Lou Barletta is a businessman and former congressman who represented Pennsylvania’s 11th district from 2011–19. He attempted a run for governor of Pennsylvania in 2022 but lost to Doug Mastriano in the GOP primary. He also served as the mayor of his hometown of Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
As mayor, Barletta was known for his unusually draconian stance on immigration as the city’s Latino population grew. In 2006, he said he wanted to make Hazleton “the toughest place on illegal immigrants in America.” He later passed the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, which imposed a $1,000-per-day fine on any landlord who rents to an illegal immigrant and revokes the business license (for five years) of any employer who hires one.
In the private sector, Barletta and his wife run a pavement marketing business that he describes as “the largest of its kind in the Commonwealth” of Pennsylvania.
On Dec. 14, 2020, Barletta signed a form as one of 20 fake electors attempting to cast Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes in favor of Trump even though he did not win the 2020 presidential election in the state. He claims that he was signing up to be an elector in case he was “needed” if the Trump campaign’s legal challenges or other fraud investigations were successful.
January 6, 2021
- Barletta and his PAC Leaders Only Unite—or LOU PAC—supported insurrectionist Frank Scavo in his 2019 bid for the Pennsylvania House of Representative. Scavo was convicted and sentenced to 60 days in prison for his role in bussing people to the insurrection at the Capitol.
- Barletta ignored calls to renounce support for Rose Tennent, a conspiracy theorist and apologist for the attack who was present at the Capitol that afternoon and excused it by saying “at some point, people break.” She also said that because the U.S. government was not effectively overthrown, “Satan now has a stronghold on our Nation’s Capital.”
The Big Lie
- Barletta appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast to perpetuate baseless allegations of election fraud, saying that Pennsylvania’s election “was a buffet of irregularities” and that the state “made it actually even easier for dead people to vote.”
- In March 2022, during a campaign stop in his race for governor, Barletta proclaimed: “We know dead people have been voting in Pennsylvania all our lives. Now they don’t even have to leave the cemetery to vote. They can mail in their ballots.”
- Barletta joined fellow Republicans in demanding an audit of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results. In June 2021, he tweeted: “The 2020 Election in Pennsylvania was a mess. Across the Commonwealth many have lost faith in our system. Restoring trust to our electoral process is critical. An audit of 2020 and a reform of our laws including an immediate repeal of Act 77 is crucial to restoring trust.”
- In July 2021, Barletta issues a statement calling for a “full forensic audit” of Pennsylvania’s results.