Republican Dan Bishop echoes Donald Trump’s racism in a new ad that attempts to connect Democrat Dan McCready, his opponent in the Sept. 10 special election in North Carolina’s 9th District, to the recent arrest of an undocumented immigrant from Honduras named Luis Pineda-Ancheta.
Bishop begins, “Over in Charlotte, a liberal sheriff is playing politics with illegal immigration,” and continues, “Why? To spite President Trump.” He then insists that Mecklenburg Sheriff Garry McFadden “released violent criminal illegals back onto our streets,” and declares, “Rogue sheriffs should follow the law or resign.”
Bishop only mentions his opponent at the end when he says, “Dan McCready won't put country over party. Wrong Dan won't stand up to radicals in this party even when they put us in danger.” In case the ad’s race-baiting wasn’t clear enough, the ad shows a picture of McFadden, who is black, next to a mugshot of Pineda-Ancheta with the word “STRANGULATION” in large type just above it.
Bishop is hoping to capitalize on recent stories involving Pineda-Ancheta that have nothing to do with McCready. Pineda-Ancheta was deported from the United States back in 2006, but he later returned. In May, he was twice arrested on domestic violence charges, and the second arrest resulted in a nine-hour standoff with a police SWAT team. Pineda-Ancheta was released both times after paying his bond, but ICE detained him just after he got out of prison the second time. ICE has argued that McFadden’s refusal to cooperate with the agency allowed Pineda-Ancheta to go free when he should have been in their custody.
Bishop has seized on the story and attempted to use it against McCready, even though there’s no connection at all between McCready and the people or events described in the ad. In June, Bishop called for McFadden to resign and accused McCready of staying silent. McCready did comment on the story, though, saying it was “sadly just the latest example of how terribly broken our current immigration system is.”
The NRCC is also out with another ad that, once again, tries to portray McCready as a greedy businessman, and, once again, dubs him with the uncreative moniker “McGreedy.” Both the Club for Growth and the Congressional Leadership Fund have also been airing similar ads for weeks. Fortunately, the Charlotte Observer’s Elizabeth Thompson recently published a thorough investigation into this line of attack.
The Club has accused McCready of using a “tax-exempt special interest outfit” to spend $450,000 lobbying for new regulations that benefited his solar energy business and resulted in $149 million a year in “costly state energy regulations” for North Carolinians. That message makes it sound like McCready pushed for policies that made things more expensive for taxpayers, but unsurprisingly, that’s not what happened.
Thompson explains that back in 2007, the state legislature passed a law that requires “requires all investor-owned utilities in North Carolina to get 12.5% of their retail electricity sales from eligible renewable energy resources by 2021.” In 2015, the legislature tried to reduce this number by more than half. McCready was a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, which lobbied against the legislation. Ultimately, the bill failed after it passed in the state House but failed to get a vote in the upper chamber.
The GOP is arguing that McCready’s opposition to rolling back the state’s renewable energy requirements will cost taxpayers an additional $149 million in yearly energy costs. That estimate, you won’t be surprised to learn, is bogus. It comes from a 2017 study by the Utah State University and an outfit called Strata Policy, which has been funded by millions of dollars from the Koch brothers. The Kochs, of course, made their fortune in the petroleum industry, and the study’s head researcher had in fact been the “Charles G. Koch professor of political economy” at Utah State.
Aside from its tainted provenance, progressives have also pointed out that the study itself is “fatally flawed” in a very obvious way: It compared the economic performance of states before and after they passed renewable energy standards without taking into account the fact that most of these laws came into effect just before the Great Recession hit.
Republicans are also, naturally, avoiding any mention of the benefits of renewable energy—or the fact that the people in charge of the state Senate when the rollback died were, well, Republicans.
Meanwhile, the DCCC is out with the first spot of their $626,000 TV buy. The ad, like those from other Democratic groups, goes after Bishop for being the lone member of the state Senate to oppose a bipartisan bill to lower prescription drug costs. The D-Trip’s spot goes further, though: The narrator charges that Bishop “voted to let insurance companies charge hire prices for cancer treatments,” and adds, “Worst of all, he sided with them to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.”
McCready is also out with a new commercial of his own. He highlights the healthcare struggles of the family of a fellow Marine veteran, and he pledges to work across party lines to lower costs.
Dan McCready is a Marine and a Boy Scout—literally. Send him $3 to fight these GOP lies today!