“A vote for the Arizona GOP is a vote to protect us from illegal Mexicans coming across the border to hurt our blond, blue-eyed boys and girls” screams the latest mailer from the Republican party in Arizona.
The front of the mailer attacks Democrat Rae Waters for voting against SB 1070, the controversial anti-immigrant law passed by the Arizona state legislature earlier this year. According to the mailer, a vote against SB 1070 is a vote for leaving our border full of holes. The next line says that “our neighborhoods are next.” Following GOP logic, since Waters is leaving our borders unattended because she did not vote for a legislation that is unconstitutional due to federal pre-emption, she will now leave our neighborhoods unattended. That does not make any sense, but the back of the mailer goes on to emphasize the need to protect Arizona neighborhoods from the threat of immigrants with a picture of an innocent blond toddler.
It’s hard to imagine a more overtly racist message. I suppose the Arizona GOP could have included a stock photo of brown people crossing the border or standing around but oops, Sharron Angle already did that for her campaign in Nevada.
The ad is paid for by the Yuma County Republican Central Committee, which is not even headquartered in the district where Rae Waters is running for re-election. So this is certainly not politics as usual for Democrats like Rae Waters, who is dismayed at the level of fear-mongering used by the GOP for state elections.
Chairperson Phil Townsend dismisses claims that the GOP has lost the Latino vote in Arizona forever due to these mailers. Townsend told Talking Points Memo that the mailers are highly effective, especially in swing districts, and that many Latinos are supportive of measures like SB 1070 that target undocumented immigrants.
Townsend may be living in another world down in Yuma, since polls indicate that over 81% of Latinos are not down with the anti-immigrant legislation. While there is certainly a Latino enthusiasm gap when it comes to these elections, with only 51% saying they would turn out to vote, Latino voters in Arizona are sure to turn out mostly for Democrats and the gap is closing. Democrats like Rae Waters may just hang on to their seats.
Photo Credit: No Borders and Binaries