September 27, 2022
ICYMI: Kent calls Smiley “Pure MAGA”; Kent & Smiley campaigned together for Trump in 2020
Former Senator Doug Jones: “It’s about the company you keep. And Tiffany Smiley is keeping some really bad company in Joe Kent and Dinesh D’Souza.”
***WATCH: Doug Jones delivers powerful remarks on politics of extremism, Smiley’s ties to Joe Kent***
(Vancouver, WA) – Today, former U.S. Senator Doug Jones joined Washington State Representatives Tana Senn (LD-41) and Sharon Wylie (LD-49), and Southwest Washington immigration and civil rights advocates, to condemn Tiffany Smiley’s close ties to extremist Joe Kent and her refusal to disavow his support for her campaign.
Kent has close affiliations with prominent white nationalists and is widely regarded as one of the most extreme far-right candidates of the 2022 cycle. At a campaign event in Amboy last week, Kent called Smiley “pure MAGA” and “100 percent a great conservative” as he urged MAGA Republicans to turn out to vote for her.
“What I am seeing across this country and in the State of Washington is MAGA extremism, with white nationalists like Joe Kent espousing racist views,” said former U.S. Senator Doug Jones, who represented Alabama in the U.S. Senate — and prior to that, was a federal prosecutor who prosecuted hate crimes including the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. “It’s about the company you keep. And Tiffany Smiley is keeping some really bad company in Joe Kent and Dinesh D’Souza. Those folks are radicals. And it is those folks that are creating a culture of contempt and a culture of hate.”
“What we are seeing here is the same kind of dog whistle politics that ended in an insurrection where police officers were killed on January 6th,” Jones continued. “The people of Washington have the opportunity to reject this kind of hate-filled rhetoric. Voters have to stand up and reject this. Senator Patty Murray is a uniter who has the people of Washington’s best interests at heart — everybody in Washington.”
“Smiley has not distanced herself from extremist Joe Kent, and since winning the Republican primary, she has tried to hide her extreme views, which are completely out of step with Washingtonians, including being 100% pro-life and believing the Big Lie,” said Washington State Representative Tana Senn of the 41st Legislative District. “Joe Kent and Tiffany Smiley in Congress would be a one-two punch to democracy. As a country with increasing threats to our democracy, from abortion bans and book bans to the curtailing of voting rights and election challenges, we cannot allow extremist candidates to gain power and control of our country.”
“This is the kind of hate that doesn’t solve problems. This is the kind of hate and inaccuracy and incitement that we can’t afford,” said Washington State Representative Sharon Wylie of the 49th Legislative District, which includes Vancouver. “I’ve heard Joe Kent speak and he does nothing to dial it back and talk about coming together and solving problems. We need kindness. We need generosity and we need accuracy. And we don’t have that if we turn our government over to people who engender distrust and division.”
“Regardless of political party, any candidate who has received any sort of kudos from such a monstrous candidate who has shown such white supremacy, they should be able to call them out. I am concerned — but also not surprised — that Tiffany Smiley hasn’t. She has consistently aligned herself with these individuals, both directly and indirectly,” said Jasmine Tolbert, a Southwest Washington resident and President of NAACP Vancouver, appearing in the event in her personal capacity.
“Extremist candidates like Tiffany Smiley and Joe Kent have no desire to govern. They are running to create fear and to live on that fear. It is my earnest request that anyone who listens to this conversation remember that we need to re-elect Patty Murray,” said Ed Hamilton Rosales, an advocate for the immigrant community in Southwest Washington.
ABOUT MAGA CANDIDATE JOE KENT:
- Kent has proudly associated with white nationalists, including hiring a campaign consultant who was a member of the Proud Boys — a far-right, neo-fascist group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a Hate Group.
- Kent has espoused racist conspiracy theories and said there is “nothing wrong with a white people special interest group.”
- In campaign speeches, Kent has promised to impeach Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
- Kent has called for an immigration moratorium.
- Kent, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has said the 2020 election was “stolen” and “rigged.”
- Kent downplayed and spread conspiracy theories about the January 6th insurrection – which he called a “phony riot” — saying “it reeks of an absolute intelligence operation” and “none of this is on President Trump.”
- Kent has said he would hold Anthony Fauci “accountable” for the “scam that is Covid” by bringing criminal charges against Fauci for murder.
- So why hasn’t Tiffany Smiley rejected his public support for her campaign?