It’s been a downright despicable cycle for campaign mail in Virginia. Republicans have traded the dogwhistle for a bullhorn and have dropped several blatantly racist and bigoted communications against Democrats in key races for the House of Delegates. Thankfully, the power of the internet gives us a chance to expose these hateful messages, which in the past would have made it no farther than the bottom of the recycling bin. But the rubbish heap continues to pile up, and we have a collection of the latest hot garbage.
First, check out this transphobic trash from GOP Del. Bob Marshall in the 13th State House District. Through a mailer paid for by the Republican Party of Virginia, he attacks Democrat Danica Roem by using myriad slurs and lies. And is if that weren’t reprehensible enough, the mailer, which you can see at the top of this post, also misgenders her. Just disgusting.
But that’s not all—far from it. The state GOP has been paying for revolting mail pieces in districts across the state.
Check out this attack on Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy, an African-American woman, that uses the issue of college tuition and anti-Latino stereotypes to race-bait against immigrant communities.
The language used here is so weaselly and awful. First, obviously, the terms “illegal aliens” and “illegal immigrants” are dehumanizing anti-Latino tropes. And “Virginia students are being denied at our state universities”? What, exactly, are they being denied? Not in-state tuition. Any Virginian accepted to a state school pays in-state tuition. If a student who happens to be an immigrant is accepted to a school ahead of a less-qualified white person, well, that has nothing to do with tuition. But that racist fear of losing one’s white-supremacy advantage to more qualified candidates of color is actually what Republicans are appealing to here—and they’re doing it in a mailer featuring images of the candidate, who happens to be a black woman. It’s disgusting.
The Republican Party’s tour de farce just wouldn’t be complete without an appeal to white Trump voters about Confederate monuments. Check out this mail piece that the GOP dropped against Democrat Christ Hurst only in Giles County, a part of the otherwise extremely competitive 12th District (Hillary Clinton won the seat with 48 percent last fall) in Southwest Virginia that is 96 percent white and gave Donald Trump 72 percent of the vote.
As you can see, Hurst himself never spoke the words misleadingly placed over his head in quotation marks, like a cartoon-style speech balloon designed to make it seem as he’s trying to get rid of statues honoring the traitorous leaders of the Confederacy. Hurst’s opponent, GOP Del. Joseph Yost, just loves these losers: He voted to prevent localities from deciding for themselves whether to remove Confederate monuments.
Dirty pool is the only game Virginia Republicans know, and they’ve played it for a long time. In the waning days of the 2005 gubernatorial campaign, the party’s nominee sought to stop Democrat Tim Kaine’s clear momentum by mailing a “2005 Official Democrat and Progressive Voter Guide” to Democratic households “informing” voters that the Independent candidate (moderate former Republican Russ Potts) was actually the liberal in the race. But dirty partisan tricks like that have now morphed in weaponized hatred like the kind showcased in all of these mailers.
There’s stil time to fight back against Virginia Republicans’ racist campaign tactics—donate $3 to support Democratic candidates!