RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Far Right GOP Nominee Blake Masters Scrubs Website of Core Positions as He Shifts to Blaming LGBTQ and Black People
Billionaire-backed Blake Masters, the Arizona Republican party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate is undergoing a massive transformation little more than two months before Election Day and nearly two months after early voting in the Grand Canyon State has already begun.
Masters is a a venture capitalist, the former COO of billionaire Peter Thiel’s investment firm, and former head of his foundation. He’s been described as someone who “spews white supremacist conspiracies,” including promoting the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, saying Democrats “hope to just change the demographics of our country” and “hope to import an entirely new electorate,” while lamenting: “Then they call you a racist and a bigot.”
Earlier this month Mother Jones described Masters as a “disaster for democracy,” and noted that the “millennial millionaire won thanks to two anti-democratic billionaires,” namely Thiel and Donald Trump.
Masters is trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Kelly. While there’s been little public polling on the race, this month Real Clear Politics shows Kelly, the retired astronaut and U.S. Navy captain, winning by an average of six points.
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Despite the narrow margin, it does not appear to be going well for Masters, and his campaign is actively scrubbing his website of some of his core political positions and his allegiance to Donald Trump, as well as taking a page out of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ strategy by attacking the LGBTQ community.
“Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters removed language from his website following his primary win that included the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, along with a section arguing the country would be better off if Trump was still the president,” CNN reported Monday night.
Masters “also removed controversial language saying Democrats were trying to ‘import’ a new electorate — language that has drawn fire for mirroring far-right conspiracies that Democrats are trying to weaken the power of native-born Americans of European descent through mass immigration of non-White immigrants,” CNN notes, adding that “NBC News first reported last week that Masters attempted to tone down his position on abortion by removing from his website his support of a ‘federal personhood law’ and a several other strict anti-abortion positions while releasing a video in which the Republican nominee took a softer stance on the issue.”
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In fact, local Arizona news outlet The Copper Courier blasted the Republican candidate, late last week writing: “Blake Masters on Thursday provided a perfect example of why most Americans hate politics, flip-flopping on his stance on abortion rights in spectacular fashion.”
“Masters previously supported a nationwide abortion ban, said Roe v. Wade was a ‘horrible decision,’ and that allowing women the freedom to make their own reproductive health decisions was equivalent to ‘genocide.’ Now, he claims he wants a ban on fewer than 1% of abortions,” the Courier added.
To prove their point The Copper Courier posted this video comparison to Twitter, showing the extreme extent to which Masters has abandoned what appeared to be his deeply-held positions.
Blake Masters’ flip-flop on abortion is one for the ages and we’ve got the receipts. pic.twitter.com/ZmcYQt3DeX
— The Copper Courier (@CopperCourier) August 29, 2022
Moving away from the abortion issue, which has led to massive increases in women registering to vote, Masters decided to attack LGBTQ and Black Americans.
Masters “suggested in a sarcastic Twitter post late Sunday that the nation’s economic struggles were connected to increased gender and racial diversity in Federal Reserve leadership,” The New York Times reports. “He then dug in on Monday with a video in which he denounced ‘the Democrats’ diversity obsession’ and described Vice President Kamala Harris as a beneficiary of an ‘affirmative action regime.'”
But even before this “sarcastic” attack on LGBTQ and Black people, Masters was virulently anti-LGBTQ.
Earlier this month The American Independent reported that “throughout his primary campaign” Masters “regularly attacked LGBTQ people and dismissed the importance of their visibility and legal rights.”
“Masters calls LGBTQ-inclusive books ‘disgusting sex stuff’ and transgender women ‘men in women’s bathrooms.'”
The Independent also notes that “In June, the Daily Beast reported that, although Masters had attended the 2017 wedding of his mentor and campaign benefactor Peter Thiel and his boyfriend, Matt Danzeisen, he does not believe that marriage or other same-sex unions should be legal.”
“Masters not only endorsed [Florida’s] so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, but also proposed imposing it on the entire nation,” The Independent added, “‘When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I will push a federal version of the Florida law: your tax dollars should not fund radical gender ideology and weird sex instruction for children,’ he tweeted on March 10.”
In July, mischaracterizing a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Masters wrote about the Masterpiece Cakeshop case: “The baker won, SCOTUS said he can’t be forced to write pro-gay things on the cake he was otherwise happy to bake. Now the baker is being sued again, for not doing a pro-trans cake. This will continue forever. The process is the punishment.”
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing
U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) is being criticized for having the parents of a victim of the Parkland school massacre removed from a GOP-led House committee hearing on “ATF Overreach” after he deemed them “out of order” for remarks they made while a Member was speaking. Minutes later, Capital Police pinned the father to the ground in the hallway and arrested him.
“See this is, exactly what we have to avoid!” Rep. Fallon, chairing the joint hearing, angrily declared as he pointed his finger after the father, Manuel Oliver, made a remark that was inaudible. “Which is some minority of folks trying to silence dissent. Dissent shouldn’t be kryptonite.”
“There’s a decorum that should be adhered to,” Fallon, who recently refused to sign a statement denouncing white supremacy, said as he chastising Oliver.
After another, louder outburst, Fallon mockingly asked, “Is this an insurrection? So will they be held to the same — I don’t want another January 6.”
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Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) responded, “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they oughta be held to the same standard, but I think they’re trying to express their frustrations.”
Angrily again, Rep. Fallon interjected.
“Whoa whoa whoa whoa,” he shouted as he banged the gavel.
“Member’s out of line,” Fallon said (incorrectly. The term is “out of order.”)
Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) on gun reform protests: “Is this an insurrection? Will they be held to the same —”
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI): “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they oughta be held to the same standard, but … they’re trying to express their frustrations.” pic.twitter.com/SFrMId1fh3
— The Recount (@therecount) March 23, 2023
Shortly thereafter, Rep. Fallon had both Manuel and Patricia Oliver removed.
“You took my son away from me!”
— Parkland parents Patricia and Manuel Oliver are removed after interrupting a House hearing on Second Amendment protections pic.twitter.com/Bjjoq9k93W
— The Recount (@therecount) March 23, 2023
ABC News reporter Will Steakin, who was in the hearing, tweeted video and said bot Manuel and Patricia Oliver “appear to leave without resistance… moments later there was a loud thud outside the hearing room and I found Manuel being pinned to the ground by multiple officers.”
Video of Manuel and Patrica Oliver being removed from the hearing at direction of GOP Chair Rep. Pat Fallon
Both appear to leave without resistance… moments later there was a loud thud outside the hearing room and I found Manuel being pinned to the ground by multiple officers: https://t.co/ZebugeU98Z pic.twitter.com/zdpfPGHjDn
— Will Steakin (@wsteaks) March 23, 2023
“Manuel Oliver, the father of a 17-year-old Parkland shooting victim, was arrested Thursday on Capitol Hill after he appeared to shout at a Republican lawmaker who was speaking during a hearing on gun regulations,” NBC News reports. Patricia Oliver, his wife and the mother of their 17-year old son, Joaquin Oliver, who was one of 17 people who died in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was not arrested.
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On social media critics expressed anger at Fallon.
“Rep. Pat Fallon (R) thinks parents of slaughtered children should just sit down & shut up as Republicans maintain outrageously dangerous gun laws. He had this parent expelled rather than just giving a warning, which is the usual,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Texas Rep. Pat Fallon: You are the EXACT problem with the gun violence and why it keeps being the leading cause of death in children today,” wrote another.
According to the NIH, gun violence is the leading cause of childhood death.
Still another Twitter user blasted Fallon: “What disgraceful & despicable behavior by Representative Pat Fallon. Exercising your right to free speech is being an insurrectionist? The man lost his son. Have you no compassion? I think he has more than earned the right to be heard by Congress. Such an abuse of power.”
And one called Fallon “feckless.”
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Burn It to the Ground’: Kari Lake Undeterred After State Supreme Court Smacks Her Down
Failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake suffered a devastating blow after the state Supreme Court refused to take up her case challenging the results of her election last November, reported Newsweek on Thursday.
“Speaking at a rally organized by Turning Point Action, Charlie Kirk’s right-wing organization, Lake said: ‘They have built a house of cards in Maricopa County. I’m not just going to knock it over. I’m going to burn it to the ground,'” reported Giulia Carbonaro. “Lake shared a video of her speech, with a caption quoting her comments and a fire emoji.”
Lake is one of the only major statewide Republican candidates last year in a hotly contested race who has refused to concede her loss. She has alleged that her voters were illegally suppressed because of technical glitches with ballot tabulators in certain precincts of Maricopa County, the state’s largest population center, on Election Day.
In reality, there is no evidence of foul play, and Maricopa County election officials provided a backup method for affected ballots to be counted. Furthermore, one reason the glitch may have disproportionately affected Lake’s voters is Trump counseled voters not to mail in their ballots early, based on conspiracy theories — though Lake herself had done the opposite and asked her supporters to vote by mail.
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“Her challenge was thrown out by both Maricopa County Judge Peter Thompson and the Arizona Court of Appeals, which said Lake’s case lacked evidence that the hiccups in the county were intentionally caused by election officials to disenfranchise Lake’s supporters,” said the report. “Lake brought her case to the Arizona Supreme Court, which has declined to hear her case, but did send one of her claims back to a county judge for review. A superior court judge in Maricopa County is now reviewing Lake’s claim that the county did not follow signature verification procedures.”
On top of her litigation failures, Lake was referred to the Secretary of State’s office for investigation after she tweeted out images of what appeared to be real voter ballot signatures, which would be a violation of Arizona state law.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Trump Appeals After Judge Agrees With Special Counsel on Crime-Fraud Exception and Requires His Attorney to Testify
Donald Trump’s attorneys have appealed a ruling that requires one of his lawyers to testify before a grand jury investigating his unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return classified documents from the White House.
Attorneys for the Special Counsel “said there is evidence of a deliberate effort not to turn over all the material covered by the subpoena,” The Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had reportedly agreed with Special Counsel Smith that there is sufficient evidence proving Donald Trump may have committed a crime via his attorneys, and ruled his attorney must testify before a grand jury. The ruling, which was not made public, was handed down Friday night, NBC News reported Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Howell “ruled in favor of applying the ‘crime fraud’ exception to Trump’s attorney-client privilege and ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify before the federal grand jury.”
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Trump’s attorneys have already appealed the ruling.
“People familiar with the matter said an appeals panel has already begun reviewing the decision, after Trump’s lawyers appealed,” The Washington Post adds. “The extraordinarily quick timeline suggests that the judges — all nominated by Democratic presidents — intend to rule swiftly.”
Trump could take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, but The Post says it’s “not clear he would have a much better chance of success there.”
According to an NBC News report from October, Corcoran directed another Trump attorney, Christina Bobb, to sign the letter claiming a thorough search of Mar-a-Lago had been made and all classified or “sensitive” documents had been returned. That was proven untrue after federal agents, executing a search warrant, recovered hundreds of documents with classified markings.
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