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Mandel Benefits From “Standing With” Dangerous Conspiracy Theorists

This summer, Ohioans were reminded that “for Josh Mandel, no gutter is too deep” after he chose to stand with dangerous conspiracy theorists who believe date rape doesn’t exist and that “diversity is a code for white genocide.” Now it seems that Mandel’s efforts to gain the support of this fringe group have paid off, with these individuals forming a super PAC to financially back Mandel’s Senate ambitions.

From Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Spokesman David Bergstein: “A classic Mandel story: Josh went out of his way to defend dangerous conspiracy theorists and now they’re ready to pour millions into his race. He’s shown Ohioans they have no reason to trust he’ll do the right thing, but Mandel should still clearly reject this endorsement and tell a hateful, divisive group not to spend their money on his behalf.”

Cleveland.com: Backing Josh Mandel, controversial figures launch super PAC
By Stephen Koff
October 2, 2017

Key Points:

  • “Activists who made waves perpetuating a false sex-crime claim involving Hillary Clinton have formed a new super PAC, and they say the first candidate they’re backing is Josh Mandel.”
  • “Mandel, the Republican Ohio treasurer who is running for U.S. Senate in 2018, is well aware of the men’s backgrounds, and this summer spoke out in their support on Twitter. He said they were unfairly accused by the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group, of being linked to groups that spew extremism, terrorism and bigotry.”
  • “This came after Mike Cernovich, a writer and blogger and one of the organizers of the new super PAC, promoted the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory about a Washington pizza parlor being a front for a child sex-trafficking ring linked to Hillary Clinton… Cernovich also has said that date rape does not exist and leads to false accusations.”
  • “One of the other founders of the new super PAC backing Mandel, Jack Posobiec, also promoted the Pizzagate hoax, according to the ADL. He worked with the group Citizens for Trump and promoted the ‘DeploraBall,’ an event celebrating Trump’s inauguration and drawing supporters who shun Washington’s traditional ways.”
  • “The third partner in the new super PAC is Jeffrey Giesea, an entrepreneur who has been cited as an expert in “memetic warfare,” or the use of jokes, citations and Internet trolling as a way governments and terrorists spread propaganda and wage wars of ideas.”
  • “Asked why it chose Mandel, Giesea told cleveland.com, “He is bringing a new type of energy to the Republican Party that we want to see in 2018.” He cited Mandel’s relative youth — 40 — and said Mandel supports an “America-first” agenda, as do this PAC’s founders.”

Read the full article here.

Columbus Dispatch: ‘Alt-lite’ super PAC backs Josh Mandel
By Marty Schladen
October 2, 2017 

Key Points:

  • “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel took to Twitter in July to ‘stand with’ a man who has claimed that date rape doesn’t exist and that ‘diversity is a code for white genocide.’ Now they’re standing with him.”
  • “The two men, Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec, joined with a third, Jeff Giesea, to form the #Rev18 super-PAC with an eye toward backing anti-establishment candidates nationwide in next year’s election. On Monday, Mandel, who is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, became their first choice.”
  • “Posobiec was last in the news in Ohio when Mandel attacked the Anti Defamation League, a Jewish civil-rights organization, as a ‘partisan witch hunt group’ because it had named Posobiec and Cernovich to a list of ‘alt-lite’ individuals with a history of highly controversial statements. Posobiec is a conspiracy theorist whom ADL said helped promote the ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy — which started with false accusations of a Democratic-led child-sex ring and ended with a man using an assault rifle to shoot up a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor. Among his many controversial statements, Cernovich has questioned the existence of date rape and said valuing diversity is tantamount to ‘white genocide.’”

Read the full article here.

Associated Press: ‘Pizzagate’ figures defended by GOP’s Mandel start super PAC
By Julie Carr Smyth
October 3, 2017

Key Points:

  • “Two right-wing activists that Ohio Republican Josh Mandel defended this summer against labeling by an anti-hate group have launched a super PAC backing his bid for U.S. Senate.”
  • “Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec are among founders of the political action committee launched Monday. Both men were involved in the conspiracy theory dubbed ‘pizzagate,’ which suggested Hillary Clinton was running a pedophile ring out of a pizzeria.”
  • “Mandel, Ohio’s state treasurer, retweeted a Twitter post by Cernovich in July that accused the Anti-Defamation League of ‘inciting terrorism’ with a report identifying members of the ‘alt-right’ and ‘alt-lite’ movements. It identified Cernovich and Posobiec as ‘alt-lite,’ which the ADL defines as rejecting overtly white supremacist ideology, but embracing misogyny and xenophobia.”

Read the full article here. 

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