Less than a year after being banned from three of the largest social media platforms in the world, Laura Loomer has not only emerged as the frontrunner in a 2020 GOP congressional primary race, but has also dominated in fundraising efforts to support her campaign.
“A lot of people are really inspired by my fight against the social media bias and censorship of conservatives,” she says. “Censorship is un-American, so this is a conversation that reaches across the aisle, and people from all party affiliations have been donating to my campaign online.”
In the wake of one of the most flagrant examples of political bias, Loomer still managed to mobilize a national network of grassroots support and amassed a formidable war chest.
According to data from the Federal Election Commission, Loomer—who is competing in Florida’s Congressional House District 21—raised more than $356,000 in the second half of 2019 alone. The only candidate competing in her district who raised more money was incumbent Rep. Lois Frankel (D) whose total receipts were $589,883. And for comparison, there are eight other candidates running and the next closest challenger has only raised $44,190.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are three of the largest and most widely used social media platforms worldwide. Many consider it essential that any company, brand, or candidate have a well-managed presence on each in order to be successful.
Rep. Frankel has a verified Twitter profile with more than 30,000 followers, a verified Facebook page with more than 22,000 followers, and a verified Instagram profile with more than 2,500 followers. Loomer’s massive fundraising total—accrued while being banned from those same social media platforms—is a bit of a David vs. Goliath moment.
“They won’t even allow my campaign to have access to social media,” Loomer said. “So, I’m just on Gab and Parlor, because Twitter and Facebook and Instagram won’t allow my campaign to have campaign accounts.”
Seventy percent of the population of the United States (230 million people) are active social media users; 200 million of those people regularly use social media on mobile platforms. Denying access to these platforms would be an insurmountable setback for most political candidates. And the Loomer campaign has hired legal counsel to pursue redress.
“I definitely consider it to be election interference. So much so that my campaign actually retained Charlie Spies who is one of the top [Federal Election Commission] attorneys in the country,” Loomer said.
“And he filed an FEC complaint for my campaign against Twitter for election interference, because what you have is these social media companies giving illegal in-kind contributions to my Democrat opponents—and really all of my opponents for that matter—because they’re allowed to fundraise on these sites and I’m not able to in an official capacity or as an individual and that puts me at a disadvantage.
“When you look at the maximum donation amounts, since there’s a primary and a general, it’s $5,600—that’s exceeding by far the legal limits when you look at them giving her [Frankel] access and me not having access during an election cycle.”
Twitter also recently faced criticism after botching its pledge to issue a verification badge to all candidates running for office this election cycle. The Silicon Valley tech giant failed to verify Anna Paulina Luna, a well-known Republican and high-visibility candidate also running in Florida, while actually issuing a verified checkmark to a fake candidate on a page created by a 17-year-old high school student.
“When I’m in congress, I’m not going to allow for these big tech tyrants to silence Americans any longer. They are committing egregious civil rights violations, they are de-banking people, deplatforming people, they are committing election interference, and the way that they silence conservative Americans at a disproportionate rate, it’s completely un-American,” Loomer said.
“It has exceeded this conversation talking point of free speech violations; it’s now a civil rights violation, in my opinion. Because what you have is half the population being retaliated against and silenced and censored simply because they supported the president.”
Loomer, who has received numerous endorsements from prominent Republicans, and even had President Donald Trump retweet a post containing her fundraising link, is projected to win the party’s nomination and primary election on Aug. 18, 2020.
“I hope that when I win my race that it inspires other people, so that they know that it doesn’t matter what the mainstream media says about you and it doesn’t matter how much they try to silence you. One person really can make a difference and your voice can be heard if you work hard,” she said.
“And this is the only country in the world where something like that is possible. I really do think it’s emblematic of the American Dream.”
Adrian Norman is a writer and political commentator.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.