by Lisa Sorg
Just when you thought the GOP’s election tactics couldn’t get any smarmier, well, leave it to the N.C. Republican Executive Committee.
It recently mailed two anti-Chris Heagarty fliers that were so ugly, offensive, racist, fearmongering—and most important, intentionally misleading—you have to wonder what person, bereft of any civility or moral fiber, conjured them up.
Heagarty, a Democrat, faces Republican Tom Murry for the District 41 N.C. House seat. District 41 covers Morrisville and parts of Cary and Western Wake County.
The first mailer features an altered photo of “Señor” Heagarty wearing a sombrero and saying “mucho taxo.” (Note: The Spanish word for tax is “impuesto,” as in what conservative Americans should be withholding from their hired help whose residency status they so conveniently overlook.)
Apparently not to South Carolina, which, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has an unemployment rate of 11.5 percent. In Georgia, another state featured in the ad, the rate is 10.3 percent.
With 9.8 percent unemployment, North Carolina edges Tennessee (9.6 percent) and Virginia (7 percent). The latter has the lowest unemployment rate of neighboring states—likely because of the commuters to Maryland/D.C.—and not just for government jobs, but also for lobbying gigs on K Street or even the barista shift at the local Starbucks.
The second ad warns voters of Heagarty’s “dangerous record as a left-wing lobbyist and liberal community activist,” and compares him to “another dangerous community activist,” Barack Obama. (Note to GOP spellchecker: A caption on the flier reads “Corrupt Lobbist.”)
Before Heagarty was appointed to the District 41 seat to fill a vacancy, he worked for N.C. Center for Voter Education. That group supported voluntary public financing program for qualified state-level candidates. Known as “voter-owned” election programs, they encourage candidates to reject all special-interest donations and rely solely on voters for their support.
No wonder the GOP views Heagarty as “dangerous.” Such a clean voter program would threaten the state GOP and its comrades in arms—the shadowy nonprofits funded by archconservative millionaire Art Pope, some of which have poured money into defeating Heagarty.
And what is Heagarty’s “radical leftist agenda” to “achieve long-term change in voting behavior?” The flier cites the bill number, HB 1924, which would fund the Kids Voting program that teaches youth on the importance of being civically informed and the responsibility of voting.
Hey kids, one of the responsibilities of voting is to know when you’re being manipulated and misled. Consider these ads Lesson 1.