "solid" for the party.

In March, in advance of Vance's official campaign declaration, former Paypal executive and billionaire Peter Thiel donated $10 million to Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC supporting Vance's candidacy. On Wednesday, just before Vance's announcement, the PAC released a digital ad in support of his campaign, which they promoted in an "exclusive" for Fox News.

Over the last few years, Thiel has been a prominent voice within the Republican Party. He was one of the featured speakers at the Republican National Convention in 2016, expressing support for former President Donald Trump's campaign, and donated to him through several super PACs.

According to a 2020 Buzzfeed report, as part of his effort to back Trump, Thiel reportedly hosted a dinner with Kevin DeAnna, a prominent white nationalist who founded the far-right group Youth For Western Civilization, in July 2016.

In an email sent on July 16, 2016, Thiel reportedly told DeAnna, "Really enjoyed meeting you last night." The email also includes the suggestion that Thiel was interested in further meetings with the white supremacist. According to Buzzfeed, DeAnna responded to Thiel, writing, "It was a real honor meeting you and thanks for hosting all of us."

DeAnna, the outlet noted, has written in favor of creating a white "ethno-state" which he said is "the great dream of the White Republic" in a 2013 column.

DeAnna is also a proponent of the racist "great replacement" conspiracy theory, which claims that immigration to America from nonwhites is a plot to replace white people. Writing about the conspiracy on the white supremacist site VDARE in July 2019, DeAnna claimed, "Westerners must wake to this demographic tidal wave lest their culture, people and civilization be extinguished."

More recently, elements of the conspiracy have been voiced by Republicans in Congress.

Thiel has not commented publicly on his reported interactions with white nationalist figures.

In addition to Thiel, the far-right Mercer family has also reportedly donated to the pro-Vance super PAC.

Bryan Lanza, a spokesman for the PAC, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Bob and Rebekah Mercer made a "significant contribution" to Protect Ohio Values.

The Mercers, who made their money from hedge funds, were also major donors to Trump's 2016 campaign. They helped to finance the right-wing outlet Breitbart, which has frequently trafficked in racism, sexism, and political smears.

Parler, the right-wing social network, was also financed by the Mercers, and Rebekah Mercer co-founded the company. The network was removed from the Apple app store in January after it became clear that some users had utilized it to organize the January 6 attack on the Capitol. It has since been restored.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.