Wall Street Journal:TV Ad Stirs Controversy in Minnesota House Race

Wall Street Journal

TV Ad Stirs Controversy in Minnesota House Race

Democratic party officials are alleging that a Republican television ad intentionally darkens the skin tone of Indian-American Democratic candidate Ashwin Madia in a closely contested Minnesota congressional race.

The ad was produced by the National Republican Congressional Committee in support of Republican candidate Erik Paulsen, who is running against Madia for an open seat in the state’s third district.

In an election year when racial issues have reverberated nationally, critics of the ad say it crosses the line between hardball campaigning and something with a more insidious intent.

While the Madia campaign is carefully avoiding making charges that race is involved, Minnesota Democratic officials and a veteran’s group charge that the ad darkens Madia’s pigmentation in three photos.

“It might be possible to dismiss these actions as a customary, yet unfortunate aspect of negative advertising,” said Eric S. Fought, associate communications director of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party. But he said that he believed viewers would “know what Paulsen and his allies intended with darkening the images of Madia.” The Paulson campaign didn’t return calls.

Press secretary Ken Spain of the NRCC, which makes ads and buys time for a number of Republican congressional candidates, said the photos were not darkened at all, much less intentionally. ”These assertions are profoundly ridiculous and false,” he said

The NRCC ad plays off of one of Madia’s own ads, in which the Democratic candidate, a lawyer and former Marine who served in Iraq, runs through his community in a “Marines” sweatshirt. In the NRCC’s version, a narrator suggests Madia is “running to raise taxes.” Viewers see what Democratic party officials say appears to be darkened footage of the candidate jogging as well as the photos in question.

Latino Politico: Barack the “47-year-old mulato”

Latino Politico

Barack the “47-year-old mulato”

Take Arizona’s Congressional District 7 for example. This is the second time Joe Sweeney will appear as the Republican candidate facing off with Democratic incumbent Raúl Grijalva:

The Republican Party does not endorse Sweeney, a rapid opponent of illegal immigration who calls Interstate 19, between Tucson and Nogales a “Whore-i-dor” and who says illegal immigrants outnumber U.S. citizens in the 7th Congressional District.

He also complains on behalf of “Anglo-Saxon women who say they are discriminated against because they are not bilingua

Minn. Campaign Report: NRCC/Paulsen attack ad: ‘a betrayal of what Minnesota politics is all about’

Minn. Campaign Report

NRCC/Paulsen attack ad: ‘a betrayal of what Minnesota politics is all about’

This story is going to dominate the rest of this campaign’s news cycle: The National Republican Campaign Committee, operating on behalf of Erik Paulsen’s campaign, darkening photos of Democratic candidate Ashwin Madia to instill fear of the Other in voters.

A Republican attack ad invites viewers to “meet the real Ashwin Madia,” but the still photos featured in the spot present a noticeably darker version of the 3rd District DFL congressional candidate.”At least three of the photos of Madia were obviously darkened, using one method or another,” public affairs and media consultant Dean Alger told KARE 11.

He said the viewing public has grown accustomed to hearing distorted claims, or statements and votes used out of context. However, Alger asserts the altered images of Madia, the son of Indian immigrants, crosses a line.

“There is an attack ad tactic that goes beyond distortion, and frankly, is a betrayal of what Minnesota politics is all about.”

It’s been done on the presidential level against Obama, and now it’s being done against Madia. I particularly like, though, that the Republicans are unwilling to let their viewers know that Madia is a Marine veteran who served honorably in Iraq — God forbid they actually discuss important issues like the economic and human impact of our continued involvement in Iraq. God forbid they compare Madia’s real experience with world affairs to Erik Paulsen’s travelogue and tired rhetoric about Congress being broken.No, instead, they play dog whistle politics on race.

RedState: Nancy Pelosi and Chris Van Hollen’s DCCC makes $84,000 ad buy in attempt to save Murtha from himself


Nancy Pelosi and Chris Van Hollen’s DCCC makes $84,000 ad buy in attempt to save Murtha from himself

Two weeks ago, John Murtha (D-PA), the Vietnam veteran who is currently being suedby two former Marines for slandering them on national television as “cold-blooded killers,” let his “tolerant man of the people” mask slip and told his constituents outright what he thought of them: that they’re pathetic, dirty, unrepentant and unvarnished racists (video below).

Now, Congressional Democrat leaders are fighting to save his seat, dropping $84,000 on a Pittsburgh ad buy designed to smear Murtha’s Iraq war veteran Republican opponent worse than Murtha has already smeared himself.


Nashville Post Politics: You’re A Racist All Day

Nashville Post Politics

You’re A Racist All Day

Jake Ford on his race for the Ninth Congressional district:

Though Ford says comments he made earlier this year indicating the 9th District should be represented by a black candidate were misunderstood, he did say, “As far as I’m concerned, black people should vote together as a special interest group. If that makes me racist, then call me a racist all day.”

National Review: Michelle Malkin: Booting John Murtha

National Review: Michelle Malkin

Booting John Murtha

On Thursday, a new poll by Dane and Associates put Russell ahead of Murtha by 48-35. A separate Susquehanna poll released Wednesday put entrenched incumbent Murtha up over Russell by just a little more than 4 percentage points. That’s within the poll’s 4.9-point margin of error. Murtha’s in so much trouble he decided to cut and run from a scheduled debate with Russell last week.

Lesson: Slander has consequences. 

Last week, Murtha derided his own constituents as racial bigots. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “There’s no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area.” It’s a sentiment Murtha’s man Barack Obama infamously voiced at a San Francisco fundraiser in April, when he said small-town Pennsylvanians were “bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” After initially backing away from his Obama-inspired trashing of Pennsylvania voters, Murtha dug a deeper hole — telling a Pittsburgh television station that “this whole area, years ago, was really redneck.”

Bull. As Pennsylvania political analyst Ryan Shafik at the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research points out, rural central and western Pennsylvania voters turned out in droves to support black GOP gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann in 2006. In fact, Shafik reminds Democratic race-baiters, “The areas populated by conservative whites voted for Lynn Swann. It was the areas filled with moderate-to-liberal whites and large black populations that voted overwhelmingly against Lynn Swann.” 

Of course, black Republicans aren’t really black in the eyes of the intolerant Left — which speaks volumes about the unrepentant prejudices of the race-card players. In the Democratic Party, diversity is and always will be only skin deep.

Washington Independent: ‘Real’ Pennsylvanians & the Murtha Backlash

Washington Independent

‘Real’ Pennsylvanians & the Murtha Backlash

Longtime Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Johnstown, Pa., is still revered in many circles for speaking out early against the Iraq war. But conservatives think he might be vulnerable this year because of his recent observation that “there is no question that Western Pennsylvania is a racist area.”

Murtha was explaining why he thought Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, faced a tough fight in that part of the state — though he expected Obama to win Pennsylvania. Later, Murtha inflamed voters even more when he noted that he actually meant to say people in his district were ” redneck” rather than “racist.”

Republicans were quick to jump on his remarks. Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential nominee, cited Murtha’s remarks at a rally this week in Moon, Pa. McCain mangled his delivery a bit, but still managed to declare that “Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most God-loving, most patriotic part of America.”

Minnesota Independent: Census data puts lie to Paulsen camp’s ‘demographics’ line

Minnesota Independent

Census data puts lie to Paulsen camp’s ‘demographics’ line

Is the Republican Party of Minnesota unaware of current demographics in the West Metro congressional district it has held for 50 years? U.S. Census data suggests that the suburban-identity politics that Republicans advanced last week writes off a third or more of the 3rd district’s residents.


Republican officials claim the 3rd district’s demographic makeup makes their candidate — state Rep. Erik Paulsen, a married-with-children homeowner — better suited to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad (R) than DFLer Ashwin Madia, a single, childless renter.

After Republicans made their demographics case last week — particularly state party chair Ron Carey’s statement that 3rd district voters should like Paulsen best because he’s “one of them”– reporters pressed questions about a racial or ethnic undercurrent to the argument. The topic is too hot to touch — Madia, the son of immigrants from India, said he didn’t hear it, while Paulsen’s allies denied it — but for what it’s worth, the candidates’ racial backgrounds are shared across the 3rd district’s population to starkly different extents, as reflected in U.S. Census figures:

Total population (one race and more than one race): 664,769
White: 83 percent (553,342)
Asian Indian: 1.3 percent (8,350

Sepia Mutiny: Minnesota Republicans on Ashwin Madia: “Not one of us

Sepia Mutiny

Minnesota Republicans on Ashwin Madia: “Not one of us”

Just a quick post, to highlight something that I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about in the weeks to come. We’re starting to see racially-tinged rhetoric against an Indian-American candidate for U.S. Congress:

It seems to me that the officials at this press event know exactly what they’re saying, though they nevertheless deny the racist and xenophobic thrust of their comments: “From a demographic standpoint, Erik Paulson fits the district very well.”

I do not know whether the Republican Party in Minnesota is going to start running ads along these lines or not. If not, perhaps this isn’t really all that important. But the rhetoric here just feels too deliberate to be merely a one-off event or an accident. That said, if they’re sinking to this level, Madia must be doing something right.

Essence Roland Martin Report: Angry white man Bill O’Reilly loses it with Rep. Barney Frank

Essence Roland Martin Report

Angry white man Bill O’Reilly loses it with Rep. Barney Frank

Fox’s lead pitbull, Bill O’Reilly, decided to have a screaming match with Congressman Barney Frank, head of the House Banking Committee, regarding Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the impending bailout.

If you want to watch a guy behave like a total nut, have at it. So since I get emails from folks saying I’m an angry black man, can we truly call O’Reilly a terribly angry white man.