Right-wing Republicans are spreading an untrue conspiracy theory that Pete Arredondo — the school district police chief who has been criticized for not neutralizing the recent elementary school mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas — is a donor to President Joe Biden and deliberately allowed children to die in order to help secure federal firearm reforms.
Disqualified Republican House Candidate Robby Starbuck began the theory by posting a screenshot of Arredondo’s seeming $100 donation from April 2020 to the Biden campaign. The only problem: The donation was made by a different person with the same name (that is, not the police chief), according to the watchdog Twitter account Patriot Takes.
Nevertheless, Starbuck’s lie has been shared by others on social media, including the massively influential right-wing social media figure DC Draino.
Draino has worsened the lie by implying that the police chief may have deliberately allowed the 19 children and two teachers killed in the shooting to die for “political purposes.”
“Arredondo… lied about trying to open the classroom door and told heavily armed officers to stand down while the shooter was in the classroom with kids for over an hour, [the police chief] previously made a small political donation to Beto O’Rourke in 2017. Now Beto is running around Texas calling for guns to be seized. This tragedy gets more evil by the day,” Draino wrote via Twitter.
“Arredondo needs to be fired, criminally investigated, and every phone record and financial record of his needs to be subpoenaed to see if there were other political motivations in play that day,” Draino added on Instagram.
The false claim has been pushed by right wing influencer DC Draino to his millions of followers and implies the Uvalde school shooting was orchestrated for political purposes. pic.twitter.com/0TPOruW7Rg
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) June 23, 2022
While Arredondo and the police force’s actions may have done more to stop the shooter’s violence, it’s baseless and cruel to think that such a small-dollar donor would allow mass child murder to further a political agenda.
Also, O’Rourke isn’t “running around Texas calling for guns to be seized,” as Draino claims. He’s supporting bipartisan and common-sense gun reforms that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, violent offenders, and mentally ill people. Such reforms have been supported by Republican voters nationwide and by 14 Republicans in the Senate.
The conspiracy theory shouldn’t be surprising, though. Even before the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, right-wingers have claimed that mass shootings are either “false flag operations” orchestrated by Democrats to bolster gun reform efforts or hoaxes fabricated by “crisis actors” to do the same.
Either way, it’s a gross distortion of people who support efforts to protect children from gun violence.
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‘I Survived the Bowling Green Massacre’: Outrage and Mockery Target Publisher Who Just Gave Kellyanne Conway a Book Deal
Simon & Schuster has given Kellyanne Conway a book deal, the deputy editor of The New York Times Book Review reports, and people both inside and outside the company are furious. The 97-year old worldwide publisher also recently handed former vice president Mike Pence a multi-book deal with a multi-million dollar advance, after ponying up a two million dollar advance to former Trump national security adviser John Bolton for his book. Simon & Schuster also gave Missouri far right U.S. Senator Josh Hawley a book deal but canceled it after his leading role in the January 6 insurrection.
As the Times reports, Simon & Schuster employees were furious after their bosses gave Pence his major deal, and “much of the staff erupted in protest.” On Monday, “more than 200 employees and 3,500 outside supporters, including Simon & Schuster authors” signed a petition demanding the company kill the Pence book deal.
That was before news broke about Kellyanne Conway, the former Trump campaign manager who got him into the White House then became Senior Counselor to the President, and one of his closest advisors. Throughout the Trump era many opposed to the administration called her “Minister of Propaganda.”
And now many are outraged that yet another Trump administration official is making money off their time working for a president some – including at least one member of his administration – say is responsible for hundreds of thousands of coronavirus deaths.
Here’s how people are responding to Simon & Schuster handing Conway a major book deal.
There have to be consequences, @simonschuster
— Bharat Krishnan (@bharatkrishnan9) April 28, 2021
Please don’t conflate publishing Trump political figures with some grand defense of free speech. Simon & Schuster has decided to publish Kellyanne Conway and Pence and whomever else for the money. It’s a shitty business decision. That’s it.
— roxane gay (@rgay) April 28, 2021
What’s Kellyanne Conway’s book called? “I Survived the Bowling Green Massacre”? https://t.co/bVdBUTlReu
— Mark Jacob (@MarkJacob16) April 28, 2021
How I sold my soul to Satan by Kellyanne Conway just isn’t at the top of my summer reading list. https://t.co/lBoz1ZNHra
— Jane’s World…or else😎 (@janes_world2) April 28, 2021
Kellyanne Conway’s main job was lying to the American public, and now it appears that S&S has signed on to amplify her voice. https://t.co/UgvdCaJVxE
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) April 28, 2021
Society if Simon & Schuster stops publishing books by lying racists and bigots like Kellyanne Conway and Mike Pence pic.twitter.com/cvD2gD4Kyk
— Exploding Space Pillow Singh, MD 🌊 (@labyrinthweaver) April 28, 2021
Is Kellyanne Conway’s book titled ‘Alternative Facts. https://t.co/6I5y94816I
— Connie Dent (@ConnieDent5) April 28, 2021
.@simonschuster is publishing books by both Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway — putting their employees in a morally untenable position and betraying their readers by amplifying lying bigots. https://t.co/zYkNGbam9R
— Millennial Democrats (@Millennial_Dems) April 28, 2021
Simon & Schuster think it’s important to publish a book by KellyAnne Conway, a woman who helped Trump facilitate his lies resulting in over 556,000 Americans dead.
— Miss Adorable (@ImMissAdorable) April 28, 2021
Simon and Schuster is publishing books by both Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway. The working titles are:
Mother, May I Become VP?
Even My Daughter Hates Me: The Kellyanne Conway Story
— Bleeding Heart Liberal Marine (@BleedingMarine) April 28, 2021
The lawyers & editors are going to have quite a time fact checking Kellyanne Conway’s book. They might as well publish it under fiction. https://t.co/VEeUdh6GVk
— (((Mitch Gross))) (@Mitch_Gross) April 28, 2021
So, Simon & Schuster are going into the lying business too, eh?
The only people who are going to buy Kellyanne Conway, Mike Pence and William Barr books are the very people who have to sound out the words just to get them spoken out loud right. It seems like a lose-lose here.
— KT (@sloyoroll01973) April 28, 2021
Kellyanne Conway has a new book coming out from Simon & Schuster.
Ironic that her publishers contain the letters SS!
— Brian O’Sullivan (@osullivanauthor) April 28, 2021
“Pride and Prejudice and More Prejudice”
— Jay Black (@jayblackisfunny) April 28, 2021
White Pride and Prejudice
— 🥎 and 🌮 (@AtxDem) April 28, 2021
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