McLinko-Bannon

This screenshot was used during Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko’s appearance on Steve Bannon’s radio show on Wednesday.

Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko had some harsh words on Wednesday for Republican State Sen. Gene Yaw and the entire Pennsylvania State Legislature during an appearance on former White House Strategist Steve Bannon’s radio show War Games: Pandemic.

Bannon, who was charged in October with mail fraud and money laundering in connection with the “We Build The Wall” campaign, spoke with McLinko about the 2020 election and the Bradford County Freedom Rally the commissioner is hosting today.

“We’re pissed up here, Steve, to say the least. And you know one of the best exercises that you have done, that I have learned, is that our state legislature isn’t just the only weak-kneed bunch of sissies in the United States. It’s refreshing to know that they are all pretty freaking terrible,” McLinko said in his opening statement on the show.

McLinko then went after Yaw, who spoke out on the alleged election fraud on Monday with an editorial to local media.

In that editorial, Yaw wrote “We have all heard about ‘100’s of affidavits’ or ‘stacks of affidavits’ supporting the talk about fraud and irregularities. For whatever reason, however, none of this supporting proof or testimony from witnesses has been presented in any of the court proceedings. Saying a problem exists is easy. Proving a problem exists is difficult. Repeatedly saying a problem exists is not proof of existence.”

McLinko was not thrilled with the last statement in that paragraph, which was also used in the headline of an article in Tuesday’s Morning Times.

“I’d like to read you the headline of one of our daily papers here in Bradford County, which by the way is the capital of deplorables and we’re darn proud of it. Senator Yaw, our state senator, on election fraud: repeatedly saying a problem exists is not proof of existence. What in the world is that?” McLinko said.

The commissioner then went after the entire Pennsylvania Legislature, which passed election reform in 2019 with almost unanimous support from McLinko’s own party. The law passed 35-14 (27-0 among Republicans) in the Senate, and 164-35 (105-2 among Republicans) in the House.

“We’re mad. We have a rally coming, and Steve, we thank you guys for what you are doing ... We expect that anybody that voted for Act 77 — which started the Keystone steal, because without this state doing what they did the rest of the country couldn’t have followed suit and stole it — they should step down. We’re mad,” McLinko said.

Bannon then asked McLinko to explain the bill to his audience.

“What they did in October (of 2019), before the pandemic, they voted for the mail-in voting. They just voted so people could just mail in and of course the Republicans, they always kiss the ring finger of the Democrats, the libs ... and I couldn’t believe they did it,” McLinko said.

“And then, you know (they said) ‘it’s good, we’re going to get rid of the straight party ballot and all of that.’ And then what happened, our emperor Wolf goes to work and they take all the protections away that the constitution has on the vote. The signature, the post mark, all of it and then the steal started right here. I can’t believe that those people did that, we can’t (believe it), we’re mad,” he added.

Both Yaw and State Rep. Tina Pickett, also a Republican, voted for the legislation.

Bannon said he believed Republicans in the state wanted to get rid of straight party voting so they could abandon President Donald Trump.

“We want to disaggregate ourselves from that. This was the beginning of them saying, ‘hey, Trump got us through 2016, we don’t like this guy’s style, he’s not a standard stock Republican,’” Bannon said on what Pennsylvania Republicans were thinking. “It was the trade-off they did. They were prepared to trade off mail-in ballots to break the straight party ticket situation. This shows you how corrupt (it is), and this is why they don’t want to bring it up today. This is why they are hiding under every rock possible.”

While speaking about the rally in Towanda, McLinko talked to Bannon about topics like the COVID-19 related “lockdowns” put in place by the Wolf Administration.

“All the lockdowns, we are sick of them, we’re ready to fight back and we’re going to,” McLinko said.

At the end of the interview, after Bannon called McLinko “a hero,” the county commissioner took one last shot at Yaw.

“And this Gene Yaw guy, he couldn’t get Sister Rose to help change his tire if he gets a flat up here right now, just so you know,” McLinko said.

Sen. Yaw responded to McLinko’s comments on Bannon’s show on Thursday.

“I think it is too bad that Commissioner McLinko must resort to silly comments. He knows very well what is meant by those who repeatedly say something which is not true with the idea that if you say it enough times it will be believable,” Yaw told the Morning Times. “I really do not understand McLinko’s comment about Sister Rose. Is this someone I am supposed to know? If it is meant to show that I could not get votes in Bradford County, perhaps the commissioner could explain why I received more votes in Bradford County than President Trump.”

Pat McDonald can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 228 or editor@morning-times.com. Follow Managing Editor Pat McDonald on Twitter @PatMcDonaldMT.

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