Ohio Republican Josh Mandel is running for Senate. He's also publicly supporting two conspiracy theorists from the white supremacist "alt-right" movement.
Josh Mandel, Ohio's state treasurer and a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, has voiced his support for two fringe right-wing figures involved in the pro-Trump white supremacist movement described as the "alt-right."
Mandel, who lost to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2012, is running again against the incumbent in the 2018 election. Already, a pro-Republican dark money group called The Ohio Freedom Fund has raised over a quarter-million dollars to promote his candidacy.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) produced a guide to figures in the "alt-right" and included profiles of Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec, describing them as "alt-lite" and detailing their promotion of various conspiracy theories and their defense of date rape.
Both men both had tantrums about their inclusion on the list and loudly complained about it on social media.
Soon after, Mandel voiced his support for them in a tweet:
— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) July 20, 2017
The ADL did not attack Cernovich and Posobiec because they are conservatives. They factually detailed outrageous comments and behavior from both men, which Mandel has now decided to endorse.
Cernovich echoed white supremacists with statements like "diversity is code for white genocide," and "white genocide is real." He has also espoused the belief that "date rape does not exist," "misogyny gets you laid," and said that people who "love black women" should "slut shame them" to prevent them from getting AIDS.
Posobiec, who reportedly worked with the Trump campaign in Philadelphia, has been deeply involved in several hoaxes, including starting an "assassinate Trump" chant at a protest in order to smear the anti-Trump protesters in attendance. He also falsely claimed that the creators of "Star Wars" had added anti-Trump scenes to the films then using that lie to push for a (failed) boycott of the film. He also recently attended a congressional press conference in favor of net neutrality and tried to claim that Democratic senators supported "satanic" internet pornography.
Both men, along with Trump supporting right-wing radio host Alex Jones, were key figures in perpetrating and promoting the so-called "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory, which alleged that a Washington, D.C. pizzeria was a front for a child pornography ring involving figures from Hillary Clinton's campaign.
The entire story was false, but it prompted an armed, disturbed man to go to the restaurant and fire his weapon while looking for the nonexistent basement where children were purportedly being held.
Now, in addition to their long records of hateful and unhinged commentary, they have the blessing of a man who hopes to sit in the Senate, representing the views of millions of people.