[UPDATED] Reminiscent of Rand Paul’s “Confederate Avenger” press staffer; Rebekah Stevens, the previously anonymous writer behind the radical right-wing PolitixFireball blog, Red State and Twitter account will now direct communications for the incumbent congressman
[UPDATE 3/28/14]: She’s out! Rep. Steve Pearce demanded Rebekah Steven’s resignation this morning citing “major obstacles,” just two days after our first report. Read more.
[UPDATE (3/27/14): Rep. Steve Pearce broke his silence yesterday on the controversy surrounding his new press secretary Rebekah Stevens, the previously anonymous woman who ran the PolitixFireball Twitter account and blog. Pearce told the ABQ Journal that he had a “very frank and straightforward discussion” with Stevens about her online rhetoric before hiring her. This plainly contradicts what Pearce’s Chief of Staff, Todd Willens, told the Santa Fe Reporter Wednesday – namely, that Stevens’ hate- and lie-filled PolitixFireball Twitter/blog “wasn’t anything we got into a detailed conversation on.”
Pearce tried to downplay Stevens’ anonymous online attacks to the Journal as merely “confrontational” when, in fact, Stevens used her anonymous online persona to defame the character of private citizens, spew racist tirades, and tell outlandish, conspiratorial lies without ever presenting any evidence whatsoever to justify her claims. Easy to do when veiling yourself behind a nameless online avatar.
Pearce’s endorsement of Stevens and his tacit defense of her previous actions speaks to just how far-right Tea Party members of Congress like Pearce have become and how out-of-touch he is with the needs and views of his constituents.]
[UPDATE (3/26/14): The Santa Fe Reporter (SFR) has confirmed "through several sources" that Rebekah Stevens is behind the PolitixFireball accounts. Stevens has not yet returned a request for comment from SFR. Read Justin Horwath's article by CLICKING HERE.]
Republican congressman Steve Pearce announced today that the newest addition to his official staff is the previously anonymous
firebrand blogger Rebekah Stevens, the woman behind the PolitixFireball blog and Twitter account whose anonymous online attacks against journalists, Republicans and progressives alike have been so extreme she has been banned from Twitter on multiple occasions.
Stevens is also the elected Vice Chair of the Grant County Republican Party, making her not only a Congressional staffer but a high-profile elected party official in the state.
Taxpayer dollars will now be used to fund the salary of Ms. Stevens who, while running a far-right Twitter account and accompanying blog, was well known for her myriad racist, xenophobic, and defamatory tirades against everyone from public school teachers to respected journalists to political campaign consultants to President Obama himself.
In her tweets, she also makes light of the holocaust (“Jews went up in smoke”), says all Muslims are “blood-lust” conquerors, equates slavery to abortion, compares political reporters to war criminals and compares President Obama to Hitler (see full report here).
Stevens’ posts such as “Time to be racist” are reminiscent (and more extreme) than those of former Rand Paul staffer Jack Hunter whose anonymous personality, the “Confederate Avenger,” was outed in 2013 leading him to apologize for his racist postings and masked public appearances. Hunter and Paul later came to a “mutually agreed” resignation.
If Stevens retains her job, she may have a hard time relating to reporters in the state. She took to calling political reporter Milan Simonich by the name Slobodon Milosevic (comparing him to a genocidal war criminal) and was a frequent Twitter attacker of political blogger Joe Monahan and Santa Fe Reporter staff.
Stevens also attacked Republican political consultant Bob Cornelius as “embarrassing to Republicans.” Cornelius has run a number of high-profile Republican races and was a consultant for a current Republican challenger (David Clements) to US Senator Tom Udall.*
In 2013, she orchestrated a Twitter crash of a Congressional Twitter Town Hall, spamming the event to prevent the congressman from engaging with constituents regarding health care.
Corresponding with Rep. Pearce’s announcement today of Ms. Stevens’ new position, her @PolitixFireball Twitter account has been taken down and is no longer producing content. Her blog, however, is still active – though no writing has been posted since March 17, 2014 – and cached versions of her rancorous tweets are still accessible by cache, through her website, RedState.com reports and associated twitter and Facebook accounts at: @FireballPolitix, @PolitixFire_NM, Facebook.com/PolitixFireball
“Rep. Pearce is a sitting US Congressman and is supposed to represent all the members of his constituency equally,” said Alex Curtas, Research Director for PROGRESSNOWNM.
“How he expects to do that when his press secretary – the public face of his congressional office – has a long and dismal record of character defamation, xenophobia, mendacity, and a clear, vitriolic prejudice against voters and reporters in the state is beyond me.
“I can’t wait to see how excited Pearce’s colleagues in Congress will be to learn that his new hire has made a living attacking Republican leadership in the party, making light of Jews, and trolling reporters and Democrats across the country.”
The Announcement Email from Rep. Steve Pearce’s Office
Subject: Fwd: New Press Secretary
Date: March 25, 2014 at 11:15:13 AM MDT
I’d like to introduce Rebekah Stevens, Rep. Pearce’s new press secretary (copied here). Rebekah has experience with New Mexico politics, and is looking forward to working with each of you. She can be reached at Rebekah.Stevens@mail.house.gov.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Eric J. Layer
U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce (NM-02)
Stevens may also be reached at the email addresses and phones associated with her formerly anonymous accounts: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com.
View more of @PolitixFireball’s tweets and posts below.
Though Stevens tried to hide her tweets by making her account private, versions of each tweet are available through archived Google searches and other apps. Try it!
Search for your favorite @PolitixFireball tweet. Use this Google link and add your search term to the end of the search formula. (use the small grey arrow next to the returns to view cached versions)
*CORRECTION: Our original post claimed that Mr. Cornelius was running David Clements’ current campaign. Mr. Cornelius was, in fact, a consultant to the Clements’ campaign in the early stages but is no longer affiliated with the campaign.