Photo illustration: Jeniffer Solis
Thursday morning Republican congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian was one of 46 listed administrators and moderators of a racist and conspiracy-obsessed Facebook group with over 94,000 members.
The page named Tarkanian as an admin in posts as recent as July 29.
When reached by the Current, Richard Hernandez, a spokesman for the Tarkanian campaign said he wasn’t aware of the page and hadn’t “heard anything about it.” By late Thursday afternoon, Tarkanian was no longer listed as a group moderator.
Tarkanian and his wife Amy were first added as administrators October 5, 2017, according to a post from site admin Mike Michaels. As of early in the day Thursday, neither Tarkanian was listed as admins, but both were listed among 44 page moderators. Facebook page moderators can approve, deny or remove a page’s posts or comments.
Danny Tarkanian does not appear to have posted to the group’s page. Amy Tarkanian added several posts promoting her husband’s campaign to the group, primarily from late last year when Danny Tarkanian had mounted a primary challenge against Republican Sen. Dean Heller — or “DC Dean” as the Tarkanian campaign referred to Heller at the time.
Tarkanian quit his challenge to Heller and instead launched a campaign for the third congressional district, his second in as many election cycles, after Donald Trump famously directed him to do so via Twitter in March.
Republican nominee for governor in Florida Ron DeSantis, who recently faced criticism for making what many deemed a racist remark towards his opponent Andrew Gillum, was listed as an administrator of the page earlier this week, but was no longer listed after media began asking questions about his association with the page.
Hernandez, the spokesman for Tarkanian’s campaign, said shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday that the candidate was at a meeting Thursday and could not be reached. Hernandez said he wasn’t aware of the page and hadn’t “heard anything about it.”
Less than two hours later, the Tarkanians were no longer listed as page moderators.
Members on the page have shared posts with wild conspiracy theories common to neo-Nazis, including claiming the 2017 Charlottesville white supremacist rally that left one counter protester dead was “orchestrated by the left.” The neo-Nazi and alt-right conspiracy theory that immigration and racial integration is causing the extinction of white people, known in the movement as “white genocide,” was also shared on the page.
Other posts spout ultra anti-semitic and anti-muslim rhetoric, one post reading, “Some cancers need to be treated with radiation… ISLAM is one of them” over a picture of a bomb explosion.
Racial slurs are used on the page, among them the n-word, several of which were directed at Black Lives Matter and former president and first lady Michelle and Barack Obama.
Extreme right-wing propaganda is frequently shared in the group via sites like Conservative Firing Line, which has promoted conspiracies such as the Clintons murdering multiple people, and Jews News, an anti-Muslim propaganda site on Politifact’s fake news list.
Along with Tarkanian, other moderators of the Facebook group page include Republican Cory Stewart, who won the Virginia Republican Senate primary earlier this month, despite reported ties to neo-Confederates and white nationalists, and Kelli Ward, who used the group to promote her campaign in the Arizona Republican Senate primary, which she lost earlier this week.
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