It’s been quite a week for state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R), a leading candidate in the GOP primary for Pennsylvania governor.
Last weekend, Mastriano spoke at a far-right event featuring not just QAnon conspiracy theories, but also throwbacks like 9/11 being a false flag and JFK being assassinated for “knowing too much.”
Then days after the conference, Mastriano’s warmly endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor Teddy Daniels was smacked with a temporary protective order stemming from his wife’s abuse allegations.
With the Pennsylvania primaries just weeks away, it’s been a turbulent stretch for Mastriano.
Let’s zoom in on his weekend of palling around with conspiracy extremists.
The event, called “Patriots Arise for God and Country,” was put on by far-right activists Francine and Allen Fosdick, who promote QAnon.
The event was awash with conspiracy theories new and old. A video opening the conference mentioned QAnon-linked “ritual child sacrifice,” flashed images of the Twin Towers was the legend “false flag” and showed a picture of Adolf Hitler emblazoned with “faked his death.” The video also referred to vaccines as “poison” and characterized climate change as “fear porn.”
“The awakening is expanding,” flashed across the screen, followed by claims that Trump won “in a landslide” and that mass executions and military tribunals are coming.
Teddy Daniels spoke too.
Daniels’ wife earlier this week obtained a protection from abuse order by a county judge, barring him from their home and giving her temporary custody of their child. The documents obtained by TPM include her account of Daniels’ alleged abuse and his campaign’s alleged attempts to keep her from seeking court protection.
Before Daniels spoke at the conference, a video of Mastriano’s endorsement played.
“I can think of no better person to serve along my side as Teddy Daniels,” Mastriano said in the video. “He’s a fighter, he’s tough, he’s combat-tested, he’s a veteran, he put aside a comfortable life to serve our country — that’s exactly the kind of man we need as our lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.”
Daniels took the stage to chants of his name. He told anecdotes of refusing to wear a mask during the “pandemic,” which he said with air quotes, and name-dropped culture war buzzwords like “CRT.”
“We experienced a lot of lunacy over the past two years,” he said, adding: “We are losing this country.”