"Pompeo Supporter Urges Voters To ‘Vote American’ Against Indian-American Opponent Raj Goyle"
This past August, the Republican nominee for Kansas’ Fourth Congressional District Mike Pompeo — who owes much of his personal wealth and political career to the right-wing billionaire Koch brothers — tweeted out an article referring to his Indian-American Democratic opponent Raj Goyle (a former Center for American Progress staffer) as an “evil” “turban topper,” calling it a “good read.” Shortly after the tweet, the campaign released a full apology, calling it an “honest mistake.”
Now, the campaign has once again returned to racial waters. Pompeo supporter John Eck, who runs an insurance agency in the district, placed two digital billboards above the building that houses his company. The first features an image of Pompeo along with the phrase, “True Americans Vote For Pompeo.” The second billboard says, “Vote American. Vote Pompeo”:
Of course, both Pompeo and Goyle — who was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas — are Americans. In an e-mail to the Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel, Eck wrote that he just liked “the word American.” He said that he had “no intention of any inference that Mr. Goyle is not American. I really don’t know him, but I’m sure he is American and I would be surprised if he doesn’t use the word (American) in his ads.” Yet as Terkel documents, at least four other campaign billboards that Eck sponsored did not use the word “American.”
Taking offense at Eck’s billboard, the Goyle campaign released a petition Saturday demanding that the Pompeo campaign denounce the billboards and ask that they be taken down. The following day, the insurance agency owner unplugged the billboards. In a follow-up email to Terkel, Eck wrote, “Regardless of the outcome of the elections next Tuesday, everyone needs to feel they are Americans.”