Sharron Angle’s latest immigration mailer (pictured at right) hitting Nevada voters’ homes is at least as explicit in its race-baiting and stereotyping as its fear-mongering TV cousin.
When the Angle campaign’s immigration ads first came out, Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said:
This ad will go down in history as one of the most blatantly racist television ads of the 2010 cycle. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it before – politicians stirring the pot and stoking racial fears to scare up votes in the final weeks of an election. It brings back bad memories of the Willie Horton ad in 1988. The parallels between her campaign and that of former California Governor Pete Wilson are striking—and will do irrevocable harm to the Nevada Republican Party with Latinos for generations to come.
Via Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel:
The language in this mailer is similar to an ad Angle released last month, also calling Reid the “best friend an illegal alien ever had.” The ad featured menacing men with flashlights walking along a chain-link fence beside images of innocent-looking families and working people. “Illegals sneaking across our border, putting Americans’ safety and jobs at risk,” the ad’s narrator intoned.
The ad was so controversial that Tibi Ellis, who chairs the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus and occasionally “moonlights as a spokeswoman for Sharron Angle,” denounced it. “I condemned this type of propaganda, no matter who is running them, where they blame Mexicans as the only problem and where they attack them as the only source of illegal immigration,” said Ellis. “I don’t agree with that.”
Angle’s campaign also recently released another ad on immigration, using the same picture of flashlight-wielding men, but also three scowling Latino men (who aren’t actually undocumented immigrants). The Wonk Room’s Andrea Nill pointed out that the three men were from the same stock photo used in an ad by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.).
The piece cites a Reid spokesperson who dismisses the ad’s claims and includes a quote from our Political Director, Adam Luna:
“Sharron Angle is going way over the line with her anti-Latino campaign ads,” said Adam Luna, political director of America’s Voice. “While claiming to target the issue of unauthorized immigration, her campaign puts out a mailer demonizing the entire country of Mexico and her television ads paint a sinister picture of Dream Act-eligible youth who are, in reality, the poster children for the American success story. This is race-baiting at its worst, just like the Bush ‘Willie Horton’ ad or the Jesse Helms ‘hands’ ad. But in a state like Nevada, with its growing Latino population, this sort of thing may very well come back to bite Nevada Republicans where it hurts.”
In fact, Latino community leaders are already pushing back on the ads.