Another Republican lawmaker has been outed as connected to a hate group after a local publisher uncovered Oregon state Rep. Mike Nearman as the vice president of the anti-immigrant group Oregonians for Immigration Reform — an organization ThinkProgress notes is “an SPLC-designated anti-immigrant hate group with ties to a prominent white-nationalist eugenics advocate”.
Nearman denied to the paper that he holds the vice president position, but concedes he is an officer of the organization, which lists him as VP on its website.
Nearman is currently pushing to repeal Oregon’s protections for undocumented immigrants.
The state lawmaker joins a growing list of elected officials across the U.S. with ties to white nationalist and anti-immigrant groups or individuals.
Since winning the Republican nomination for Florida governor, former Rep. Ron DeSantis has drawn attention for his racist dogwhistle attacks on his Democratic opponent (who is black) and New York state Congressional nominee Alexandria Ociasio-Cortez (who is of Puerto Rican decent), for his history of giving speeches at racist events, and for having served as a moderator of a far-right Facebook group used for posting racist memes (a spokesperson has claimed DeSantis was not aware he was a moderator).
Other moderators of that group included Virginia GOP senate nominee Corey Stewart, Montana Auditor and GOP senate nominee Matt Rosendale, West Virginia Attorney General and GOP senate nominee Patrick Morrisey, Texas GOP Congressional nominee Daniel Crenshaw, Nevada GOP Congressional nominee Danny Tarkanian, and former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward (R).
After Rep. Rod Blum’s (R-IA) apparent involvement in the Facebook group came to light in recent weeks, he tweeted out an AP reporter’s cellphone number rather than respond directly to an inquiry about the group.