On Tuesday, voters in California’s Bay Area began receiving anti-Semitic robocalls declaring that the “Jews are taking over the world and must be stopped.” The calls promoted John Fitzgerald, a former Democratic 2010 candidate who flipped to Republican in 2012 and who is the only Republican challenger to incumbent Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord.
Road to Power, a white-nationalist, neo-Nazi organization headed by Scott Rhodes, is rumored to be the culprit of these robocalls. Road to Power also sent out robocalls on behalf of Patrick Little, an anti-Semite who ran for Feinstein’s Senate seat (luckily, Little failed miserably and only secured one percent of the vote in the June primary).
Fitzgerald called the robocalls a “smear against my campaign.”
“I do not, never have and never will hate or degrade any ethnic group solely based on their ethnic identity,” he said in a statement on his campaign website. “I question Road To Power’s true motives and funding along with the news agencies who are falsely characterizing and smearing me as a person of ‘hate’ and as an ‘anti-Semite’ by associating me to the robocall.”
Despite his condemnation of “hate,” Fitzgerald continually promulgates and posts anti-Semitic and racist content on his campaign website. On July 3, Fitzgerald’s blog post was titled, “Why Are Powerful Jews Pushing Mass-Immigration And Forced-Multiculturalism Throughout The U.S. And Europe?” Even after the robocall scandal, Fitzgerald posted a piece titled, “My Challenge: I am offering $2,000 To Anybody Who Can Prove That The Official Holocaust Narrative Is True” on July 12. The piece blames Eisenhower for the Holocaust and absolves Hitler from all responsibility.
What’s more, his platform on Israel reads, “Israel’s policies are incongruous with American values – we do not accept ethnic cleansing, apartheid, confiscations, home demolitions, deportations, assassinations, war crimes, walls for separation, nor violence to achieve political ends.”
He is also a 9/11 Truther and believes that vaccines are poisons.
As the only Republican on the ballot in California’s top-two primary system, Fitzgerald initially received the CAGOP’s endorsement in May, only to have that endorsement revoked by Jim Brulte, the Chairman of the CAGOP on May 29 when the GOP uncovered all this baggage. In a statement, Brulte said Fitzgerald’s views “have no home in the Republican Party.”
California GOP spokesman Matt Flemming told The Mercury News, “Once we learned of Mr. Fitzgerald’s anti-Semitic worldview in late May, we moved immediately to undo the unfortunate automatic endorsement.” Flemming went on to say the CAGOP is restructuring its endorsement process. “Because of this incident, we strengthened our vetting process.”
Sadly, straight-ticket voters helped Fitzgerald move on to the November general election.
Matt Shupe, Chairman of the Contra Costa County GOP said Fitzgerald has never been to a Contra Costa GOP meeting, and deemed him an “unwelcome individual.” Shupe told The Mercury News, “He does not in any way represent the values or positions of our party. … It’s disingenuous to think that any of the people who voted for him knew about his views.”
Harmeet Dhillon, RNC Committeewoman, told voters that “under no circumstances should they vote for this man” in a statement to Mercury News. She also blames Prop 14 and the top-two primary system because it undermines the parties’ capability to control their messaging. Instead of the party embracing a candidate, any wack-job candidate can choose to embrace a party. “Under Prop 14, any clown of any nature can affiliate with either party, and there’s nothing the parties can do about it,” Dhillon said.
“People vote ‘R’ and ‘D,’ and he’s the only Republican on the ballot,” said DeSaulnier. “The inference is people think it’s OK and that’s not the case. It’s that they don’t know.” On top of condemning Fitzgerald’s views, DeSaulnier told Mercury News he wasn’t going to debate Fitzgerald because he’d “hate to give him more of a platform.”