Feb 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pro-Trump Republican targeted over Capitol siege

Nicole Malliotakis, then-New York State assemblywoman, speaks during a pro-Trump rally on October 3, 2020 in the borough of Staten Island in New York City.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. Photo: Stephanie Keith via Getty Images

A bipartisan group of New Yorkers is targeting Rep. Nicole Malliotakis in the latest effort aimed at tying pro-Trump Republicans to the Capitol siege.

Why it matters: While Republicans are desperately trying to turn the page on former President Trump’s actions and the deadly events of Jan. 6, Democrats and other Trump opponents plan to keep linking the party to the Capitol insurrection ahead of the 2022 midterms.

Driving the news: Several political action committees focused on Republicans who voted against certifying Joe Biden's win have emerged since the assault on the Capitol.

  • A separate group of Democratic strategists and organizers also has formed JOSHPAC, or Just Oust Seditious Hacks PAC. It's targeting Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for joining House Republicans in objecting to the Electoral College vote.
  • At least 13 top U.S. companies have said they won't donate to Republicans who voted against the certification, according to a CBS report.

The background: Malliotakis unseated Democrat Max Rose in a rare swing district in New York City that encompasses parts of southern Brooklyn and Staten Island.

  • Some of her constituents are now going up with a $50,000 digital ad buy. They say they plan to raise hundreds of thousands more for their effort.
  • The Nicole Is Complicit PAC, or NICPAC, created a video that starts with a snapshot of the rioting and ends with a CNN interview between Malliotakis and Erin Burnett. During that conversation, the news anchor pressed the freshman about her vote objecting to certifying Biden’s win.
  • "This is the beauty of democracy," said Malliotakis in a statement to Axios.

Of note: Some Republicans also are using messaging campaigns to distance themselves from members in their own party.

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of 10 Republicans to vote in favor of Trump’s second impeachment, also introduced a PAC targeting "poisonous extremism."
  • "This is not the Republican road and now we know exactly where this new and dangerous road leads," Kinzinger said in a six-minute video announcing his PAC. "It leads to insurrection and an armed attack on Congress."
  • Separately, Trump ally Corey Lewandowski is using PAC money to target Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for her own vote to impeach Trump last month.
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