Democratic Party spent $44 million to promote pro-Trump fascists in Republican primaries

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The Democratic Party has spent tens of millions of dollars this election cycle to promote far-right candidates endorsed by Donald Trump in Republican primary elections.

According to the campaign finance tracker Open Secrets, Democratic Party -aligned political action committees (PACs), political groups and nonprofits have spent at least $44 million on political ads designed to boost Trump-endorsed promoters of the ex-president’s “stolen election” lie and fascist politics in primary contests across the country for the US House and Senate, as well as for top positions in state governments.

In a number of cases, the Democratic Party has spent significantly more on ads for these candidates than the candidates themselves. Typically, the ads present the candidates as “too close to Trump,” an ostensible criticism that is actually intended to make them more attractive to Republican primary voters.

The cynical calculation behind this strategy is that in the targeted states, Trump clones will be easier to beat in the November general election than less extreme Republican primary contestants.

Much of the money has come from PACs like the House Majority PAC, which has close ties to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Its distribution for Republican primary Congressional races has been sanctioned and coordinated by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Many of the Republican candidates aided by the Democratic ads have long histories of extreme far-right views, while their more traditional Republican rivals have included the few incumbents who either voted to impeach Trump or supported investigations into the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

Among the Republicans boosted by the Democratic ads are known coup plotters, including a number of candidates who were present at the January 6 coup attempt.

Illinois

One of the far-right candidates aided by Democratic ad money is Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey. Bailey has raised around $12 million for his campaign for Illinois governor. But his victory in the Republican primary was secured by the $35 million spent on campaign ads paid for by the incumbent Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association.

This vast sum is believed to be the most ever spent to intervene in another party’s primary and has helped put the Illinois gubernatorial election on track to become the most expensive non-presidential election in US history.

The ads attacked Bailey’s more moderate opponent Richard Irvin, mayor of Aurora, Illinois, and promoted Bailey. Irvin had been leading in the polls up until May but fell to just 18.6 percent of the vote, while Bailey secured the nomination with 55.2 percent.

Bailey is a textbook Trump Republican. Beginning his political career in 2018, he rose to notoriety by proposing a bill that would allow the rural parts of the state to break away from Chicago.

He adopted an aggressive stance against any attempts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In April 2020, he sued Governor Pritzker over his stay-at-home order, and in May he was sanctioned by the State Senate for refusing to wear a mask during sessions. His campaign has been centered on “a complete return to normalcy” and working to “fully reopen our economy and schools.”

He has repeatedly refused to acknowledge the victory of Joe Biden in the 2020 election, which earned him Trump’s endorsement, and is staunchly anti-abortion, saying in a Facebook video in 2017 that “the attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion since its legalization.”

Pennsylvania


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