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‘Show me your friends and I will show you who you are’ is a bilingual campaign built on the fact that Republicans have decided that in order to get to power, they must enable their extremist friends and be complicit in the racism and violence they foment towards migrants. It’s a campaign built on the Latino phrase that many in our community know: those we keep near speak volumes about who we are.

As we’ve noted, leading Republicans and vocal members of the Party have embraced hateful conspiracy theories to stoke fear and chaos in order to gain or cling to power. Many employ the same language and ideas in their campaigns as the torch-wielding racists in Charlottesville and the mass murderers who attacked Pittsburgh, El Paso, and Buffalo. Even as these horrific mass murders have made clear the racist ideas that inspire them, Republican leaders have doubled down or have embraced a posture of cowardly silence towards those in their party that echo similar racist rhetoric

We have also seen an increase in the number of Republicans who, in their effort to appeal to Latino voters, distort their true positions on issues of great importance to this community, like immigration. They pretend they are champions of the community, yet embrace a Republican Party that actively undermines real solutions on immigration, proposes mass deportations, and many other important issues.

This campaign seeks to expose and hold these candidates accountable because— unless Republican candidates actively and publicly stand up to their friends’ dangerous ideas—they too are responsible for the dangerous and racist rhetoric that make our communities less safe.


What is the Show Me Your Friends campaign?

Show Me Your Friends is a bilingual campaign that seeks to educate and hold Republican candidates accountable for the reckless extremism the party from the leadership on down has embraced. Unless Republican candidates actively and publicly push back on their friends’ dangerous ideas, they too are responsible for the dangerous and racist lies that make our communities less safe.

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Who is the Show Me Your Friends campaign targeting?

Initially, we are targeting the ten Republicans running in battleground districts: Rep. Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06), Rep. John Duarte (CA-13), Rep. Mike Garcia (CA-27), Rep. David Valadao (CA-22), Rep. Monica De La Cruz (TX-15), Rep. Jen Kiggans (VA-02), Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05), Rep. Mike Lawler  (NY-17), Republican Candidate Derrick Anderson (VA-07), and Republican Candidate Mayra Flores (TX-34). However, every Republican candidate that is running for office this cycle must publicly refute the reckless and dangerous lies from other Republicans or they too become responsible for those efforts.

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What is the Republican agenda on immigrants?

Republicans used to embrace immigrants and refugees. Not anymore. Now, the Republican plan is to use the military for mass round-ups and deportation of our neighbors, family and friends. That’s not hyperbole. That’s based on the statements from Trump and his top advisors. The GOP is the party of Trumpism and nativism with an agenda on immigration based on ideas pushed by white nationalist hate groups and extremists like Stephen Miller. While some Republican candidates still pretend they will be good stewards of our communities’ safety and prosperity, they are endangering their communities. The party leadership will deny citizenship, deport Dreamers, block all refugees, and waste billions more on the same failed cruelty and chaos approach that led to separating families and putting kids in cages.

Now, the Republican leadership continues pushing the reckless and dangerous idea that refugees seeking safety in America constitute an “invasion” as part of a plot to replace white people. This lie leads to violence. The domestic terrorists who committed mass murder against Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Mexicans at a Walmart in El Paso, and Blacks in Buffalo did so, according to their written screeds,  because of this “invasion” rhetoric. Some even accuse policymakers of admitting immigrants to America in order to “replace white Americans.” These are dangerous conspiracy theories. Legitimizing this kind of talk puts innocent people at risk simply because of the God they pray to or the color of their skin.

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What dangerous messages are Republicans pushing?

Republicans have engaged in immigration and border hysteria for decades. But, their rhetoric has become more sinister and dangerous over the past few years.


Republicans from the leadership on down have begun to push the absurd notion that people seeking safety in America are somehow an “invasion.” That kind of rhetoric already had a death count. The gunman who killed 11 people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2018, the gunman who killed 23 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, and the gunman who killed 11 in Buffalo, New York, in 2022, were all inspired by that lie. The gunman who attacked El Paso had posted an anti-Latino screed in which he said the attack was a response to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The mass murderer who attacked Buffalo warned about an “invasion” over ten times in the racist ramblings he wrote before killing 11 people.

Replacement Theory

The white nationalist “replacement theory” is a pernicious and racist lie that has its origins in the eugenics movement and with antisemitic themes. It falsely claims that there is an intentional and coordinated plot to undermine democracy by replacing the voting power of whites through an invasion of non-white immigrants from the global south.

This conspiracy theory, which used to be limited to the racist fringes, has repeatedly inspired deadly mass violence. It first received broader notice after violent torch-wielding racists marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, chanting “Jews will not replace us,” a weekend that ended in the murder of Heather Heyer. But this once-fringe and deadly conspiracy theory is now a central organizing principle of the GOP’s midterm strategy. It is being mainstreamed by the loudest voices in right-wing media, led by Tucker Carlson, and echoed by an alarming range of Republican elected officials and candidates.

Election Lies

The Republicans in leadership have been all too willing to go along with the former President’s blatant and racist lies about the 2020 election. These are lies that led to a deadly coordinated attack on the United States Capital to try to overturn the results of the election.

But all their election lies about 2020 or replacing white voters are not just concerning for the violence
they inspire but also from the counter-majoritarian project it looks to advance. One tries to undermine the legitimacy of our democracy, while the core part of the other posits that new immigrants who are ineligible to vote are undermining elections by casting illegitimate votes. While this phenomenon does not actually occur, it is a powerful fiction to justify further unnecessary barriers to citizens exercising their right to vote.

Increasingly, the Republican Party leadership is pushing the false idea that immigrants are stealing elections and creating the context for their supporters to deny results they do not like by blaming immigrants. This creates a serious threat to our democracy and the right of citizens to participate in elections.

These candidates are all silent on these dangerous lies coming from their powerful friends leading the Republican Party.

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What about candidates who say people are voting for them, not their party?

That doesn’t hold anymore. The days of independent-minded Republicans are long gone. That is especially true in the U.S. House of Representatives, where leadership makes the decisions. So, a vote for a Republican is a vote for Republican leadership in the House. In fact, the first vote a new member would make is for the Speaker of the House. Of note, the seven Members targeted all voted to make Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana the Speaker of the House, who had repeatedly promoted the deadly white nationalist replacement theory. Many of the target Members have provided key votes for extreme anti-immigrant legislation promoted with those same anti-democratic and white nationalist conspiracy theories.

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What do you want these candidates to do?

Refute. Reject. Denounce. Otherwise, they are complicit.

We haven’t seen anything like that from any of the candidates. Instead, we see a full embrace of the GOP and its orthodoxy.

While GOP House candidates may not want voters to know what their prospective colleagues are saying, we do. Many GOP candidates hope most voters are unaware of the radicalization that has led the Republican Party to embrace white nationalist conspiracy theories that have been deadly to our communities.

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