Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) is in a tough reelection fight against Spike Maynard, a formerly Democratic judge who switched parties this year to challenge Rahall as a Republican. Maynard’s bid — the first credible challenge to Rahall in years — has strong backing from national Republicans, including an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and support from the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program (despite the fact that Maynard is in his 60s).
Maynard has also received support from outside conservative groups, like the West Virginia Conservative Fund. The group’s new ad makes a fairly apparent attempt to appeal to bigots, fear mongering about Rahall’s work doing outreach to Arab-Americans during President Obama’s 2008 campaign:
Unfortunately, this is not the first racial ad of the race. A recent spot run by Maynard’s campaign itself attacks Rahall’s vote for the stimulus package by stating that the program gave tax breaks to Chinese companies, and thus Rahall cares more about creating jobs for Chinese people than Americans. “It’s on our jeans. Even on children’s toys — ‘Made in China,’” the ad’s narrator says ominously. “With skyrocketing unemployment, only a politician who’s been in Washington for 34 years would vote to help foreign companies making Chinese windmills.” The ad was so ugly, and its claims so baseless, that lawyers from Rahall’s campaign asked TV stations running the spot to take it down.
Maynard is a notoriously close friend of West Virginia’s coal industry, even taking a trip to Monte Carlo with Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship while he served as chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court. The trip occurred as Maynard’s court was hearing a trial involving Massey, and the revelation of the luxury vacation forced Maynard to recuse himself from the case in shame. (HT: Reader Daniel)