Warning: High windy alert. The political conspiracy explanation for Florida hurricanes

In this satellite shot, Hurricane Ian is seen moving toward Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. Two former unsuccessful candidates for U.S. Congress think Ian was a "deep state" attack on Florida. Really.
In this satellite shot, Hurricane Ian is seen moving toward Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. Two former unsuccessful candidates for U.S. Congress think Ian was a "deep state" attack on Florida. Really.

Now that the hurricane season is wrapping up, we here in Florida need to assess the risks going forward.

I’m going to turn this discussion over to DeAnna Lorraine and Lauren Witzke. Both women were unsuccessful candidates for U.S. Congress in 2020 and both have postulated that Hurricane Ian, the hurricane that devastated parts of Southwest Florida in September, was a “deep state” secret attack on the state that had more to do with the political enemies of Gov. Ron DeSantis than with natural weather patterns.

Stay with me. This is going to get deep.

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“These huge hurricanes always seem to target red states, red districts, and always at a convenient time — typically right before elections, or in this case, possibly, because Ron DeSantis has been stepping out of line a lot and challenging and fighting the Deep State,” Lorraine said on her “Shots Fired” web show.

Oh, boy. The Deep State. I warned you.

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Political steering currents?

Lorraine, a QAnon propagator and anti-vaccine activist who ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco, claimed that sinister forces in the federal government “know how to manipulate and create big storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, climate change.”

This goes back to long-running, debunked tales about an actual government-university research partnership program called HAARP — the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program. The Alaska-based project uses high-frequency radio transmitters to heat small pieces of the planet’s upper atmosphere for research done on a scale far too small to affect weather.

Crackpots such as InfoWars’ Alex Jones have long taken huge rhetorical leaps to imply that the government research is really just a secret plot that uses “weather weapons” to generate killer storms to decimate areas of the country populated by their political enemies.

For example, Jones blamed tornadoes in Oklahoma on Oklahomans voting for Republicans.

So, in a way, Lorraine and Witzke are just using an old template to explain Florida’s latest hurricane.

Lorraine suggested on her show that Hurricane Ian was a “weather-manipulated hurricane” used to attack DeSantis.

And Witzke, the guest on her show, agreed, bolstering her opinion by heaping on additional crazy conspiracy theories as proof.

From Hurricanes to vaccines

“They’re literally trying to change people’s DNA through vaccination,” Witzke said. “Of course, they would be willing to do something like this to target red states. I have no doubt.”

Then-Republican U.S. Senate candidate Lauren Witzke speaks during an anti-abortion protest in front of the home of presidential candidate Joe Biden on Oct. 1, 2020, in Greenville, Del.
Then-Republican U.S. Senate candidate Lauren Witzke speaks during an anti-abortion protest in front of the home of presidential candidate Joe Biden on Oct. 1, 2020, in Greenville, Del.

Witzke was the QAnon Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., after she won her party’s primary election.

Witzke is a former co-host of TruNews, a Vero Beach-based news site run by preacher Rick Wiles, who called the impeachment of former President Donald Trump “a Jew coup” and COVID-19 vaccines something that was orchestrated by “Satan’s team on the planet.”

(Witzke became the host of TruNews when the unvaccinated Wiles was hospitalized with COVID-19.)

Witzke’s Senate campaign featured false claims about Coons' underage daughter appearing on photos of Hunter Biden’s laptop and her embrace of white nationalists.

More than 186,000 people in Delaware voted for her, and earlier this year, she spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where she praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his leadership of what she called a Christian nation.

“I identify more with Putin’s Christian values than I do with Joe Biden,” she said at CPAC.

In 2020,  Lauren Witzke was a Republican candidate for Sen. Chris Coons' seat. Nowadays, she believes that Hurricane Ian was a “deep state” secret attack on Florida that had more to do with the political enemies of Gov. Ron DeSantis than with natural weather patterns.
In 2020, Lauren Witzke was a Republican candidate for Sen. Chris Coons' seat. Nowadays, she believes that Hurricane Ian was a “deep state” secret attack on Florida that had more to do with the political enemies of Gov. Ron DeSantis than with natural weather patterns.

So, it’s not surprising that now she thinks that Hurricane Ian is some kind of government plot against Florida to hurt DeSantis.

Yes, it’s world-class stupid but not surprising.

“I’m not putting it past the elites to target something like this towards Florida as punishment for getting rid of vaccine mandates or getting rid of ‘child grooming,’" she said.

“Child grooming” is another fever dream that DeSantis has cultivated to attract LGBT-bigoted voters.

“They are angry with us,” Witzke continued. “And it doesn’t surprise me in the end to find out that the technology does exist, and you’re not supposed to talk about that, and know about that, because it’s controversial or a conspiracy theory.”

I guess if you believe Lorraine and Witzke, the best way to protect yourself from a future Florida hurricane aimed at DeSantis voters would be to move to Broward County.

But that would be crazy.

Frank Cerabino is a columnist at the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at fcerabino@gannett.com. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: The political conspiracy theory of Hurricane Ian's Florida path