Antisemitic Robocalls supporting Concord candidate running for Congress
Concord, CA – A series of vitriolic, antisemitic robocalls have been making the rounds in the Bay Area this week on behalf of a businessman in Concord running for Congress to represent swaths of the East Bay.
The call was received on Tuesday by the Investigative Unit’s Tip Line at KTVU, two editors at the East Bay Express in Oakland, the wife of the congressional candidate running in Concord and countless others.
The anonymous male caller claims Jews are taking over the world. The call was made on behalf of John Fitzgerald, a small business owner, who is running as the Republican candidate against Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier who represents Contra Costa County. Oakland is not in his district.
“End the Jewish takeover of America and restore our Democracy by voting for John Fitzgerald for U.S. Congress.” The caller talks about the “2 percent of Jews who have dominance over America” and blames the Jews for the attack on 9/11.
The ad was paid for by TheRoadtoPower.com, the call says, whose main personality, Scott Rhodes of Sandpoint, Idaho, has been linked to racist calls targeting U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein. Rhodes could not be reached for comment.
Mary Mazzocoo, a journalism adviser at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, also described the call as highly offensive. “Half of my husband’s family were refugees from Hitler’s Germany, so it was both upsetting and infuriating to get a phone call praising a candidate as someone who would be tough on the Jews,” she said.
Fitzgerald vehemently denied being behind the calls, including the one his wife received Tuesday night. He received 23 percent of the vote to finish second in the 11th Congressional District’s June primary.
|“I want to make this absolutely clear,” Fitzgerald wrote in an email to KTVU. “I have NO affiliation to Road To Power nor any of his/their affiliates, organizations or otherwise, and nor will I ever in the future. I also had NO idea that any robocalls were being made mentioning me or my campaign by his/their organization nor would I ever have authorized him/them nor anybody else do so without my consent or approval. I also DO NOT adhere to the vulgarity and racist principles that he/they promote via his/their website, podcasts, etc. I also have NO idea who funded the robocalls and believe he/they did so strictly in the hope of damaging my reputation and campaign. I am saddened and angered knowing that many people received these calls, some as early as 6:30 a.m. it appears from blogs/comments I have read.”
Fitzgerald added: “I am an ethical, principled and caring person who cares about all people and I believe in being honest about important although controversial or taboo subject matter and issues, and I do so with integrity, civility, decency and decorum and I ask others do the same no matter our ideological or political differences.”
But even if he is not behind the phone calls, Fitzgerald’s website is full of headlines that attack Jews and people of color.