Tuesday, June 14, 2011


There's a special congressional election in California's 36th district between Democrat Jane Hahn, a Los Angeles city councilwomnan, and teabag Republican Craig Huey. A right-wing "super PAC" called Turn Right PAC has now produced a Web ad that's just draw-droppingly offensive. You have to watch it to believe it:

Talking Points Memo says:

Simply put, the ad is Willie Horton on steroids. The 90-second clip accuses Hahn of being too cozy with gang criminals in the past, a charge she's faced for a while and her campaign says has been thoroughly debunked.

I think that last sentence is too equivocal; go to the link and it sure looks as if the debunking -- of a story that ran on a local Fox affiliate -- is more than a matter of Hahn's opinion:

...a review of the Fox 11 News story found major flaws that undermine its central allegations. Most notably, records and interviews show that the gang intervention workers identified in the report have not received city funding. Additionally, a convicted rapist was wrongly identified as a gang intervention worker, and Hahn was mistakenly accused of providing funds directly to gang workers.

The accusers quoted in the Fox story were two cops who were taken off gang detail after criticizing the program. They sued. They lost:

We just received a report that the two Los Angeles police officers who contended that City Councilwoman Janice Hahn pressured the department to remove them from their foot beats in Watts because they were tough on gang members lost their federal lawsuit today.

According to City News Service, jurors ruled against officers Ryan Moreno and Chuck Garcia, who claimed they were taken off the gang detail for criticizing the department.

But lies never die on the right, if they're useful.


Now, what do you think would happen if the races and parties were reversed? If this ad were made on behalf of a black Democrat in a local election, condemnations would be demanded not just of the people involved, but of all black politicians -- oh, not Herman Cain or Allen West, but all black Democrats, and Democrats in general.

So I want every Republican to have to answer for this ad. I want the press to ask John Boehner and Paul Ryan to condemn it. I want them to ask Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann and that guy who just entered the race -- what's his name? Huntsman? -- to denounce it. If Republicans won't pledge never to hire Ladd Ehlinger, the maker of the ad, I think we deserve to know why. I want there to be demands that every Republican politician condemn Turn Right USA and denounce any ads made on their behalf by the PAC. I want this to be as all-consuming a story as the Anthony Weiner story, until everyone involved in making and disseminating the ad is a pariah. And if the press won't put every Republican in America on the spot, I want the Democratic Party to do so.

I know nothing remotely like this is going to happen. But it's the only appropriate response.


This relates to Weiner because at about 1:09 of the ad, the phrase "CONGRESS HAS ENOUGH GANGSTERS" appears on the screen -- accompanied by pictures of Charlie Rangel, Chuck Schumer (not sure why -- because he's Jewish?), Nancy Pelosi (in the Brazil-based Photoshop that's so beloved by wingnuts) ... and both Anthony Weiner and Anthony Weiner's penis. Weiner is creepy, but, um, now he's a gangster? More to the point, Anthony Weiner's penis is a gangster? Ah, but who am I to question the Party of Ideas?


UPDATE: M. Bouffant reminds me in comments that the Fox local station in question isn't merely an affiliate, it's one of only a couple of Fox stations actually owned by Fox.

And also in comments, Swellsman explains why Republicans will get away with this:

... The ad involves an LA city councilwoman and a "dispute" that is convoluted and requires reading moree than 1 sentence to debunk. Because we're not talking about a national figure, nobody in America is going to care; Americans only care about people they already know about. And because the dispute is obscure and not easily reducible to a single sentence, any national Republican asked about it will be able to shrug it off....

Go read the whole thing. I wish I could dispute it.

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