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Sharron Angle's latest immigration mailer (pictured below) 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.

The team at Cuentame produced this video to tell the real stories of DREAM Act-eligible youth:

Finally, as Terkel touched on, it turns out that Angle's TV ads weren't just offensive-- but recycled.

Late-night comedians seized on the snafu of "buying racism in bulk,"  but even the Getty images photographer who took one of the pictures used  by both the Angle and Vitter campaigns is speaking out today. Apparently the terrifying "illegal aliens" pictured in both ads were  Mexicans who were living in Mexico at the time, and not undocumented  immigrants in the United States. No comment so far from either campaign.

Watch Stephen Colbert's take on this type of fear-mongering:

Cross-Posted at America's Voice.

Originally posted to AmericasVoice on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 01:28 PM PDT.

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