In a scathing editorial, the Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board took on Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, saying “Pennsylvania does not need election-denying conspiracy theorists deciding the outcome of elections with the stroke of a pen.”
The editorial staff wrote that voters in the Keystone State need to be made aware of the actions that Mastriano, the state senator from Franklin County, took to assist former President Donald Trump in derailing the will of the people and overturning the results of the 2020 election.
“Mastriano’s relentless efforts to thwart the results of the 2020 presidential election, spread Donald Trump’s election lies, and suppress votes in future elections amounts to a 10-alarm fire for anyone who believes in a functioning democracy.”
The editorial noted that in the days following the election, Mastriano:
- Said the results should not be certified until an audit was complete
- Staged a hearing in Gettysburg that provided a stage for Rudy Giuliani to cast doubts on the validity of the election, saying it was stolen and covered up by the courts and the media
- Appeared on Steve Bannon’s podcast and stated that “We’re going to take our power back; we’re going to seat the electors.”
- Wrote a letter to Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, claiming that “election fraud is real and prevalent in Pennsylvania.”
- Spent more than $3,000 in campaign funds to bus himself and nearly 100 supporters to the “Stop The Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021
- Sent letters to Philadelphia, York and Tioga counties seeking election-related equipment and material needed “to conduct a forensic investigation” of the 2020 election.
The editorial also says that “Mastriano has promoted plans to suppress the vote in future elections. In November, he proposed legislation to eliminate “no excuse” mail-in voting. In April, Mastriano proposed a bill to ban drop boxes. In June, he pitched a plan to require voters to reregister — a move scholars say federal law prohibits.”
Mastriano has stated his issue that the newspaper, as well as other traditional media outlets, are in “Josh Shapiro’s back pocket,” using that as rationale to ignore requests for comments and/or interviews during events.