With the help of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Job Security is airing a new ad featuring actors portraying Indians thanking Arkansas Senate Democratic primary candidate Bill Halter for supposedly offshoring jobs. Americans for Job Security is a “sham front group that would be better called Corporations Influencing Elections” that has run multi-million dollar advertising campaigns for repealing the estate tax and against the Employee Free Choice Act.
In the ad, as traditional Indian music plays in the background, actors posing as Indian citizens stand in front of blue screens that depict the crowded streets of Bangalore, India, and “thank” Halter for his alleged role as a “highly-paid director of a U.S. company” outsourcing jobs to the South Asian country. Meanwhile, a voice-over says, “With almost 65,000 Arkansans out of work, we need jobs too. Bangalore says, ‘Thanks, Bill Halter.’ Arkansas, tell Bill Halter, ‘Thanks for nothing.’” Watch it:
The ad is as misleading as it is offensive. As a fact check from Arkansasbusiness.com reveals, “it’s a stretch to say the firm [Halter worked for] shipped American jobs overseas.” While the company whose board of directors Halter served on, WebMethods Inc., did open an office in Bangalore, India, the company’s filings with the Security and Exchange Commission “do not refer to the loss of any American jobs in connection with opening the Bangalore office.”
Ironically, while Americans for Job Security and the Chamber of Commerce are falsely alleging that Halter is responsible for the outsourcing of American jobs, both are active supporters of unfair free trade policies. Americans for Jobs Security brags on its website that it will continue to “fight to open new markets for American entrepreneurs,” and the Chamber has a history of supporting every anti-worker free trade agreement that Congress has ever ratified or is planning to possibly ratify.
As Blue Arkansas writes, “Not only is this claim about Bill Halter patently false…but the ad is stocked with racist dog whistles. This is the Arkansas equivalent of the “Harold, call me!” ad the GOP ran back in 2006. By running this ad, the Chamber of Commerce is targeting white Arkansans with stereotypical south Asians, the threatening brown people taking their jobs, and they can’t even get a decent Indian accent while playing to this racist characture. Talk about sickening.”