Report: Political hack who published photos of Katie Hill worked for GOP opponents

The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube Katie Hill On Gun Safety 1572283019.jpg...
The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

Jennifer van Laar, the political hack who published nude photos of former Representative Katie Hill without her consent at conservative publication RedState.com, as well as at the tabloid The Daily Mail, worked for a Republican candidate who opposed Hill in the past, as reported by Mediaite. Neither publication disclosed that connection.

Right after van Laar, who is the deputy managing editor of RedState, published the stories, she encouraged people to “learn more about” Republican candidate Mike Garcia on social media, as first noted by Politico. In the tweet, she urged people to “help us flip” Hill’s seat. 

Here’s that tweet, which she sent out before Hill actually resigned:

Van Laar also formerly worked for former Representative Steve Knight, who Hill herself unseated in 2018. While it’s not hard to find that van Laar supported Knight (she’s written an op-ed supporting him against Hill, as noted by Salon), the Mediaite report that she actually worked for him is big news. That lack of transparency is a real problem, not to mention the obvious ethical wrongdoing of publishing someone’s nude photos.

Van Laar tweeted encouraging Knight to run again:

Van Laar reportedly also worked for Republican Suzette Valladares as a campaign manager. “Yes, I’m coming on as her campaign manager,” she literally wrote in an email sent with an official email address for the campaign, as obtained and reported by Mediaite. How is Valladares connected? Valladares initially announced she was going to challenge Hill’s seat but dropped out to run for the Santa Clarita GOP assembly seat instead.

As a quick review, Hill resigned after becoming the victim of revenge porn. Rumors about affairs with staff also swarmed around Hill; she admitted to a prior relationship with a campaign staffer, though she denies a relationship with a congressional staffer, the latter of which started a House ethics investigation. Many speculate, including Hill herself, that Hill’s husband, Kenneth Heslep, with whom she’s in the midst of divorce proceedings, leaked the photos. Hill has described him as “abusive” and suggested he was trying to “humiliate” her. He has not issued a statement on the matter.

Joe Messina, a conservative radio host from California, told Playboy correspondent Alex Thomas that he discussed the photos of Hill with the National Republican Congressional Committee before RedState published it. 

George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign adviser and convicted felon who lied to the FBI, sent out a suspicious tweet on Oct. 17, suggesting, “California’s 25th congressional district looks like it’s for the taking.” And wouldn’t you know it, he’s already filed to run for Hill’s seat.

And van Laar? She appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show (of course) and tried to spin the story, saying that she, in fact, was the one being “smeared.” She said she “hopes” Hill doesn’t sue her publications. Hill has promised to fight revenge porn since her resignation.

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

2 Comments on "Report: Political hack who published photos of Katie Hill worked for GOP opponents"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Robert Burnett
Guest
Robert Burnett

Really? You don’t need to be a intelligent to know that. Of course, that’s how the GOP works. God, when are you going to send them back to hell.

chris whitley
Guest
chris whitley

I hope Katie Hill goes after the and sues the crap out of them. Only fitting for what they did. Someone needs to teach them a lesson.