Bring It On: Lee “Willie Horton” Atwater Comes to Washington State

Bring It On

Lee “Willie Horton” Atwater Comes to Washington State

He may be dead (rot in Hell scumbag) but his ghost is all over the map.

It’s hard to believe that a liberal state like Washington might be sending a Republican to the Governor’s Mansion. The two candidates are running neck and neck. If you live within broadcasting range of Washington, you’re undoubtedly sick to death of their TV commercials.

Republican Dino Rossi is running against Democratic incumbent Christine Gregoire. The same two candidates ran against each other four years ago; it was possibly the closest election in American history. After several recounts, Gregoire won by a handful of votes. There’s been a lot of bitterness and accusations and countercharges since then.

Washington isn’t a swing state. I haven’t yet seen any TV ads about McCain or Obama. Instead we’re getting bombarded with jillions of commercials for Rossi and Gregoire.

But anyway, about Lee Atwater: Dino Rossi’s newest tactic is to exploit a massive bureaucratic fuckup that had nothing to do with the governor. The state government has lost the addresses of 1,300 paroled/released sex offenders. This is intolerable, and heads need to roll.

And now the Republican Governors Association has spent $2 million on a “Willie Horton” campaign to blame Christine Gregoire. Letters (with grisly photos) have been sent out to hundreds of thousands of Washington households. It’s a combination of fear tactics (“this swarthy predator is loose in YOUR neighborhood!”) and the Atwater School of Character Assassination.

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HuffPo: McCain Co-Chair Calls Obama “A Guy Of The Street,” Raises Drug Use

HuffPo

McCain Co-Chair Calls Obama “A Guy Of The Street,” Raises Drug Use

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, a McCain campaign co-chairman, edged up to an explicitly racial attack on Barack Obama on Thursday, describing the Illinois Senator as a “guy of the street” before raising his youthful drug use.

Appearing on Dennis Miller’s radio show, Keating charged that the Democratic nominee was covering up his “very extreme” record, and urged Obama to be more honest with Americans. “He ought to admit,” Keating said, “‘You know, I’ve got to be honest with you. I was a guy of the street. I was way to the left. I used cocaine. I voted liberally, but I’m back at the center.'”

Keating began to address Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright — a topic that John McCain himself has said should be off-limits — but Miller interrupted him to return to the discussion of cocaine.

Listen to the audio here.

WashPost The Trail: McCain Campaign Co-Chair: ‘Guy of the Street’ Obama Should ‘Come Clean’ About Past Drug Use

WashPost The Trail

McCain Campaign Co-Chair: ‘Guy of the Street’ Obama Should ‘Come Clean’ About Past Drug Use

Former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating, a co-chair of Sen. John McCain’s campaign, called Sen. Barack Obama “very extreme” on a radio show Thursday and raised the issue of Obama’s drug use.

“He ought to admit, ‘You know, I’ve got to be honest with you. I was a guy of the street’,” Keating said. “‘I was way to the left. I used cocaine. I voted liberally, but I’m back at the center.'”

Keating made the comments on the radio show of comedian Dennis Miller.

Miller, a conservative, offered a long critique of Obama, calling him “the most liberal guy” and saying that the “obfuscation” and “smoke and mirrors” surrounding his campaign were “Clintonesque.”

“He’s starting to treat me like an idiot, too, when he’s blowing this smoke my way,” Miller said. “He ought to just come clean and say, ‘Listen, I came up through Chicago. You make some errors there.’ I’d almost be able to absolve it more easily then.”

Miller did correct Keating on the accusation of Obama hiding his drug use.

“Wait, I’ve got to jump in Frank. He has copped to the blow use, right?” Miller said, referring to Obama’s admission of cocaine use in his autobiography. “I mean, he did so in his own book he said he did blow.”

“Oh yes, he did,” Keating said.

Latino Journal: Political mailer by police union stirs hate against Latinos

Latino Journal

Political mailer by police union stirs hate against Latinos

Richmond police union mailer draws fire
By Karl Fischer West County Times 10/02/2008

Richmond’s police union considered carefully before weighing in on the city’s controversial program of driver’s license traffic checkpoints, which detractors claim unfairly targets Latino motorists.

That effort showed in a four-page political flier that appeared in mailboxes across Richmond this week, stuffed with arguments supporting a pair of City Council candidates who support checkpoints and excoriating two who do not.

The mailer, which loosely connects local efforts to curb unlicensed drivers with the violence of Latin American drug cartels, now earns strong condemnation from both supporters and opponents of the checkpoints for what many consider a racist attack.

For example: “A pile of 11 headless bodies was recently discovered in the on-going (sic) orgies of violence!”

Officer Kevin Martin, president of the Richmond Police Officers Association, says he’s no racist. Rather, he said, the mailer seeks to expose Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and two council candidates she supports, Jovanka Beckles and Jeff Ritterman, for wanting “to identify a special class of people who are exempt from the rule of law.”

“And that is wrong,” Martin said. “I want to stress that the POA does not target or identify Latinos in any way, shape or form, and the checkpoints are not race-specific. But it is interesting that the only time they gain any notoriety is when we hold them on the west side of town,” heavily populated by Latinos and blacks

The mailer includes:

# The statement that “Most of the drugs sold in Richmond come across the Mexican border and are driven into Richmond by Latino drug dealers,” according to a testimonial from Martin. Police Chief Chris Magnus said that statement lacks empirical support.

# An arrow pointing at Richmond on a map, with the phrases, “Mexican drug dealers,” “Honduras (sic) drug dealers” and “El Salvadorian (sic) drug dealers.” A handgun, cash and a pile of drugs sit beside the dot on the map.

# Statements describing Mexican drug cartel slayings, attacks on police and government bribes. “The ‘Rule of Law’ is at risk in Mexico!”

Asia Times: Swiftboating Obama on the cheap

Asia Times (9/30/08)

Swiftboating Obama on the cheap

OAKLAND, California – In 2004, the so-called “swiftboating” of John Kerry’s United States presidential campaign changed the course of history by helping defeat the Massachusetts senator, and the tactic appeared to become an instant blueprint for future political campaigns.

Given the success of the swiftboating formula – a high-impact, mediagenic group of storytellers (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) clamping on to one very hot-button issue (Kerry’s military record), combined with the financial largesse of opponent George W Bush’s super-wealthy backers (more than US$45 million was put in play), and a message spread by savvy and experienced public relations outfits and advertising enterprises to a controversy-hungry mainstream media – it was anticipated that it would be in play again.

Swiftboating Obama on the cheap
By Bill Berkowitz

OAKLAND, California – In 2004, the so-called “swiftboating” of John Kerry’s United States presidential campaign changed the course of history by helping defeat the Massachusetts senator, and the tactic appeared to become an instant blueprint for future political campaigns.

Given the success of the swiftboating formula – a high-impact, mediagenic group of storytellers (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) clamping on to one very hot-button issue (Kerry’s military record), combined with the financial largesse of opponent George W Bush’s super-wealthy backers (more than US$45 million was put in play), and a message spread by savvy and experienced public relations outfits and advertising enterprises to a controversy-hungry mainstream media – it was anticipated that it would be in play again.

This time around, however, swiftboating has morphed into serial attacks on the cheap.

Released late last month, Floyd Brown’s latest book, Obama Unmasked: Did Slick Hollywood Handlers Create The Perfect Candidate?, co-authored with Lee Troxler, has not created the buzz of others, like Jerome Corsi’s The Obama Nation and David Freddoso’s The Case against Barack Obama – both of which are still on The New York Times best-seller list.

Nevertheless, the book has given the veteran political operative a vehicle for raising money for his various enterprises; groups that are primarily focused on attacking Obama.

While activists with serious time on their hands, some technological skills, and the ability to produce coherent copy either on a website, blog, or My Space/FaceBook page, have become political players, political action committees, 527s and 501(c)(4)s – groups with access to professional copywriters, public relations spinmeisters, legal teams, direct mail firms, e-list brokers and that have longtime relationships with the mainstream media – still have a leg up on the info-everyman.

Despite a constrained financial landscape, there is still room for the political wizardry of Floyd Brown, who pridefully takes credit for the controversial Willie Horton ad that helped destroy the 1988 presidential campaign of governor Michael Dukakis. For months Brown has been searching for a “tipping point” issue and foraging for donors.

Early on in the campaign, in the hope of finding that “tipping point”, Brown tested two themes – Obama as Muslim and Obama as prevaricator. He told the New York Times that the “Swift Boats achieved the tipping point” and he “was part of a team that reached the tipping point in 1988 [that helped put the kybosh on Michael Dukakis’ presidential campaign]. In 1992, we didn’t reach it. We might not this time. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try.”

In his first foray into the presidential campaign, Brown’s National Campaign Fund prepared a TV advertisement called “Victims”, which criticized Obama for being too easy on gang murderers. The goal of the ad was to “draw a parallel between Obama’s weakness on gang violence and the war on terror”, Brown explained.

SquareState: HD23 Republican Candidate Links Immigration & Crime, Opposes Spanish Language Ballots

SquareState (9/24/08)

HD23 Republican Candidate Links Immigration & Crime, Opposes Spanish Language Ballots

GOP statehouse hopeful Mary Lynn Wagner has linked immigration with crime in campaign fliers, and opposed Spanish language ballots in remarks published on her website. In a flier distributed on Saturday in Golden, Mrs. Wagner supplies the following bullet point which I quote in full:

IMMIGRATION
Enforce existing laws, penalize employers who willfully hire illegal aliens, enforce English as the State language, report crimes committed by foreign nationals, no sanctuary cities!

Just in case you had any doubt about who Mrs. Wagner has in mind, her web thoughts on ENGLISH AS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE [sic] make things perfectly clear:

I find it especially disturbing that the Colorado Secretary of State provides voter registration and request for an Absentee Ballot in foreign languages:
Formulario de solicitud de inscripci de votante
Solicitud de balota de votar en ausencia
When one must be a citizen to vote and one of the requirements for citizenship is that an applicant “must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language.” However, this is probably an unfunded, federal mandate from the Voting Rights Act which is interfering with State’s [sic] Rights [my italics]. In any case, the Balkans, Quebec, and more recently, Holland, have proven that a nation must have a common language. It is a tremendous unifier!

“[F]ederal mandate from the Voting Rights Act which is interfering with State’s [sic] Rights.” Let the words sink in for a second, kids. The point of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was to prevent states like Alabama, Texas, and Mississippi from using the power of local government to interfere with the rights of minority groups under the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Moreover, “States’ Rights” has long been code talk among those opposed to these Reconstruction Amendments. In a rather unsubtle way Mrs. Wagner is deploying the rhetoric of Confederate dead-enders against voting rights for Latinos.

Square State: Fox 31, conservative media figures exploit deaths of three to replay immigration myths

Square State (9/11/08)

Fox 31, conservative media figures exploit deaths of three to replay immigration myths

Several Colorado media outlets and personalities uncritically repeated immigration-related falsehoods in their reporting or commentary regarding a fatal traffic accident allegedly caused by an illegal immigrant who reportedly was arrested 16 times but never deported. Newsradio 850 KOA’s “Gunny” Bob Newman parroted the unsubstantiated assertion that illegal immigrants kill 12 Americans every day, KDVR Fox 31 aired the baseless claim that “25 to 30 percent of the entire inmate population in most jails are aliens subject to deportation,” and columnist Chuck Green in The Pueblo Chieftain and the Aurora Sentinel repeated the myth that Colorado is a “sanctuary state” and Denver is a “sanctuary city.”

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