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Oct 28, 21

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Suspended from Twitter after Posting Bounty on a Critic

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A failed candidate for governor of California was suspended from Twitter for making “violent threats” after posting a $2,500 bounty; specifically asking for the name and address of a critic from Twitter. Anthony Trimino ran a failed campaign for governor of California during the recall special election this year. As a Republican candidate, he campaigned from the right of front-runner Larry Elder with a focus on anti-masker/anti-vaccine issues. He frequently calls vaccine mandates the greatest attack on “freedom” in US history. Many of his rallies featured Proud Boys and Three Percenters and other far-Right militants in attendance, and several of these rallies resulted in violent clashes.

Anthony Trimino with Three Percenter and gym owner Louis Uridel, (who has a III%ers tattoo on his hand).

Gavin Newsom won the recall election, and out of the candidates voted on: Trimino received 0.4% of the vote. (28,101 votes).

In the lead up to the election, he performed multiple interviews across right-wing social media. He was interviewed by a deputy from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department on her social media influencer page where the two of them discussed making Critical Race Theory, gender studies, and sexual education illegal.

Outside of his political career, Trimino is the CEO of a digital advertising agency called Traffik. In October, his company ran an anti-vaccine ad campaign called “We Are Still Heroes” in major newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle and the Orange County Register.

Both papers received heavy criticisms for posting anti-scientific advertisements next to actual news stories. One critic, who goes by @inminivanhell on Twitter, exposed and outlined the connections to Trimino and Traffik and proved they were the ones in charge of the “We Are Still Heroes” ad campaign. The resulting thread about this connection went viral.

In response to this, Anthony Trimino made a direct and public threat to this Twitter user, offering $2,500 to anyone who could give the name and address of the user. Soon after, Trimino’s account was suspended from Twitter, though the corporate account for Traffik is still up.

Trimino doubled down on his threats. He posted a screenshot of his suspended Twitter account on Instagram and wrote: “This happened today. Small price to pay for standing up and speaking out against social trolls that spread misinformation. We will not back down. We will call them out by name. We will educate, litigate and push back against the noise. We are rewriting the art of war and it requires more than 280 characters anyway.”

Anthony Trimino is emblematic of the mainstreaming of far-Right tactics in conservative circles. We are in an age in which CEO gubernatorial candidates can post public bounties against their critics, with little consequences beyond a Twitter suspension. This is a direct result of deepening ties between mainstream conservatives and far-Right fascists. It’s no accident that Trimino has started utilizing the tactics of his more extreme supporters. Our political landscape incentivizes him to do so.

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Advocacy journalist and documentary filmmaker covering civil rights, police, and far-Right extremism. CashApp/Venmo: $vishalsinghfilms

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