Republicans hire fundraiser who warned Jewish voters that Obama was as dangerous as Nazis

1160

LGM Consulting is helping Republicans raise millions ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Several GOP members of Congress are using the services of a fundraiser who was fired by the Pennsylvania Republican Party after he sent an email to voters in the state in 2008 comparing a vote for Barack Obama to Jews' "tragic mistake" in ignoring warning signs prior to the Holocaust.

On Wednesday, ProPublica reported that several Republicans running for office in 2022 are using the services of LGM Consulting, whose principal is longtime Republican political operative Bryan G. Rudnick.

In Oct. 2008, Rudnick sent an email targeted to 75,000 Jewish voters that read, "Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008. Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let's not make a similar one this year!"

The email, addressing "Fellow Jewish voters," touched on the possibility of a second Holocaust due to tensions between Israel and neighboring countries and played up the record of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the Republican presidential nominee. It also falsely accused Obama of teaching members of the community organizing group ACORN to "commit voter registration fraud."

Rudnick claimed he had the approval of the party to send out the email, but did not provide any names.

The Republicans now reported to be using Rudnick's services are Sens. Josh Hawley (MO) and Rick Scott (FL) and Reps. Lauren Boebert (CO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), and Paul Gosar (AZ).

Also doing business with LGM Consulting is Tom Norton, who is challenging Rep. Peter Meijer in the Republican primary in Michigan's 3rd Congressional District. Meijer voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and was censured by Michigan Republicans for it.

LGM rents out lists of email addresses it has compiled to candidates, providing them with a potentially broader fundraising base.

Hawley and Greene recently announced large fundraising hauls in the first quarter of 2021 despite the widespread criticism both have attracted in the last few months. ProPublica noted, "That means their headline-grabbing numbers were more the product of expensively soliciting hardcore Republicans than an organic groundswell of far-reaching support," ProPublica noted. Expenditures on list rental were the largest of those reported by the two freshmen members of Congress.

Rudnick's history of controversy goes back further than the campaign against Obama.

In 2001, while working to oppose marriage equality in Massachusetts, Rudnick hired a firm to secure signatures for a ballot measure that would have made same-sex marriage illegal in the state. The firm's staffers connected with the public by telling them about a petition on the prevention of the slaughter of horses for meat production and then slipped the signature page for an anti-marriage equality petition before them when it was time to sign.

Greene and Hawley themselves have been accused of making antisemitic comments.

In a 2018 Facebook post, Greene claimed that a laser from space connected to the Rothschild banking firm was responsible for wildfires in California. Invoking the Jewish Rothschild family has been a staple of antisemitic conspiracy theories since the middle of the 19th century.

After Hawley gave a speech in July 2019, the Anti-Defamation League criticized him for using phrases such as "cosmopolitan elites" and "money changing on Wall Street," pointing out that such terms have "a history of being used to demean Jews and may resonate with extremists."

Hawley said in his speech, "For years the politics of both left and right have been informed by a political consensus that reflects the interests not of the American middle, but of a powerful upper class and their cosmopolitan priorities."

In March, Gosar was a featured speaker at the America First Political Action Conference, a white nationalist event in Orlando, Florida organized by conservative activist Nick Fuentes, who also leads an antisemitic and homophobic group of activists who call themselves "Groypers."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.