The Republican Party’s main group working to elect governors is running new Facebook ads asking “where should GOP governors send Biden’s buses of illegal immigrants?” The “poll” lists the destinations San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia — the latter two of which are in states currently hosting competitive gubernatorial races.
Poll respondents are brought to a donation page that says “SECURE THE BORDER NOW — PITCH IN!”
The new ads from the Republican Governors Association, a group that receives substantial funding from major corporate brands, reveal that GOP governors are actively trying to raise campaign money off of their recent cruel stunts in which they have sent migrants to East Coast cities, often under false pretenses, in supposed protest against President Biden’s immigration policies.
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The RGA is chaired by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who has sent thousands of migrants from his state on buses to Washington D.C. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently generated headlines for luring migrants in Texas onto planes with the promise of work and shelter and sending them to Martha’s Vineyard. A similar plan to send migrants to Delaware, Biden’s home state, was canceled after the Florida press found out about it.
Major brand-name corporate donors to the RGA include: oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron; health insurers UnitedHealth Group, Centene Corp., and Elevance (Anthem); pharmacy giant CVS Health, which owns health insurer Aetna; and drugmaker Pfizer and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the powerful drug lobby known as PhRMA.
Other big donors include Coca-Cola, Koch Industries, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, tobacco giant Altria, and private prison companies GEO Group and CoreCivic.
In the 2020 election cycle, Facebook donated $116,000 to the RGA, according to data from Political MoneyLine.
The company says that advertisers are expected to comply with Facebook’s community standards, which declare: “We believe that all people are equal in dignity and rights. We expect that people will respect the dignity of others and not harass or degrade others.”
The company’s community standards additionally say: “In an effort to prevent and disrupt offline harm and copycat behavior, we prohibit people from facilitating, organizing, promoting, or admitting to certain criminal or harmful activities targeted at people, businesses, property, or animals.”
The ads targeting migrants launched last week amid escalating scrutiny of DeSantis’ migrant bus stunts, but so far Facebook has not taken them down.