Billboard campaign calls on Stefanik to resign

Seen here is a mock-up of billboards that are scheduled to go up Wednesday in Queensbury and Fort Ann asking U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, to resign because of her efforts to challenge the presidential election. The group behind the billboard campaign, the Republican Accountability Project, said the actions of lawmakers to cast doubt on the election incited the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Contributed photo

Two billboards calling on U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, to resign because of her efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election are scheduled to go up Wednesday.

The Republican Accountability Project is putting up the billboards in Queensbury and Fort Ann that say: “You Lied About the Election. The Capitol Was Attacked. Stefanik: Resign.”

The Queensbury billboard is located on Route 9 about 1,000 feet north of the intersection with Quaker Road and faces north. The Fort Ann one is on Route 149 facing east and is located 6.5 miles east of Route 9.

The project is funded by Republicans and is targeting lawmakers who raised objections during the certification on Jan. 6 of the Electoral College results in battleground states won by Democratic President Joe Biden over Republican former President Donald Trump.

That certification process was halted when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, fighting with officers and damaging property. Five people died in the attack.

Trump is facing a second impeachment trial on a charge of insurrection for inciting the riot.

The billboards were supposed to go up in both locations Monday, but there was a delay in printing them and installing them because of the weather, according to Meaghan Leister, spokeswoman for the Defending Democracy Together organization, of which the Republican Accountability Project is one component.

“Among too many other Republican members of Congress, Representative Stefanik helped incite the attack on the Capitol by spreading lies about the election, which proves she is unfit to hold office t and should be nowhere near power,” Leister said in an email.

The Republican Accountability Project said on its website that the attacks were “directly incited by Trump and the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Congress who had been falsely claiming, for months — and in the immediate moments before the attack — that the election had been stolen from Trump.”

“This was the lie that motivated the attack on the Capitol. We cannot allow it to persist. It erodes Americans’ faith in the integrity of our electoral system. It creates more opportunity for violence from radical actors who have been told by elected officials that the election was stolen from them. And it threatens the very democracy we all cherish,” the mission statement continued.

The goal of the project is to support Republicans in Congress for standing up to party leaders’ claims of fraud in the election; work to defeat those representatives who tried to overturn the election; and push back against conspiracy theories about rigged elections.

Among its directors are conservative columnist Bill Kristol and Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican governor of New Jersey.

The campaign is also targeting senators including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; House Minority Leader and U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Stefanik senior adviser Alex DeGrasse called the billboard “pathetic.”

“Congresswoman Stefanik is focused on delivering COVID relief to North Country families, small businesses and schools. The Never-Trump movement is doing all they can to distract the press from their massive sexual abuse and harassment scandal, but putting a pathetic billboard in a town we won by 35% two months ago is certainly next level desperation,” he said in an email.

DeGrasse was referring to The Lincoln Project, which is a group of anti-Trump Republicans. One of the group’s co-founders, John Weaver, has been accused of sexually harassing young men looking to get into politics.

“No one cares about these billboards except for the media,” he said.

DeGrasse’s figures are off. Stefanik won the town of Queensbury with 54% of the vote compared with 46% for Cobb. In Fort Ann, Stefanik won 69% to 31%.

DeGrasse went on to say that leftist organizations, Never Trumpers and other political action committees spent nearly $7 million to try to defeat Stefanik. She was re-elected to a fourth term with what he claimed was the highest number of votes of any congressional candidate in the history of the North Country.

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