There's an advertisement running on television right now down here in Arkansas paid for by a group called "Americans for Job Security." The ad advances a false attack on Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, who’s challenging Senator Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary.
The ad is despicable - it shows actors depicting Indians with crude stereotypes. Indian-American commenters and the local newspaper Arkansas Times have called the ad "racist." And it's a lie - the company on whose board Lt. Gov. Bill Halter served expanded its operations in India and no jobs were lost in the United States.
Americans for Job Security is a 501(c)6 organization – a trade organization - leaving no doubt that shady corporations are behind this false attack. We've seen how big corporations funnel money through front groups like this to try and buy off legislation and candidates time and time again. They did it with health care, they did it with financial reform, and now they're trying to buy an Arkansas Senate seat.
We deserve to know exactly who is behind this lying and offensive advertisement. That's why the Halter campaign filed a complaint last week with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to expose where Americans for Job Security got their money.
We're asking you - people who believe corporate interests shouldn't be able to hide behind front groups when they try to usurp the will of the people - to sign on in support of our FEC complaint. Click here to sign the statement.
We'll send your signatures to the FEC on Thursday so they know we're serious about making Americans for Job Security come clean.
Americans for Job Security, when questioned about the content of the ad, stood behind it, saying, "The ad is purposely designed to cut through the clutter, so folks would pay attention to this message. I think we’ve been effective."
There should be no room in our politics for offensive attacks like this. "Cutting through the clutter" by smearing an entire ethnic group and making false accusations isn't acceptable in any context.
Senator Lincoln's corporate backers are having Americans for Job Security do their dirty work. We won't stand for it. If corporations want to smear Bill Halter, an elected official in Arkansas with a record of standing up for working families, they need to at least have the decency to come clean about their attacks.
Bill Halter for U.S. Senate
Update: More about Americans for Job Security (from SourceWatch)