A small television buy by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seeks to paint a handful of California Republicans as followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
The truth? Not even close.
The campaign arm of the House Democratic Caucus targeted three freshly-minted Republicans in the Golden State – recently-elected Reps. Mike Garcia (R–Santa Clarita), Michelle Steel (R–Seal Beach), and Young Kim (R–La Habra)– along with Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield).
The spot attempts to blur the lines between the QAnon conspiracy and the violent mob at the U.S. Capitol amid the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
The problem? Two of the four Californians voted to condemn the QAnon movements months before election.
On Oct. 2, 2020, McCarthy and Garcia – six months on the job after replacing scandal-ousted Rep. Katie Hill (D–Agua Dulce) – voted in support of H. Res 1154, a resolution “condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes.”
The other two Republicans – Steel and Kim – were elected after that vote was taken. Neither have expressed views remotely consistent with the QAnon conspiracy.
Democrats also crafted identical ads for freshmen Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar (R–Fla.) and Beth Van Duyne (R–Tex.) along with veteran Reps. Don Bacon (R–Neb.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R–Penn.)
Akin to McCarthy and Garcia, Bacon and Fitzpatrick also voted in support of condemning QAnon in October 2020. Salazar and Van Duyne had not yet been elected at the time.
The ad buy by House Democrats touched America’s second-most expensive media market – Los Angeles (which contains Garcia, Kim, and Steel’s seats) – along with the Bakersfield, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Philadelphia, Omaha, and Miami media markets.
In sum, the total buy – covering all eight members of Congress – amounted to a slim $500,000.