The Lead

Perry took campaign donation from Georgia Republican who backed QAnon, made Islamophobic remarks

By: - October 30, 2020 4:04 pm

Congressman Scott Perry, R-10th District, answers a question at a Hummelstown public meeting with constituents on July 30th, 2019. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

In his second straight tight race for reelection, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry took $1,000 from a fellow Republican congressional candidate who, before her run for elected office, pushed QAnon conspiracy theories and made racist comments about Muslims.

On Oct. 28, Perry’s campaign accepted the donation from Save America, Stop Socialism, a political action committee associated with Marjorie Taylor Greene, according to federal campaign finance records.

Greene, running for Congress in northern Georgia, said in old Facebook videos that “anyone that is a Muslim that believes in Sharia law does not belong in our government,” according to Politico.

Greene has also subscribed to QAnon, a fake conspiracy theory that believes that a secret group of global leaders, entertainment figures, and Democratic politicians engage in widespread child sex trafficking and worship Satan.

In a statement, Perry said that he does “not agree with or subscribe to QAnon, and I continue to vehemently condemn racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and violence thereof in all forms – which I served almost 40 years in uniform fighting against.”

He did not say if he would return the check, and did not comment specifically on Greene.

The $1,000 donation from Greene came after the Federal Elections Commission’s pre-election reporting deadline. It was detailed in a report on donations that come in the final weeks before the election. Up until Oct. 14, Perry had raised $3.5 million this election cycle, according to FEC records.

After Greene’s remarks and beliefs came to light, top Republican congressional leaders condemned her, and even backed her opponent in the primary. But Greene won her race anyway. 

After her win, she tried to downplay her connection to QAnon.

There was a time there for a while that I had read about Q, posted about it, talked about it, which is some of these videos you’ve seen come out,’’ Greene told Fox News in August. “But once I started finding misinformation, I decided that I would choose another path.”

Greene also received President Donald Trump’s endorsement as well as the backing of the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus, of which Perry is a member. Greene is likely to win her race in the deep red Georgia district.

Perry on the other hand is running for reelection in among the most competitive races in the country, in central Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District.

It includes Harrisburg, Hershey, Carlisle, and York, as well as surrounding suburbs and rural areas. Perry faces Democratic candidate Eugene DePasquale, the state’s term-limited auditor general, on Nov. 3.

The DePasquale campaign did not reply to a request for comment.

Perry’s statement marks a change in tone on QAnon. Earlier this month, he joined with 18 other Republican colleagues to oppose a non-binding resolution condemning QAnon.

People who subscribe the the belief have also been linked to a small number of crimes, including kidnappings and a murder.

At an Oct 19 debate with DePasquale, Perry was asked about his vote.

“A lot of people dislike a lot of things in this country, some people don’t like certain vegetables or what have you,” Perry said at the debate. “But it’s very dangerous for the government … to determine what is okay to like and what is not okay to like.”

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.