WARNING: We’re going on a brief tour of the dark side of the American character, and Astorino’s Chief of Staff, Phil Oliva, is at the wheel. Links in this post could possibly result in the overwhelming desire to take a shower. The video of Oliva speaking at a meeting in December, 2016 has raised more than a few serious concerns among Astorino Watch readers. After yesterday’s guest blog post on the false conflation of veterans issues with fear-mongering about Syrian refugees, another observant follower unpacks more than just Oliva’s “alternative facts”. Read on, it’s important for all Americans to know this.
Is it appropriate for the County Executive’s Chief of Staff to speak at an event alongside someone who is being funded by an organization labelled as a hate group?
In December, Phil Oliva spoke at a Citizens Against Refugee Resettlement meeting. Journalist and Breitbart contributor James Simpson, also spoke. Along with stoking fears about refugees and immigrants, Simpson plugged his book The Red Green Axis – Refugees, Immigration and the Agenda to Erase America. This book was published by a think tank (The Center For Security Policy) that the Southern Poverty Law Center has on its “Hate Watch” list.
The premise of the book, which was sold at the meeting, and his speech, was this:
Mass migration and colonization seeks to ‘erase America’…diluting the power and the political influence of traditional Americans like us….
Simpson went on to theorize that all this is a conspiracy by the left to gain votes.
For more on Simpson’s book, go HERE.
To see Oliva and Simpson talk about their conspiracy theories, go HERE.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” page is HERE.
For more fun Google some of Simpson’s work. Schedule in some time for shower, sage smudging, or other disinfectant rituals of choice.
The point remains: Phil Oliva, Rob Astorino’s Chief of Staff was not only at an event that touted hatred, fear, and un-Constitutional ideologies, he contributed to the fear with misinformation.
You can tell a lot about a politician by the people he surrounds himself with. This speaks volumes about Rob Astorino. Even if Oliva had remained silent, he would have been complicit in evangelizing Simpson’s hate-speak simply by attending the meeting.
Oliva does more than attend in silence. He is an active participant. Sixteen minutes in, you can hear Astorino’s Chief of Staff fear-mongering when it comes to Syrian refugees. But Oliva doesn’t leave it there – he flat-out lies, stating that the Director of the FBI told him that there is no way to vet refugees.
When it comes to the truth about policy and vetting refugees, once again we have to look to our comedians and not the politicians. Samantha Bee is only one of those who has done genuine research regarding the vetting process of Syrian refugees. Part 1 can be watched HERE, part 2, HERE.
Maybe it’s high time for Phil Oliva and Rob Astorino to join Donald Trump in an “ignorance relief” program, as suggested by Yale historian David Blight. We can’t have policy crafted on ignorance…at least not anymore.
…and it’s all quite puzzling because as the president of Gipper Communications LLC, Oliva should know that when you participate in meeting with a group like Citizens Against Refugee Resettlement and share a stage with the likes of James Simpson, there is guilt by association. Birds of a feather.