Sunday, September 16, 2007

MN Governor RACIST AD CAMPAING Explains why no help from Pawlenty in our plight
ECM Publishers, Inc.
Posted: 10/23/02
Pawlenty campaign ad denounced as containing racist overtones
by T.W. BudigECM capitol reporter
All but calling the 30-second Tim Pawlenty campaign spot racist, gubernatorial candidates at the Capitol today (Oct. 23) condemned the new television ad, which evokes images of terrorists loose in Minnesota.
ìI believe that this is Tim Pawlentyís Willy Horton ad, yes I do,î said Sen. Roger Moe, DFL candidate for governor, speaking at a Capitol press conference today (Oct. 23).
Former congressman Tim Penny, Independence Party gubernatorial candidate, expressed similar thoughts.
ìWhat we have seen in the last 24 hours is a national tragedy converted to a campaign ad,î he said.
The ad, which produced the biggest flare up in the governorís race so far, centers on the contentious proposal of requiring foreign visa holders to have their visa expiration dates listed on their Minnesota driverís license.
The proposal sparked hot debate last legislative session and ultimately failed in conference committee.
The Ventura Administration supported the measure.
Moe and Penny do not.
Still, Moe and Penny drew distinctions between the license debate and the ad itself.
The ad begins with the narrator saying, ìA Qauda operative Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged 20th hijacker, learned to fly a plane in Minnesota.î
ìTerrorists are here,î the narrator intones, with the text appearing over a map of the state of Minnesota.
The ad then cuts to a close up of the Republican Pawlenty, who says when ìforeignersî apply for drivers license weíre going to have their visa expiration date on it.
ìIt implies that all immigrants need to be treated as suspects,î said Penny
. He called the ad inflammatory and having no place in Minnesota politics.
ìWeíre not talking about law enforcement needs here, weíre talking about a campaignís needs here,î said Penny.
Moe accused Pawlenty of having no boundaries for his political ambition. ìSadly, Tim Pawlenty has stooped to a new low,î he said.
Moe called the ad an ìassault on the senses,î saying the timing of the ad couldnít be worse with the potential conflict with Iraq and the Freeway Sniper already on peopleís minds.
The ad clearly is designed to frighten people, said Moe. It equates terrorism as within the immigrant community, he explained.
Asked by a reporter whether the ad had racist overtones, Moe said ìyes.î
Moe and Pennyís criticism of the ad were magnified by members of local minority communities.
A spokesman for a Somali advocacy center said, ìImmigrants are not terrorist,î receiving applause from a large contingent of DFL lawmakers in attendance.
Pawlenty was campaigning today outside of the metro, but his campaign chairman Chris Georgacas said other states had adopted provisions identical or similar to the expiration date proposal Pawlenty wants.
ìAnd it is the sort of thing the vast majority of Minnesotans would find eminently reasonable,î he said.
Georgacas said he thought the ad had a restrained presentation.
ìThe Moe and Penny campaigns are trying to manufacture an issue,î he said, terming Moeís Willy Horton comparison despicable.
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