What Happened???

Vote Russ Diamond for State Representative

April 13, 2024

Once upon a time, I had no problem standing arm in arm with Doug Mastriano as I did for this photo taken on October 28th, 2020. He and I were inextricably linked in the public eye during the fight against Tom Wolf's Covid lockdowns.

We led rallies together during the early days of the shutdown, and attempted to get the People of our fair Commonwealth to rise up against the heavy hand of an ivory-towered wannabe dictator and his ministerial minions.

I did think it was a little odd when he started parading his wife out before the crowds during rallies held later that year, but I figured 'hey whatever, he's out here fighting the good fight with us.'

Unfortunately, only a month after this photo was taken at Lebanon County Republican headquarters, our paths would diverge as definitively as they converged earlier that year. They diverged because I became cognizant of the fact that Doug was in it for his own benefit, and not for the good of Pennsylvania.

The Breakup Begins

It began on November 23rd when I learned of a capitol restoration project going on in the governor's suite of offices. All furnishings had been cleared out to prepare for that project, yet Doug was still broadcasting his "Where's Wolf?" Facebook live videos where he'd go up to knock on Wolf's office door and no one would answer.

It was good schtick during the Covid lockdowns and it got him a lot of attention. But I wondered if he knew that the office had been purposely vacated in preparation for the restoration, which everyone else I checked with at the capitol seemed to know about. I texted him about it the next day. No response.

Four days later he held his now-infamous Gettysburg hearing on the 2020 election. At that hearing, Rudy Giuliani cited a completely bogus set of numbers about mail-in ballots. I was watching online and knew those numbers were bogus when I heard them because we were monitoring the actual numbers closely in the weeks before the election. But Doug tweeted Giuliani's bogus numbers out as if they were Gospel. Later on, he quietly deleted the tweet but never acknowledged that it was errant.

Around the same time, many Republicans in the General Assembly were attempting to do everything we could legally do to address whatever went wrong with the 2020 election. I personally conferred with hundreds of people, from rank and file Pennsylvania voters to nationally known legal experts, trying to figure out a solution.

Ultimately, I determined that the most the General Assembly could do was raise a red flag with the US Congress and Vice President Mike Pence over election irregularities, as well as prepare for legislative action in response to any potential decision at the federal level to deem Pennsylvania's presidential election as fatally flawed.

Doug disagreed. He fell under the sway of Jenna Ellis, who was pressuring us to swoop in and declare Trump the winner. I couldn't see any legal justification to get us there. Since he and I were still linked in the public eye, I texted Doug again expressing my concerns over our mutual credibility due to the "Where's Wolf?" issue, his tweet of Giuliani's fake numbers, and this legislative matter. No response again.

The Last Straw

Also around that same time, Doug revealed his true colors. A Zoom meeting was held regarding the 2020 election that included about two dozen or so Pennsylvania legislators, including Doug. We were continuing to strategize on what, if anything, we could do in response to an election that many of us believed had gone haywire.

We left that meeting in agreement that we would not take any action until we could gather more information and meet again. But Doug went directly from that meeting to an interview on some national conservative news outlet and blabbed about everything discussed in the meeting.

That was the last straw for me. Doug clearly didn't care about any team effort or working with others. He only cared about getting his name in the headlines. It was at that moment I retrospectively realized that Doug's ego and political aspirations may have been his real motivation for helping to organize the anti-lockdown rallies. Parading his wife around in front of those crowds now made a bit more sense.

And let's face it, his instinct at the beginning of Covid was not to limit the heavy hand of government, but to expand and strengthen it. While I was advocating for the termination of Wolf's disaster emergency a mere eleven days after it was declared, Doug was proposing that we suspend HIPAA and medical privacy by putting the names of Covid victims on a public list.

Revealing the Truth

Months later on March 16, 2021 I relayed my concerns about Doug's "Where's Wolf" broadcasts from outside an empty office suite to a group of citizens here in Lebanon County gathered under the FreePA banner, which was headed by my current primary election opponent.

I tried to say it as delicately as possible but I guess it didn't sit well, as it is now my understanding that my revelation is what precipitated my opponent's initial thoughts about running against me. Someone at that meeting reported that Doug had broadcast another episode that very day, which I found to be outrageous nearly four months later.

The Rest is History

In 2022 Doug ran for governor. I spoke out against his nomination during the primary. I was one of the few who did. I spoke out because I suspected a Mastriano candidacy would cost us the House majority in the fall of 2022. Unfortunately, I was correct. He ran a horrible general election campaign, rejected offers of assistance from me and many others, and then left over a million dollars on the table, an insult to his donors.

In 2023 he floated the notion of running for US Senate. I spoke out against that as well because I didn't want to see a repeat of 2022 in 2024. Mastriano at the top of our Republican ticket would have spelled utter disaster this year.

A Disgraceful Ego Trip

Doug is all about Doug. He couldn't care less about the future of Pennsylvania.

If he did, he wouldn't do disingenuous things like pretend to be looking for Tom Wolf at the door of a clearly vacated office. He wouldn't tweet out bogus numbers about the 2020 election and then quietly delete them without a mea culpa. He wouldn't betray the trust of his colleagues by blabbing publicly about things that were said in a closed meeting, the same behavior that cost him a chairmanship and staff under then-Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman.

With the million-plus dollars he left on the table after his pathetic run for governor, Doug is now continuing to feed his own ego by funding anti-Republican battles across the state. He gave $35,000 to my opponent. He gave another $15,000 to fuel a different primary fight in the Altoona area. He's doing this with money conservative Pennsylvanians gave him to win the governor's race, not to conduct circular firing squads. It's disgraceful.

Mastriano's pride and sour grapes are costing Republicans precious resources that should have been reserved for this fall to win statewide races, protect the Senate majority, and recapture the House majority.

The Bottom Line

So that's what happened. This is why I parted company with Doug Mastriano. A lot of people have asked over the years. I don't enjoy telling this story, but people deserve the truth. There are many more minor details, but this is the crux of it.

Doug Mastriano and I agree on most public policy issues, but he's a charlatan and an egomaniac. I currently have no use for him, and haven't for nearly three and a half years. Neither should anyone else in Pennsylvania - especially the hard working Republican voters here in the 102nd District who he and his sour grapes puppet candidate are trying to dupe.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." – Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)
Russ Diamond

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