An Oregon-based alt-weekly has exposed that state Rep. Mike Nearman (R) is the vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform — 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.
In the aftermath of President Trump embracing racism and xenophobia and welcoming the “very fine people” on both sides into his party, the revelation about Nearman is the latest in a string linking white-nationalist and anti-immigrant groups to Republican officeholders around the country.
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.
Meanwhile, his fellow Iowan, Rep. Steve King (R), has drawn no rebuke from GOP leadership despite years of promoting racist propaganda.