The U.S. Senate campaign of Lauren Witzke, who is running in the Republican primary for a chance to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, has paid a self-identified monarchist—who once proposed implementing royal rule as a means of driving Jews out of positions of power in the United States—to manage its operations. A long-shot candidate, Witzke is slated to be on the ballot in September’s primary.
Witzke’s campaign has paid Maryland-based political activist Michael Sisco more than $3,500 for “campaign manager services” since January, according to Federal Election Commission records. No other person is listed receiving payments for such services, suggesting Sisco may be Witzke’s sole campaign manager. Sisco said on a May 2019 podcast that he first met Witzke on Facebook; on the same podcast later that year, Witzke credited Sisco and others for her decision to delve into politics.
Sisco made local headlines late last year after he admitted to inviting white nationalist and anti-Semitic podcaster Nicholas Fuentes to speak at an immigration forum where his then-boss, Iowa Republican U.S. House candidate Bobby Schilling, presented. (His current boss, Witzke, was photographed standing and cheering in the crowd at that event and said she was there registering voters.) Following press coverage of Fuentes’ appearance, speakers including Schilling, Iowa state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and two “angel parents” of children killed by immigrants who were in the United States illegally told the Quad-City Times they condemned Fuentes’ views and his appearance. Days later, the Illinois-based ABC-affiliate WQAD8 reported that Schilling fired Sisco.
I had no idea who Fuentes was up until a few minutes ago. His rhetoric is disgusting and I want in no way to be associated with him. His racist anti-Semitic statements do not reflect my own views. I proudly support Israel and I love people of all colors and ethnic backgrounds. https://t.co/az4Xn16Orm
— Bobby Schilling (@BobbySchilling) December 3, 2019
About a month after his termination, Sisco announced that he would be working with Witzke while she campaigned for U.S. Senate in her home state of Delaware. Soon after Sisco became involved, Witzke’s campaign adopted a far-right platform that included a 10-year moratorium on immigration into the United States—a policy agenda long-championed by hate groups like VDARE. Witzke credited her immigration platform to far-right blogger Peter D’Abrosca, whose own hopes of higher office were dashed by his failure to follow the necessary steps to register as a candidate.
Witzke’s campaign, under the presumed direction of Sisco, has explicitly catered to the self-dubbed “America First” white nationalist movement and other extreme elements of the GOP. At this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference at the end of February, the pair shared photos of themselves with far-right activists, including D’Abrosca and Islamophobe Laura Loomer. But Sisco’s sympathy for far-right ideas goes beyond Witzke’s campaign; he has repeatedly argued that the United States should abandon liberal democracy and return to a system of theocratic monarchy.
“The reality is, that Americans are still human, and still persons of European heritage. Royalism, given its historical success and track record, is exactly what America and the West needs to restore it to its former glory,” Sisco wrote in a blog last year.
Witzke does not seem opposed Sisco’s anti-democratic philosophy, as made evident during an episode of Sisco’s podcast last year. Sisco’s co-host, who goes unnamed during the episode, asked Witzke, “Would you like to see Trump as king of the United States?”
“You know, that would be really cool because I really think that he is a man who puts America First, and he is the first president I’ve seen in my lifetime who really puts America first and the people of America first,” Witzke said. “I guess I could get behind Trump, lifelong term, I guess.”
In a blog post last year, Sisco envisioned a “dissident right” takeover of American politics. Originally published on but later deleted from an obscure extreme-right blog, the post featured stylized image art of the white supremacist organizers of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In it, Sisco argued that success of the “dissident” right would require courting the ultra-rich and abandoning racist imagery and language he says offends “sensibilities that have been developed by decades of indoctrination and propaganda.”
“Mob mentality may work for the left, but for us our target audience should be this wealthy elite. They must be convinced that our ideas are better for their long-term profit and sustainability,” Sisco wrote.
Sisco has also coddled and defended far-right, anti-Semitic figures. In May 2019, Sisco hosted far-right writer Michael Witcoff on his podcast to review a manifesto believed to have been written by a young man standing trial for violently attacking a synagogue in California, killing one person, and injuring three. The manifesto reportedly stated the killer’s “disgust” for Jews and his belief that Jews sought to “doom” the white race as the motivation for his attack. Throughout the podcast, Sisco read passages of the shooter’s manifesto attacking Jewish people and asked Witcoff, an ex-Jewish conspiracy theorist, if the shooter’s claims were true. Witcoff often answered in the affirmative.
At one point in the episode, Sisco recited a passage of the manifesto that reads: “I do not care about the debt-based currency that Jews like to pretend is money and the circus that Jewry has used to attempt to pacify [white] people.” Sisco mused, “I do kind of agree with him on the money thing.”
Although neither Sisco or Witcoff said they supported the shooter’s attack, Sisco repeatedly offered sympathy to the shooter’s perceived ills and suggested his own nonviolent solutions. While trying to explain his “basic strategy” of politics, Sisco referenced Adolf Hitler, who he said did not murder Jews until he had secured sovereignty in Germany, and suggested that if the United States instituted monarchy, Jews currently in positions of power may want to leave the country voluntarily.
“If we were to institute a monarchial system and banish the fiat economy and put in a non-fiat currency and ban usury, you know, some people might not really want to stay here anymore. You get what I’m saying? They would voluntarily leave,” Sisco said.
Sisco wrote in a since-deleted tweet in August 2019 that the term white supremacist is “used as a Veil to disguise Jewish supremacy.” Falsely equating Zionism with white supremacy is a common trope among far-right activists.
On Twitter, Sisco has repeatedly shared and engaged with far-right content from content creators including Fuentes, Scott Greer, Jesse Lee Peterson, Michelle Malkin, Pat Buchanan, and VDARE. He has also praised the work of E. Michael Jones, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, and has hosted him on his podcast. Sisco has engaged and defended individuals associated with the “groyper” iteration of the white nationalist youth movement, specifically Fuentes, whom Sisco has called a “solid guy.”
After Fuentes was permanently suspended from YouTube in February for violating site rules against hate speech, Sisco tweeted: “It is time for traditionalists and conservatives to go on the offensive. We can’t afford to hide. We can turn the cultural tide with boldness and courage. You will get fired. You’ll also find other jobs. You will sacrifice much. You will save your culture.”
Sisco uploaded videos of himself last year attending a “Straight Pride” parade in Boston that was reportedly put together by an organizer from a far-right group founded by notorious protest brawler Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman. Months earlier, Sisco had authored a blog post that declared the LGBTQ community was “nothing short of a major public health crisis.”
When reached by email, Sisco declined multiple opportunities to elaborate on any of his remarks or answer any questions about how he became involved with Witzke’s campaign, and instead accused our publication of aligning with Sen. Coons in order “to defend our increasingly precarious world financial system which has been designed by people like George Soros to screw over ordinary people while billionaire hedge fund financiers get rich on the backs of the working class.” (You can read RWW’s mission statement here.)
How to Fight Antisemitism, a collaborative project of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action and Jews Against White Nationalism dedicated to tracking GOP figures and groups promoting anti-Semitism and fascism, noted in May that Sisco appeared to threaten researchers and reporters, including this Right Wing Watch employee.
“We can give them a taste of their own medicine. Confirming residential addresses…” Sisco tweeted.
Witzke has taken her own extreme positions. Media Matters includes Witzke in its ongoing list of candidates who have voiced support of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Last year, RWW reported that Witzke spoke at an event where she said that the Lord had anointed Trump.
Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona—who has his own longtime ties to far-right nationalists—has endorsed Witzke. Gosar tweeted that the “nation, our workers, our families and our Constitution could really use” Witzke in the U.S. Senate.
— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) May 12, 2020
Witzke has appeared on Breitbart News’ SiriusXM Patriot programming to criticize former Vice President Joe Biden and has been featured on the outlet for joining a church service earlier this month that defied Delaware’s social distancing orders. In February, Witzke said on Twitter that Delaware GOP members “have been really good” to her.
Bend the Arc condemned Witzke’s campaign. “Lauren Witzke’s campaign manager discussing the removal of Jewish people from the United States is part of a growing trend of Nazi sympathizing and white nationalism from the Republican Party,” a spokesperson for Bend the Arc told RWW. “Lauren Witzke has a history of working with antisemites and Holocaust deniers, so it’s no surprise her campaign manager is on the record fantasizing about forcing Jewish Americans from our homes. This is only the latest example of how white nationalists are using the Republican Party under Donald Trump to swiftly move from the margins into the mainstream.”
Multiple requests for interviews sent to the Iowa GOP, the Delaware GOP, the Schilling campaign, and the Witzke campaign were unreturned at the time of publication.