72 Hour Recap: Rival-Bashing And A Wave of Bad Press Slams Into Masters

For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Contact: Hannah Goss, hgoss@azdem.org

72 Hour Recap: Rival-Bashing And A Wave of Bad Press Slams Into Masters 
Two Weeks Out, #AZSen Brawls Continue to Dominate Headlines
PHOENIX — Less than two weeks to go in Arizona’s “increasingly bloody” and “bitter” GOP Senate primary and Jim Lamon is on the offensive, slamming rival Blake Masters on TV, in the press, and online.
For weeks now, Lamon has placed million-dollar ad buys exposing Masters’ previous calls for “unrestricted” immigration and the fact that his candidacy is “inseparable” from his Big Tech benefactor and puppeteer Peter Thiel.
Now, a wave of negative news stories in the lead-up to Donald Trump’s Arizona rally is threatening to knock Trump’s boy Blake off-kilter, highlighting his dangerous rhetoric and out-of-touch agenda, which apparently now includes sowing doubt in the upcoming election — wonder where he got that idea from.
See below for a round of stories bad enough to ruin Masters’ week — and it’s not even over yet.
CNN: Trump-backed Arizona Senate candidate escalates election fears ahead of GOP primary

  • Masters, trying to mobilize primary voters ahead of August 2, escalated his efforts to sow doubt about US elections late last month, posing questions about whether the cheating he claimed happened in 2020 will happen in 2022.
  • Trump’s early June endorsement was a turning point in Masters’ campaign against businessman Jim Lamon…But Lamon, who’s largely self-funding his campaign, also has ties to election denialism — touting his efforts to help fund the controversial, partisan audit of the vote in Maricopa County, which failed to prove fraud in the 2020 election.

Washington Post: Arizona Senate candidate embraces Trump’s extreme style

  • With calls for a nationwide abortion ban and a campaign ad declaration that “Trump won” in 2020, Masters has adopted some of the farthest-right stances and rhetoric in a staunchly conservative field — fueling some concerns among GOP strategists that his embrace of extremes could imperil their efforts to regain control of the narrowly divided Senate.
  • But some Republicans watching the fight for control of the evenly divided Senate see some of Masters’s comments — both past and present — as potential liabilities.
  • Democrats have already criticized Masters along with his GOP rivals, who have also advocated hard-right views. Lamon has called to “Rescind all Chinese Visas of any kind” because “America should not be the educating or training ground for citizens of communist countries.”
  • A national Republican strategist who works on Senate races said Masters’s college-era writings — which criticized American involvement in World War II while noting the “hot button issue” of the Holocaust — have stoked concerns about Masters among Jewish Republicans.
  • Some Republicans said they are flummoxed by certain positions taken by Masters and other leading GOP candidates, fearing they will alienate centrist voters.

Business Insider: Tech billionaire Peter Thiel is under fire from Arizona Republicans hoping to defeat his Trump-backed protégé Blake Masters in Senate primary

  • Billionaire tech CEO Peter Thiel may be more responsible than anyone else for Blake Masters’ ascent in the Arizona Republican Senate primary.
  • And Masters’ opponents — particularly Republican businessman Jim Lamon — want voters to know it. “Masters only ever worked for Peter Thiel, who, by the way, was a founding Facebook board member in 2005,” Lamon told a crowd.
  • Lamon has been hammering Masters over his relationship with Thiel…”Oh and by the way, Blake, stop trying to tell us that you’re not a puppet for big tech, because you are,” said Lamon.
  • “There is no amount of money I will not spend of mine to save my country,” said Lamon, a solar energy tycoon who’s loaned $15 million of his own fortune to his campaign, to applause.

Arizona Mirror: The FEC has questions about how a PAC backing Blake Masters is disclosing its spending

  • A political action committee funded almost entirely by tech-billionaire Peter Thiel is facing questions from the Federal Elections Commission about whether it properly reported independent expenditures in support of U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters.

Mother Jones: Blake Masters Is Peter Thiel’s Dream Candidate—and a Total Nightmare for Democracy

  • Masters would never leave Thiel’s orbit…And while he may soon have three senators whose rise he has helped fund—Vance, Masters, and Sen. Josh Hawley, another right-wing Stanford grad—it is Masters who would allow Thiel to effectively have a seat of his own.
  • Extremists have taken notice and approved. VDare, a white nationalist site named after the first English child born in the Americas, has called Masters “the America First contender” in Arizona. Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website, is another fan.
  • The best analog for Masters’ anti-leftism is another favorite of the online right: Kaczynski, the Unabomber, whose 35,000-word manifesto Masters has recommended…


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