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ICYMI: Paul LePage Collects Donations From Anti-Vaxx, Q-Anon, and Big Lie Conspiracy Theorists

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According to the Maine Beacon, Paul LePage is sourcing from anti-vaccine, Q-Anon, and Big Lie conspiracy theorists to fund his run for governor.

New campaign finance reports show LePage has received support from Dr. Christiane Northrup, a “vaccine disinformation superspreader” and promoter of Q-Anon.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate has named Northrup one of the “Disinformation Dozen,” the twelve anti-vaxxers responsible for almost two-thirds of anti-vaccine content on social media.

“LePage has garnered support from other local conspiracy-minded influencers,” the Maine Beacon wrote, including an anti-vaxx state Rep. who called COVID a “hoax” and a January 6th insurrectionist.

“The clown car of Paul LePage donors includes conspiracy theorists of all kinds,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “If the money he takes is any indicator of how he would govern, Maine people can be sure that LePage would roll back Gov. Janet Mills’ progress and return Maine to the anti-science, anti-democratic disaster of his last failed governorship.”

Read key excerpts from the article below:

Maine Beacon: Major anti-vaccine conspiracist contributes to LePage, other Maine Republicans

Campaign finance reports reveal Dr. Christiane Northrup, who was named one of the twelve most influential spreaders of vaccine misinformation on social media by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, is supporting the gubernatorial campaign of former Maine Governor Paul LePage.

[…]

Northrup, a Dartmouth-educated physician and best-selling author turned vaccine disinformation superspreader, donated $21.33 to the LePage campaign every month since July 2021 for a total of $127. The recurring donation is part of LePage’s “Gov Club” subscription, which gives subscribers early access to event tickets and exclusive campaign merchandise.

Northrup did not respond to Beacon’s request for comment regarding her support of LePage.

Along with anti-vaccine conspiracizing, the Yarmouth-based doctor has a history of promoting the far-right QAnon conspiracy to her followers. In an October 2020 Facebook Live video, she urged her fans to “personally look up Q” and do their own research on the conspiracy, which claims former President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against a global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles led by prominent Democrats and Hollywood celebrities. The QAnon movement is considered a “domestic terror threat” by the FBI.

“The real conspiracy has nothing to do with whatever Q is,” Northrup said. “It is the blatant and egregious censorship in the mainstream media of anything that goes against the mainstream narrative of: ‘Something dangerous is out there that will kill us if we don’t mask up, and we can’t leave our homes until we’ve all been vaccinated.’”

[…]

LePage has garnered support from other local conspiracy-minded influencers. For instance, Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor) donated $500 to the former governor’s 2022 campaign. The Republican representative also previously supported Libby’s anti-vaccine people’s veto campaign and has posted on social media that the COVID pandemic is a “hoax”.

Kevin Finkenaur, owner of Liberty Bell Moving and a self-identified participant in the Jan. 6 insurrection, gave $250 to LePage in September 2021 as well. Liberty Bell’s Facebook page frequently posts about the “Big Lie,” an amalgam of voter fraud conspiracies that inspired the January 6th insurrection.

On the anniversary of the riot earlier this month, Liberty Bell Moving posted a video titled “Suitcases Filled with Ballots, Real Footage.” The video baselessly asserts widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election, and surmises “global elites” were responsible for stealing the election from Trump.

Meanwhile, LePage’s likely Democratic challenger, Mills, ended the year with almost $1 million cash on hand compared to LePage’s $450,000. She also leads him in current total fundraising netting more than $1.6 million to LePage’s nearly $900,000. These numbers may not necessarily be indicative of an electoral advantage though as LePage won his two previous gubernatorial campaigns despite being outraised.

While Mills is yet to officially announce her reelection campaign, she did receive $3,220 for “research” from the Maine Democratic State Committee, the group responsible for choosing Democratic Party nominees for state office. According to a September IPSOS/Spectrum News Poll, 87% of Democrats approve of the job Mills has done.

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