Federal Election Commission reports show that Pennsylvania’s leading Republican gubernatorial candidate Senator Scott Wagner donated $1,000 to Lyndon LaRouche’s Lyndon LaRouche PAC in October 2011. Senator Wagner made this contribution before he became a public official.
In the wake of the white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, it took Senator Wagner almost an entire week to issue a statement on the white supremacist violence. The Senator published an op-ed with Pennlive condemning the violence but also making himself the victim of dirty politics for having to do so. In the op-ed, Wagner stated “in my private life, I have been a strong supporter of our Jewish community in York, financially supporting anti-hate programs,” but the following week, Wagner told a tracker that George Soros is a “Hungarian Jew” who “made a fortune” but has a “hatred for America.” Despite calls from the religious community, Senator Wagner has refused to apologize for the statements about Soros.
So, exactly what conspiracy theory was Lyndon LaRouche, a perennial presidential candidate from 1976 to 2004, and his pack of cult-like followers peddling around the time of Scott Wagner’s 2011 donation?
Well, it was a political poster campaign with former President Barack Obama sporting an Adolf Hitler mustache. Underneath mustachioed Obama, there were slogans like “Obama Must Be Removed,” “Invoke the 25th Amendment,” Impeach Him Fast and Furiously,” “I’ve Changed” and probably plenty of others. According to the Anti-Defamation League, LaRouche supporters used these signs at a number of 2009 Congressional town halls opposing the Affordable Care Act. In 2012, Nancy Lack, an elderly woman from Connecticut, was arrested for removing these posters due to their “casual use of Nazi symbolism.” Lack told a local news outlet at the time that “my generation went through the Second World War, and Nazism is about the worst there can be.”
Of course, this wasn’t the first time LaRouche’s movement was accused of using anti-semitic rhetoric. LaRouche built his cultist movement built by consistently running for President between 1976 to 2004 and having his followers run for local offices and hand out paper pamphlets during this time. In 1978, LaRouche wrote this about the Holocaust: “about a million and a half Jews did die as a result of Nazi policy of labor-intensive ‘appropriate technology’ for the employment of ‘inferior races.'” and eight years later, New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan forcefully called LaRouche and his supporters who scored victories in the Illinois primary “fascists” and anti-Semites.” Moynihan called on the Democratic party to expel LaRouche and his supporters from the party.
I reached out to Senator Wagner’s campaign manager, Jason High, through a Twitter message explaining what LaRouche’s political action committee was doing around the time of Senator Wagner’s donation and LaRouche’s prior brush ups with denying that the Holocaust happened. I asked him the following questions. Why did Senator Wagner donate $1,000 to the Lyndon LaRouche PAC in October 2011? Is Senator Wagner a LaRouche supporter? Does Senator Wagner share the same beliefs and conspiracy theories that LaRouche and his movement believe in? We will provide updates if Senator Wagner’s campaign responds to our request.