Doug Mastriano’s Facebook account is an 'active administrator' for a 'xenophobic, antisemitic' group: report
In Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, the Democratic nominee, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and his supporters have run countless ads slamming GOP nominee Doug Mastriano as a dangerous, unhinged extremist. And it isn’t hard to do: Mastriano is a far-right conspiracy theorist who holds severe Christian nationalist views, embraces QAnon, believes that women who have abortions should face murder charges, falsely claims the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, and associates with white nationalists and antisemites.
Mastriano’s willingness to associate with extremists has received a great deal of media scrutiny. But one association that hasn’t been reported until now is the Mastriano campaign’s connection to a fringe Facebook group called Mastriano’s Memes.
Journalist Roger Sollenberger, in an article published by the Daily Beast on November 1, reports, “Republican Pennsylvania governor candidate Doug Mastriano’s official campaign Facebook account is also helping with another group on the social media site: a Facebook group which has, for months, featured a stream of xenophobic, transphobic, and antisemitic memes. The campaign’s role in the public group — called ‘Mastriano Memes’ — has not been previously reported, but Mastriano’s official Facebook account was still an active administrator for the page as of Monday evening, (October 31).”
Sollenberger is the reporter who, in early October, broke the bombshell that MAGA Republican Herschel Walker — the U.S. Senate candidate and anti-abortion hardliner who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s 2022 U.S. Senate race — impregnated a girlfriend back in 2009 and paid for her to have an abortion. Walker has vehemently denied that allegation, although the Beast has stood by Sollenberger’s reporting.
Sollenberger describes Mastriano’s Memes as “a firehose of right-wing online content.”
“Some of the most extreme content mocks trans people, fearmongers about migrants, and traffics in antisemitic tropes,” Sollenberger explains. “As an administrator, Mastriano — a state senator and dyed-in-the-wool election-denying conspiracy theorist — has control over what content stays up on the page. …. Recent posts make light of the would-be assassination attempt on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this weekend, which left her 82-year-old husband with a skull fracture. One meme shared on (October 31) implies that President Joe Biden is a pedophile, and content…. likened abortion to a mother sacrificing her child to Satan…. The page also drifts into antisemitic territory.”
Sollenberger continues, “One post from September features an antisemitic trope depicting Democratic megadonor George Soros as a puppet master. And after Biden’s speech in Philadelphia that month, where the president called out the looming fascist threat posed by far-right Republicans, the page shared a photo of the event with swastikas superimposed over the background. Mastriano’s Democratic opponent, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, is Jewish.”
In Pennsylvania, a key swing state, Republicans and Democrats have been fighting it out in two major statewide races: the gubernatorial race, and a U.S. Senate race that finds Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman up against Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz. That race, according to some polls, appears to be much closer than the gubernatorial race.
Polls released in late October found Mastriano trailing Shapiro by 8 percent (Insider Advantage) or 9 percent (CBS News/YouGov). Shapiro was ahead by 23 percent in a Franklin and Marshall poll released on October 27.
Regardless of what the polls are saying, Shapiro’s campaign obviously isn’t leaving anything to chance — and Pennsylvanian residents are still being bombarded with anti-Mastriano ads attacking his extremist views.
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