The Other McCain

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BREAKING: Democrats Call on GOP Candidate to Denounce PAC Video

Posted on | June 14, 2011 | 85 Comments

A new viral video ad criticizing Democrat Janice Hahn’s support for a “gang intervention” program has drawn a swift response from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Within hours of the debut of the online ad — sponsored by the Turn Right USA political action committee — the DCCC posted an online petition “calling on Republican candidate Craig Huey to condemn this offensive and sexist ad, and demand that the ad makers immediately take it down immediately.”

The duplication of the word “immediately” in the DCCC’s message may indicate Democrats’ concern that the ad, directed by independent filmmaker Ladd Ehlinger Jr., will focus media attention on Hahn’s controversial record as a Los Angeles City Council member.

Hahn is the Democrat candidate in the July 12 special election for the California 36th District seat vacated by the retirement of Rep. Jane Harman. Republican candidate Huey’s second-place finish in the multi-candidate, multi-party primary was called a “major upset” by the Los Angeles Times.

UPDATE: The liberal blog Talking Points Memo calls the ad “Willie Horton on steroids” and reports reaction:

“This ad is incredibly offensive and sexist to all women,” Hahn campaign manager Dave Jacobson told TPM. “The producer of this ad should be ashamed of himself and Craig Huey should be ashamed to have this kind of thing produced on his behalf.” . . .
EMILY’s List, which has endorsed Hahn, called the ad “the most vile, racist, sexist ad we have ever seen” and also called on Huey to condemn it. . . .
California Republican Party spokesperson Mark Standriff distanced the party and Huey from the web ad.
“The video in question is highly offensive and totally inappropriate,” he said “and has no connection whatsoever to the Huey campaign or the California Republican Party.”

No word if DCCC, Jacobson or Standriff were asked whether it was “offensive” for the Democrat Hahn to turn hardened criminals loose on the street with taxpayer money to pay them as “gang intervention specialists.”

UPDATE II: Dave Weigel explains the special election background:

Democrats sort of bungled a low-turnout jungle primary for Jane Harman’s open seat. They expected it to produce an all-Democrat race between Janice Hahn and Debra Bowen, but Bowen fell short, and Republican Craig Huey got the other runoff spot.

There is a Memeorandum thread.

UPDATE III: Yet another Memeorandum thread, including this rather predictable reaction from Charles Johnson:

Are people really so dense that I need to explain what Ladd’s video was intended to accomplish? Or, if they are that dense, should I be content to leave it unexplained? I’m torn.

UPDATE V: “Ladd Ehlinger Jr. Goes Gangsta,” says Andy at AOSHQ.

MacAoidh at the Hayride doesn’t know if he would have “gone there.” Yeah, but you’re watching it, ain’t you?

UPDATE VI: Jean Merl of the Los Angeles Times:

Democratic leaders and others on Tuesday reacted angrily to what they characterized as an offensive and sexist YouTube video that tries to portray Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, a Democrat, as friendly to gang members.

Hey, Jean, just a suggestion here: You work at a newspaper, right? You’ve got access to Lexis-Nexis, right? So that means you could try a couple of quick searches and find out if how the video portrays Janice Hahn “as friendly to gang members” actually has any basis in fact.

If a candidate for Congress was, indeed, demonstrably “friendly to gang members,” I think that’s what they used to call “news.” Just sayin’ . . .

UPDATE VII: Southern California blogger Richard McEnroe reminds us of the sorry failed history of liberal “anti-gang” efforts.

UPDATE VIII: The controverial ad inspires a reporter for the “alternative” tabloid L.A. Weekly to tout Hahn as “likely to waltz to victory.” Yet the reporter is apparently willing to ignore his own newspaper’s reporting on the disastrous, expensive failure of L.A.’s “gang intervention” programs.

Questions: Is Janice Hahn’s record as a city council member a legitimate issue in her congressional campaign? And shouldn’t she have to face tough questions about her record of support for this very bad policy? Are journalists in California just underpaid P.R. shills for the Democratic Party, or are they just too lazy to be bothered doing any actual reporting?

UPDATE IX: The Rhetorican is impressed: “Now That’s an Attack Ad!”

UPDATE X: Feminist blogger Margaret Hartmann: “Hunt For The World’s Most Offensive Campaign Ad Is Over.”

Da Tech Guy thinks the video should, at least, get people talking about CA-36.


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