PA lawmakers call out Dave McCormick’s investments in Rumble

Dave McCormick, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania during a campaign event in Coplay, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Sean Kitchen

March 21, 2024

Pennsylvania lawmakers and members of the Jewish community gathered in Harrisburg to highlight Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick’s hypocrisy on his stake in an extremist social media site.

Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick’s financial investments into Rumble, an online platform that houses right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis, have been called into question by Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers and members of Pennsylvania’s Jewish community.

“You can’t call out anti-semitism on Monday and then invest millions of dollars in a platform for known hate-mongers on Tuesday,” State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) said at a press conference in Harrisburg on Wednesday.

“When white supremacists and conspiracy theorists were ousted from YouTube and they sought out a platform with no rules when it comes to hate speech, Rumble welcomed them in.”

Wednesday’s press conference was hosted by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and is part of the “Don’t Trust Dave” bus tour, which highlights McCormick’s policy positions.

McCormick, a former Connecticut-based hedge fund manager running against US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) this November, has between $1 million and $5 million invested into Rumble, according to a story published by the American Journal.

“McCormick’s hypocrisy is on full display with his investments in a site that promotes anti-semitic content,” said Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania Co-Founder and Chair Jill Zipin. “Pennsylvanians can see right through his act of pretending to oppose hate speech.”

The platform is the home to white supremacists and conspiracy theorists such as Nick Fuentes, a figure in the extreme alt-right who is a Holocaust denier that often praises Adolf Hitler.

“Some people know about a guy named Nick Fuentes, who is another extremist,” State Rep. Tarik Khan (D-Philadelphia) said on Wednesday.

“Nick is a white supremacist who is hosted on this platform who is a white supremacist and holocaust denier who recently said he will ally himself with any person who says quote ‘that they love Hitler.’”

This hasn’t been the first time a high-profile Pennsylvania Republican found themselves in hot water with being associated with an extremist online platform. State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) spent $5,000 advertising on Gab, another social media-platform that welcomes extremists, but later deleted it after being pressured by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

Gab was frequently used by Robert Bowers, a white supremacists who murdered 11 members of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community inside the Tree of Life Synagogue.

“Clear research shows that hate speech begets violence, and it was after a man who was radicalized on another hate platform drove to a building that housed three synagogues in my district in open fire on my friends and neighbors,” Frankel said.

“We lost 11 people that day. We will never know how history might have been different, had that man if he was unable to find common cause with thousands of people who traffic dark conspiracy theories and cruel memes that dehumanized Jews and other people for their ethnicity, race, or sexuality.”

The McCormick campaign was reached via email and didn’t provide comment for this story.

Correction: the headline of this story has been updated on May 10, 2024.



Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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