This week, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Nick Freitas has unloaded on his hated rival, Corey Stewart, for saying, 17 months ago, that a bigoted primary challenger to Paul Ryan, Paul Nehlen, was his “personal hero.” Freitas has spent the past few days demanding Corey disavow any ties to Nehlen, and even has called Corey a “hate monger,” warning the Virginia GOP that nominating him would be a death knell for their hopes this fall. Freitas and his supporters have also gone after one of Corey’s consultants, Noel Fritsch, for being too rightwing, for consulting to Nehlen and for being cozy with the “alt-right” – and have demanded that Corey disavow him too.
So you’d think, with all those attacks, that Freitas wouldn’t have any issues in his own (glass) house. But now a Twitter account called “Never Trump Nick” has revealed this doozy:
Yes and make sure you know who’s behind it!!
This is the guy who is running my @NickForVA campaign!
More to come!
— Nick Freitas (@NeverTrumpNick) June 5, 2018
In short, it appears that one of Nick Freitas’ top consultants, Mike Rothfeld (runs Saber Communications, which Freitas has paid more than $30,000 for “consulting” this cycle) was arrested in November for domestic assault and strangulation. In this #MeToo moment, every example of assault has been scrutinized, but this one has somehow managed to fly under the media’s radar. [Note: yesterday, Rothfeld commented on an article by the “Liberty Conservative” – which reported that Rothfeld “was charged with assault and battery of a family member and strangulation resulting in wounding or bodily injury just last year according to Virginia arrest records” – that he “was arrested, that is a fact,” but that “I was not guilty, and charges were dropped without plea nor deal.”]
Also of interest: Saber and Rothfeld are closely tied to Ron Paul (once named the #5 “Worst U.S. Purveyor of Antisemitism”) and far-right Rand Paul, and are part of a “shadowy” web of groups and individuals who have steered money to each other in support of the Pauls. Rothfeld, for instance, also founded the right-wing National Association for Gun Rights, which endorsed Freitas just days after the Freitas campaign paid Rothfeld more than $20,000 for consulting services. Interesting coincidence there!
This isn’t the only Freitas campaign strategist with #MeToo troubles, by the way. Freitas also still employs Mark David Lloyd as a “top campaign aide.” Lloyd, of course, is a notorious misogynist. For instance, during devastating Hurricane Maria, Lloyd called the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, “this crazy commie b*tch…having a meltdown.” Lloyd also tweeted about former IRS official Lois Lerner, “Too bad, b*tch. Maybe you can spend your time in solitary for your own protection.”
For his part, Freitas has defended Lloyd by attacking the media for supposedly “just elevating a poorly conceived hit piece by our opponents to the level of an actual story.” Freitas has still, to this day, not specifically denounced Lloyd’s misogynistic beliefs, despite calling for Corey to disavow his disgusting allies. Chutzpah!
Finally, it’s worth noting that the vicious campaign for the Virginia Republican U.S. Senate nomination has stirred up supporters of the leading candidates – Corey Stewart and Nick Freitas – to intense attacks against each other (check out, for instance, the Virginia Freedom Caucus page) and against their campaign staffs. It will be fascinating to see, after Tuesday’s Republican primary, whether this party can come back together, or whether they will continue to rip each other to shreds over who’s more racist/misogynistic, not “pure” enough in their support of Trump, etc. What a party, huh?