“There’s No Coming Back From This:” Doug Mastriano Continues to Get Called Out for his Association with Gab & Antisemitic Extremists - Shapiro For Governor
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July 28, 2022Press Releases

“There’s No Coming Back From This:” Doug Mastriano Continues to Get Called Out for his Association with Gab & Antisemitic Extremists


Thursday, July 28, 2022


SPA Press, Press@joshshapiro.org

“There’s No Coming Back From This:” Doug Mastriano Continues to Get Called Out for his Association with Gab & Antisemitic Extremists

“You cannot do business with these people and claim to represent all Pennsylvanians. If you embrace antisemites and racists and homophobes and xenophobes, then you are one of them.” –State Rep. Dan Frankel

PENNSYLVANIAYesterday in Philadelphia, Democratic Jewish Outreach PA, elected officials, and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith leaders stood together to denounce Doug Mastriano for paying thousands of dollars to recruit antisemitic, alt-right extremists to join his campaign on Gab.

Despite calls from Republicans, Democrats, and the Anti-Defamation League to cut ties, Mastriano has doubled down and defended his alliance with Gab and its founder Andrew Torba, even as Torba has said: “We don’t want people who are Jewish. […] This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country.” Torba even said that Mastriano himself refuses to do interviews with reporters who are Jewish.  

The press conference in Philadephia followed one last week in Pittsburgh, where elected officials and faith leaders called on Mastriano to end his association with Gab and to stop funding antisemitic extremists. 

In case you missed it, check out the coverage from yesterday’s press conference in Philadelphia: 

The New York Times: Doug Mastriano Faces Criticism Over His Backing From Antisemitic Ally

Trip Gabriel, 07/27/2022

Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, is under increasing scrutiny over his connections to the far-right social media platform Gab and its founder, who has repeatedly made antisemitic remarks defending their ties. […]

Since then, Mr. Mastriano, a far-right state senator who has falsely argued that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and who rarely speaks to traditional news outlets, has ignored criticism of his association with Gab.

But the platform’s founder and chief executive, Andrew Torba, has hit back — most recently, using an anti-Jewish trope.

“We’re not bending the knee to the 2 percent anymore,” Mr. Torba said in a video this week, an apparent reference to the rough percentage of the country that is Jewish.

Mr. Torba was responding to an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday by Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, in which he criticized Mr. Mastriano for using Gab to post messages and gain political supporters.

Mr. Torba and his platform support Christian nationalism, the view that America was founded to advance Christians and biblical values. […]

Mr. Mastriano did not respond to a request for comment sent to his campaign.

Mr. Torba, asked for details of his consulting arrangement with Mr. Mastriano, responded in an email: “I only speak to Christian news outlets.” […]

WHYY: As the GOP openly backs Mastriano, Jewish Dems tell them ‘there’s no coming back from this’

Katie Meyer, 07/27/22

[…] In a press conference Wednesday, the second Democrats and Jewish groups have held since learning of Mastriano’s financial ties to Gab, state House Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) had this message for his GOP colleagues in Harrisburg, and for other Republicans considering supporting Mastriano: “There is no coming back from this.”

“You cannot do business with these people and claim to represent all Pennsylvanians,” he said. “If you embrace antisemites and racists and homophobes and xenophobes, then you are one of them.” […]

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), a former candidate for U.S. Senate who attended the press conference, added that in some cases, GOP colleagues — he declined to say who — have denounced Mastriano privately, but won’t do so publicly.

“I don’t know how anybody in their right mind could be for somebody who was this dangerous, who is this unhinged,” Kenyatta said.

Business Insider: Gab Controversy: Democrats, Jewish leaders criticize Doug Mastriano’s relationship with far-right extremists

Charles Davis, 07/27/22

[…] “Doug Mastriano’s support for dangerous extremism and antisemitism, and his eagerness to campaign with these violent and hateful people to earn votes is shameful,” Jill Zipin, founder of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania, said at a press conference on Wednesday. […]

“This is the kind of organization that Doug Mastriano has associated with,” Rabbi George Stern said at the press conference. […]

Democratic state Rep. Dan Frankel, whose district includes the Tree of Life synagogue, said his constituents cannot go a day without thinking of the violence that beset their community — with the rise in such hate crimes attributable “in no small part” to sites like Gab.

“Doug Mastriano is now paying the platform that helped hone the killer’s murderous ideology because he believes that the hatred on those message boards will translate into an election victory for him,” Frankel said.

PennLive: What is Gab and why are Mastriano’s foes blasting him for using it?

Charles Thompson, 07/28/2022

[…] Gab is a particular lightning rod for many in the Jewish community because the shooter in the 2018 massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue had posted an anti-Jewish screed on the site in one of his last acts before committing the crimes. That shooting is said to be the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of the United States.

Not only that, but Gab’s founder and Lackawanna County resident Andrew Torba has openly and frequently called for a Christian-led takeback of American culture that does appear to advocate shutting Jews and others out of leadership positions.

A group of Jewish leaders amplified Shapiro’s concern about Mastriano’s association with Torba, who has endorsed him in the governor’s race, in Philadelphia Wednesday.

“What really disturbs me is the regular, normal people who are Republicans… who haven’t just screamed in horror and said: ‘This is not my Republican Party,’” said Burt Siegel, a former director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia. “You can be a staunch Republican. You can agree with the Republican Party about any number of things… But there is someone running for governor of this state who has neither the emotional, the intellectual or the moral qualifications to be governor.” […]

6ABC: Jewish leaders gather in Philly to decry Doug Mastriano’s link to controversial online platform


[…] “Doug Mastriano’s support for dangerous extremism and anti-Semitism and his eagerness to campaign with these folks is shameful,” said Jill Zipin of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [OPINION]: Alan Guenther: Doug Mastriano posts with bigots on Gab Social. Voters should know


[…] By hosting hate speech and deranged claims, Gab makes them seem normal. But Mr. Torba and the antisemitic racists he hosts aren’t right-wing heroes speaking up for disenfranchised working people. They’re bigots. Why on Earth would Mr. Mastriano want anything to do with them?

Mr. Mastriano has posted 66 times on Gab since he joined it in February, Pittsburgh radio station WESA-FM reported. A recent post on July 9 — a criticism of Democratic economic policies — received 157 comments. At least two dozen of those responses — the most common response by far — were antisemitic insults about state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for governor. Mr. Shapiro is Jewish. […]

We are asking that, when you go to the polls in November, please make an informed choice. As survivors of the Tree of Life shooting will tell you, hate speech can have deadly consequences. Your vote is important. Use it wisely.