Backing QAnon-loving candidates is probably not the best look when you're trying to convince Mainers that you're their best choice and deserve a fifth term in the U.S. Senate.
Do better, Maine. Vote for Sara Gideon.
Sen. Susan Collins is financially supporting the state legislative campaigns of two fellow Maine Republicans who fervently believe in QAnon, the perverse conspiracy theory whose adherents are considered a domestic terror threat by the FBI. In recent days, Facebook and YouTube have announced actions to curb the spread of QAnon content due to mounting fears that its followers — who deify President Trump and believe his enemies are a global cabal of pedophilic Satanists — will engage in violence before or after Election Day.
Kevin Bushey and Brian Redmond, the QAnon believers supported by Collins, are both military veterans who eagerly anticipate a political bloodbath will soon erupt nationwide, ultimately leading to arrests, military trials, and “God-declared executions” for “traitors” like top Democratic politicians and donors, socialists, Planned Parenthood, and Black Lives Matter and Sunrise Movement activists.
Last month, Collins’ personal political action committee, Dirigo PAC, contributed $400 each to Bushey and Redmond. Both are challenging Democratic incumbents for seats in the Maine House of Representatives representing parts of Aroostook County — the poverty-plagued, northernmost area of the state, where Collins was born and raised. The Maine GOP’s campaign fund for House races also gave Bushey and Redmond $400 each last month. For Redmond, those contributions amount to more than half the money his campaign has raised so far.
According to Business Insider, Collins was not aware of those individuals activities.
A spokesperson for the senator's campaign Business Insider that the group donated money based on Republican recommendations, was "not aware" of the candidates' affiliations with the theory, and might "reconsider its vetting process in the future."
"Dirigo PAC makes contributions at the state level based on the recommendation of the Maine Republican Caucus," communications director Annie Clark said. "It was not aware of the activities of these individuals at the time these two donations were made. Dirigo PAC will likely reconsider its vetting process in the future."
And who are these jokers?
Redmond is the less prominent of the two QAnon believers Collins is backing, but his advocacy of the conspiracy theory has been on open display. Before his Twitter account was banned earlier this month, his cover photo read “Q’s Army/Irregular Warfare Division” and declared “WWG1WGA,” shorthand for the QAnon rallying cry, “Where We Go One We Go All.” Media Matters reported last month that his account “repeatedly tweeted the QAnon hashtag and the QAnon slogan,” and his Facebook account also includes QAnon posts.
In an interview with Mainer, Redmond said he discovered QAnon in the comments section of Zero Hedge, a far-right, libertarian economics blog notorious for spreading conspiracies. “I was hooked right off the bat,” said Redmond, who now considers himself an investigative journalist. “It was an opportunity to wrestle back control of our government from subvertists and treasonists. … As a veteran, I was called to arms.”
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 16, 2020