Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor, Doug Mastriano, has been regularly deleting Facebook Lives from his campaign pages; ostensibly to prevent the press (and Democratic opposition research organizations) from uncovering the extent of his conspiracy theories and far-right wing rhetoric.
It didn’t work.
In the uncovered deleted videos, Mastriano calls climate change “pop science,” says that Republicans who don’t support him have “hate for veterans,” and spreads conspiracy theories about the upcoming election.
“If Doug Mastriano is trying to hide his insane conspiracy theories from Pennsylvanians, he’s doing a laughably terrible job of it,” said Alexandra De Luca, spokesperson for American Bridge 21st Century. “Trying to hide evidence of his shady behavior isn’t going to help Mastriano convince voters that he is anything other than a far-right extremist who wants to ban all abortions in Pennsylvania, destroy the state’s public schools, and overthrow our democracy. And it just makes him look even less trustworthy.”
Philadelphia Inquirer: Doug Mastriano is deleting his videos from Facebook as he runs for Pa. governor
In three months, 14 videos have disappeared from Mastriano’s page. In them, he dismisses global warming as “pop science” and says Republicans who oppose him secretly “disdain veterans.”
By: William Bender | July 18, 2022
- The video has since disappeared from Mastriano’s Facebook campaign page. In the last three months alone, more than a dozen other videos have also been deleted.
- The removed videos include freewheeling discussions in which Mastriano predicts that this November’s election will be marred by Democratic voter fraud; accuses Republicans who don’t support him of looking down on veterans; and calls the fight against abortion “the most important issue of our lifetime.”
- This has become somewhat of a pattern for Mastriano, 58, a retired Army colonel who bills himself as a plainspoken populist. He communicates directly with voters online, yet sometimes covers his tracks.
- Before this latest batch of deletions, Mastriano removed potentially problematic or controversial posts, including tweets promoting the Qanon conspiracy theory, as well as videos in which he called local faith leaders “cowards”; acknowledged his COVID diagnosis while visiting the White House; and feuded with GOP lawmakers in Harrisburg.
- Mastriano’s Senate website has also been scrubbed of a plan he pitched during the early days of the pandemic to lift medical privacy restrictions so the government could disclose the names and locations of people infected with COVID-19.
- Videos have been deleted from his official Senate Facebook page, as well.