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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Indicted Congressmen Run Bigoted Ads

Representative Duncan Hunter, the California Republican whose re-election campaign has been imperiled by a federal indictment, has released a startling attack against his Democratic challenger, suggesting that he is an Islamic terrorist sympathizer and national security risk.
“Ammar Campa-Najjar is working to infiltrate Congress,” says the narrator of Mr. Hunter’s ad, released on YouTube, in reference to the Democrat running against him. “He’s used three different names to hide his family’s ties to terrorism.”
Mr. Campa-Najjar, who until Mr. Hunter’s troubles was considered a very long shot to win a predominantly Republican district in the San Diego suburbs, has a Mexican-American mother and a father who immigrated from the Middle East. His paternal grandfather, Muhammad Youssef al-Najjar, was involved with the plan to murder Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Germany in 1972; he was assassinated by Israeli military commandos in 1973.
Mr. Campa-Najjar has repeatedly denounced his grandfather’s actions. He is Christian and has often stressed his church activities.



Mariel Garza at LAT:
It should be enough in this conservative district for Hunter to call attention to his young opponent’s progressive platform. Instead, the incumbent has been pressing the “radical Muslim” angle in speeches and in this ad. That the campaign would sink this low suggests a certain desperation. Hunter is still polling higher in the race than Campa-Najjar, but only by 8 points. There’s no guarantee that advantage will hold until Nov. 6, especially with current events in Washington that could drive turnout in unpredictable ways.
I wish I could say this were the only racially tinged political ad in this midterm race. It is not. Rep. Chris Collins (R-New York) has managed to outdo even Hunter’s ugly ad with one that features his Democratic opponent Nate McMurray speaking Korean in a video. McMurray’s wife is Korean. The subtitles underneath the video hint that the Democrat is a foreign agent working to move American jobs overseas. At one point, there’s a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un projected over McMurray’s shoulder, which makes it clear this ad is not to inform people but scare them enough that even the candidate facing criminal charges seems preferable.

Oh, did I forget to mention that? Like Hunter, Collins is campaigning with an indictment on his back. He faces federal charges of insider trading.

I hope that voters don’t reward this kind of irresponsible behavior in November. Politics are ugly enough as it is.