Oregon Is About To Vote On Whether To Send GOP Election Deniers To Congress

by | Nov 2, 2022 | Politics

With days to go before the midterm elections, a funny thing is happening with GOP congressional candidates in Oregon: They’re pretending they’re moderate, reasonable people after months of fueling election conspiracies in plain sight.Take Alek Skarlatos. For the last year and a half, he’s refused to say that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, fair and square.AdvertisementHe had “no comment” in May 2021 when asked who he believed won the election. He was asked again last month to “state without equivocation who won the 2020 presidential election.” He wouldn’t. Instead, he said only that Biden is the president, without addressing the validity of the election ― a common dog whistle among Republicans who don’t want to anger former President Donald Trump’s base of supporters by saying Biden fairly beat him.Skarlatos, who is running against Democrat Val Hoyle for an open seat, has also downplayed the Jan. 6, 2021, attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol. He said in May 2021 that many of the people involved in the insurrection ― an attack that resulted in at least seven people dead, more than 140 police officers injured and $1.5 million of damage to the building ― simply walked into the Capitol and didn’t know they were forcing their way in, and shouldn’t be charged with trespassing.Skarlatos’ views and those of other Republicans running in Oregon this year show that the Big Lie has permeated into even blue states — where GOP candidates in competitive races either believe or choose to espouse them. A quick review of Skarlatos’ Twitter feed shows that he’s been liking posts that suggest the 2020 election was stolen, a lie pushed by Trump after he lost.AdvertisementAmong the tweets Skarlatos has liked in recent months: an August tweet that states “The FBI rigged the 2020 election,” a July tweet fueling a conspiracy theory that a federal informant staged the Jan. 6 insurrection, another July tweet fueling that same conspiracy theory, and a June tweet mocking whistleblowers as “con artists” and “professional liars” who credibly testified about Trump’s abuse of power against Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and about Trump’s efforts to instigate the Jan. 6 insurrection.But when HuffPost asked Skarlatos last week if he believed that Trump won the election or that the FBI rigged it, he responded as if the question was absurd.“Let me be clear: Joe Biden won the 2020 election,” Skarlatos said in a statement. “And like Barack Obama, if he offered me a meeting in the Oval Office, I would accept that invitation to discuss solutions to help our country.”“I also oppose all violent protests,” he added, “including Black Lives Matter and January 6th.”Skarlatos’ mention of Obama is intentional: He’s featured the former Democratic presid …

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