Robocalls have been received by voters in the Bay Area on behalf of a Republican congressional nominee claiming that Jews are taking over the world and “must be stopped.”
California’s 11th District, represented by Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), includes parts of Contra Costa County east of Oakland. John Fitzgerald was the only person to run on the Republican ticket, and received 20,354 votes in the jungle primary under which the top two finishers regardless of party go on to the general election.
Fitzgerald openly denies the Holocaust and rails against Jews on his campaign website.
“As always, California Republicans reject anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious bigotry, in the harshest terms possible,” California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte said in May. “We reject John Fitzgerald’s campaign and encourage all voters to do the same.”
Robert Gammon, business development director for Telegraph Media, which publishes local news in the East Bay, tweeted Tuesday, “I just got a robocall in support of the racist Holocaust denier GOP candidate John Fitzgerald of CoCo County, claiming that Jews are taking over the world ‘and must be stopped.’ It was easily the most racist political ad I’ve ever come across in the Bay Area.” Other accounts reported the same robocall coming from a 415 area code.
Fitzgerald stated on his website and Facebook account that he wasn’t behind the call, which he said his wife received. He blamed an Idaho video podcaster who previously sent out anti-Semitic robocalls against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in May.
“’Road to Power’ is a despicable hate-filled person, dresses like a Nazi soldier, calls blacks ‘negroid ape creatures’ and openly hates Jews. I do not. And even if I had the money to produce and send out thousands of robocalls, why would I have them sent out at 6.30am? These seem designed to deliberately alienate the public against me and associate me with actual hate,” Fitzgerald wrote.
Earlier posts Fitzgerald wrote on his website claim Jews are pushing a “destructive plan” for diversity, promote his appearance on a British show “exposing Jewish Supremacy,” slam the “Jewish lobby” in D.C., and call Holocaust history an “official narrative” to be challenged. “Isn’t debate good to rule out falsehoods, etc. and to glean fact? So why is the holocaust off-limits but no other issue?” the candidate writes.
Per state GOP rules, Fitzgerald was automatically endorsed by the party in early May, though spokesman Matt Fleming said later, “Once we learned of Mr. Fitzgerald’s anti-Semitic worldview in late May, we moved immediately to undo the unfortunate automatic endorsement.”
“Because of this incident, we strengthened our vetting process,” he added.
The California State Republican party’s voter endorsement guide now says “no endorsement” for the 11th District: “The California Republican Party does not endorse John Fitzgerald as a candidate for Congressional District 11. We further rebuke and strongly disagree with his anti-Semitic views and we urge Republican voters to oppose his election as we do.”
Former state GOP chairman Ron Nehring compared Fitzgerald’s candidacy to Arthur Jones, a neo-Nazi on the ballot in Illinois because the state party failed to field a candidate in the district.
“Now we have another one of these guys. This time it’s here in California. Today’s vile anti-Semite is John Fitzgerald… Republicans should speak out against Fitzgerald and candidacy for his blatant anti-Semitism,” Nehring wrote. “Let’s not wait and see if this gets traction and only then condemn this vile individual who has soiled the good name of our party – we should affirmatively reject both his candidacy and his ideas because they offend our principles.”