Houston Hate Mailer
Conservative PAC treads line between liberal-bashing and racism in hobnail boots, throws in homophobia for good measure
By Richard Whittaker, 5:42PM, Wed. Oct. 22, 2008
When you see a campaign attack ad with a picture of one white guy surrounded by black and Hispanic people, under the banner "Don't be misled: Bad company corrupts good character," would your first instinct be to think "racism in campaigning"? Oh, silly you.
The conservative Empower Texans PAC (famously linked to Houston property mogul Bob "Swiftboat" Perry) threw this gem out against Joel Redmond, the Democrat hoping to fill Houston's vacant House District 144 seat. On the classy flier, Redmond's image is in the middle of photos of Sen. Barack Obama, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Sen. Mario Gallegos, and Reps. Harold Dutton and Garnett Coleman. But apparently, the unifying factor is not race, it's that they're all liberals. Got that?
After all, why look to be offended by potential implied racism when the same mailer rails about "the radical homosexual agenda" and claims that Redmond is "opposed to marriage," blah blah blah,bad for schools, blah blah blah, hates America, blah blah blah.
PAC claims that this is a fair-game criticism are so unconvincing that even the implacable Harvey Kronberg of Quorum Report wrote, "In a year potentially sitting on the powder keg of racial politics, (this) may have crossed the line."
But an interesting thought that some Democratic activists are quietly discussing: with a tanking economy and house prices stalling, traditional big donors like Perry may not have the money to throw around on too many hit pieces like this in the final hours of the campaign this year.