First, Republican senatorial candidate Sharron Angle ran offensive images of menacing Latino men with flashlights walking along a fence alongside a snapshot of an innocent looking white family in order to make the point that her opponent Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is the “best friend an illegal alien ever had.” Then her campaign released a second commercial with a new image of scowling Latino men juxtaposed against a photo of white college graduates. Despite the fact that her ads have sparked outrage in the Latino community, Angle has decided to continue with her anti-Latino campaign theme.
In her newest attack ad, Angle pits brown against white in order to make the case that Reid is a friend of dark-skinned, scary looking “illegal aliens” and an enemy of white Nevadans like her:
Angle’s third ad is especially surprising considering the fact that many outlets are reporting that Latinos may decide the tight Nevada senatorial race. “Angle has made few friends among Latinos after she supported neighboring Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 law, the strictest in the nation to curb illegal immigrants. And as polling day gets closer, her gaffes and missteps are helping to bring the Latino vote out for Reid,” reported Reuters last week.
Robert de Posada, the man behind the group telling Latino voters not to vote, has denied any affiliation with the Republican Party, or that he is trying to advance the party in close elections. The GOP has similarly distanced itself from de Posada’s controversial ads. However, besides the fact that de Posada’s own resume includes stints at the RNC and Bush White House, de Posada is toeing the conservative line.
For someone who claims to be independent, de Posada’s message is closely aligned with the Spanish-language talking points espoused by GOP pundits like Ana Navarro and Alfonso Aguilar, and Republican lawmaker Mario Diaz-Balart who constantly claim: 1) Democrats promised Latinos immigration reform and have done nothing; 2) Democrats are in “full control” and would’ve passed immigration reform if they were really serious about it; 3) Latinos shouldn’t look at the Republican party’s record, but rather the record of each individual candidate:
DE POSADA: The Democrats, particularly Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, promised us immigration reform two years ago in one year. After that, he hasn’t done anything. There’s hasn’t been one vote in one subcommittee.
DIAZ-BALART: Let’s be clear, the President — on your program — said that in his first 12 months he would present and approve immigration reform. He didn’t do it in his first 12 months, he didn’t do it in his second 12 months. Basically, he used us. NAVARRO: President Obama has talked and talked talked. He told our community — on your program — that he would pass immigration reform within his first year in office. We all agree that President Obama has talked a lot about immigration reform, but he’s done little. AGUILAR: During the 2008 elections, they [Democrats] said they would do something about immigration. In two years they haven’t done anything.
DE POSADA:He [Reid] has the power to do whatever he wants. Besides that, he didn’t need the Republicans for health care reform, for the stimulus, for finance reform, for a number of things. Why didn’t he do that for Latinos? You know why? Because we aren’t his priority.
DIAZ-BALART: They [Democrats] blame Republicans, but we all know that the Democrats control the House, the White House and the Senate. If they were serious about approving immigration reform, they would’ve done it by now the way they did with health care reform. NAVARRO: I think Republican senators don’t feel that the White House is serious about this issue. Evidently they did have 60 votes to pass health care reform, evidently they have 60 votes to pass economic things. They have 60 votes when the White House puts forth all its support. AGUILAR: They tell us that it’s the Republicans, but the truth is they know that they don’t have all the Democratic votes. They had the votes to pass health care reform, but what happened with immigration reform? Absolutely nothing.
DE POSADA: They [Latinos] have to evaluate the records of the candidates.
NAVARRO: Latinos have to evaluate each candidate — their values, where they are on different issues. AGUILAR: The important thing is not to make generalizations. [..] The Latino voter has to balance and look at all the issues. Immigration is one issue, it’s not the only issue for Latinos.
Watch it [in Spanish]:
Most Republicans aren’t coming out and telling Latinos not to vote. However, when Republicans slam Democrats on Spanish-language television they usually don’t mention that Democrats have been unable to push immigration reform due to Republican obstructionism that has delayed — if not stalled — the entire White House’s agenda. They also fail to note that while the majority of Democrats support immigration reform, it doesn’t have the same support that other policy proposals have and that more Republicans are needed to enact it. However, while Democrats could’ve done more to move immigration reform, it has been pretty clear that the GOP support needed to make it happen is non-existent. Finally, even if Latino voters ignored the Republican Party’s overarching anti-immigrant platform and just looked at individual candidates, they’d still be hard-pressed to find many Republicans who are willing to fight for the Latino community’s interests.
In an interview with radio host, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, President Obama explained, “There is a notion that somehow if I had worked it hard enough, we could have magically done it. That’s just not the way our system works. If I need 60 votes to get this done, then I’m gonna have to have some support from the other side. If the Latino community decides to sit out this election, then there will be fewer votes and it will be less likely to get done. And the other side, which is fighting against this, is not gonna support it.”
The thumbnail version: Emerson collected over $3 million in 2008 for his tax-exempt non-profit, the Investigative Project on Terrorism. The Investigative Project then paid all of that money to another entity controlled by Emerson, the for-profit SAE Productions (the two entities also share a Washington, D.C., address). The result: it’s impossible to see how the money is being used by Emerson, including how much he is paying himself and others. A spokesman for the groups maintains that this setup was created for security reasons so names of employees are not publicly released.
Frank Gaffney, head of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Security Policy, earned a $288,300 salary from his charity in 2008. Gaffney was a key witness in recent hearings in the Rutherford County lawsuit filed by mosque opponents. He said he paid his own way.
On the stand, the Reagan-era deputy assistant defense secretary accused local mosque leaders of having ties to terrorism, using ties to Middle Eastern universities and politics as evidence. His main source of information was his own report on Shariah law as a threat to America, one he wrote with other self-proclaimed experts.
But, under oath, he admitted he is not an expert in Shariah law.
The fact that Gaffney is not an expert in Sharia law is already abundantly obvious to anyone familiar with a) Sharia law and b) Gaffney’s work relating to Sharia law, but it’s still nice to have it on record. As I wrote when Gaffney’s Sharia report was released, what’s notable that no actual experts in Sharia law were involved in its writing. It’s simply a work of fear-mongering.
The key thing to understand here about Emerson, Gaffney, and the rest of the “creeping sharia” charlatans is that they are making claims about Islam and Islamic practice, and the threat that they represent to the U.S., that aren’t just controversial, but are demonstrably false, and thus not taken seriously by people who actually study and know about these subjects. It would be great if TV bookers understood this better and stopped calling on them as experts.