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September 30, 2014

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Ad aimed at Hispanics brands Heller ‘another Sharron Angle’

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Leila Navidi

Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley speaks during a rally for Sen. Harry Reid with First Lady Michelle Obama at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas Monday, November 1, 2010.

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Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Ad: “Sound Familiar”

(Translation from Spanish by Las Vegas Sun)

The Party of Sharron Angle, but this time, in Spanish! Can you believe it?

The Republicans have ads that attack Democratic Congresswoman Shelley Berkley and President Obama, who support the Dream Act and immigration reform.

Who is their candidate now? Dean Heller: the Republican who wants to copy the anti-immigrant Arizona law here in Nevada, who voted to cut funds to Head Start and student scholarships, who is against immigration reform and would deport grandparents and separate children from their mothers.

And Heller has said he opposes the Dream Act, closing doors to so many young people in the only country they know.

(Deep sigh.)

A Republican who wants to get to the Senate on an anti-Latina platform — does that sound familiar?

In the Republican Dean Heller we have another Sharron Angle.

(In English) I’m Shelley Berkley, and I approve this message.

Paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

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National Republican Senatorial Committee Ad: “Regulating”

(Translation from Spanish by Las Vegas Sun)

First they took control of the banks. Later, the government put themselves in charge of health care. And now? What are Barack Obama and Shelley Berkley spending their time on?

Regulating the Catholic Church.

Obama and Berkley want to force the Catholic Church and Americans of faith to abandon their religious dogma, mandating the church pay for medical procedures and drugs that go against their beliefs.

And if the church doesn’t obey?

The Obama-Berkley law sanctions them, forcing them to pay fines for doing simply what they think is right. It is a direct attack against religious freedom.

Obama and Berkley have already made us pay for the government bailouts, an economic stimulus that was poorly spent and Obamacare.

Tell them, "Enough," and to leave our churches and religion alone.

The NRSC is responsible for the content of this ad. Paid for by NRSC, not authorized by any candidate or committee of any candidate. NRSC.org.

Where Nevada’s Hispanic voters are concerned, Democrats are betting Sharron Angle is the gift that keeps on giving.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a national campaign committee dedicated to keeping a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, is running a Spanish-language radio ad in Las Vegas this week that refers to “the party of Sharron Angle” and calls Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller “another Sharron Angle” running on an “anti-Latina” platform.

Heller is being challenged by Democratic U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley.

“Sharron Angle is a new shorthand,” said Gary Segura, a Stanford University political scientist and principal for the polling firm Latino Decisions. “There have been others in the past like Gov. Pete Wilson of California. ... It’s hard to say all these things about a candidate’s positions, so to sum up the whole package of ‘anti-immigrant,’ they just say 'Sharron Angle.'”

Nevada is considered by pollsters as one of a handful of states where Hispanic voters will be crucial in statewide elections, and Hispanics make up 14 percent of the electorate in the Silver State. Polls show Heller and Berkley running neck and neck.

Reaching out to Hispanic voters via radio advertisements isn’t the sole domain of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, though. Its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has hit Spanish-language radio with ads supportive of Heller.

Many political strategists, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid himself, credit Reid’s victory over Angle in 2010 to his strong showing among Latino voters, pulling in 90 percent of that group.

Angle was heavily criticized during that campaign for what were seen as race-baiting tactics, including commercials that linked Reid to illegal immigration and included a series of images of menacing-looking Hispanics sneaking through a chain-link fence.

Angle’s showing among Hispanic voters was particularly poor for Republicans in Nevada. Gov. Brian Sandoval took 33 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2010, and John McCain captured 20 percent of those voters in his 2008 presidential bid.

The Berkley campaign and Democratic Party organizations have made an early push to lock down Hispanic voters. In November, a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Spanish-language ad chided Heller for his “lack of respect for the Hispanic Community” after his last-minute cancellation of an appearance at the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce. The Berkley website features a petition titled "Tell Dean Heller: Stop Insulting Nevada Hispanics" that the campaign says has received more than 3,700 signatures as of Tuesday.

The latest Spanish-language advertisement, which is endorsed by Berkley, draws a direct line between Angle and Heller.

“Heller has said that he opposes the Dream Act, closing doors to so many young people in the only country they know,” a woman’s voice says in Spanish. “A Republican that wants to get to the Senate on an anti-Latina platform — does that sound familiar? In the Republican Dean Heller we have another Sharron Angle.”

Earlier this month, the National Republican Senatorial Committee produced a series of radio spots criticizing female legislators for supporting the federal health care law requirement that employers offer birth control among free preventive care covered in health insurance plans. Churches are exempt from having to insure contraception, but social service agencies, hospitals and universities run by religious organizations that employ people of other faiths must provide the coverage. Opponents of the requirement, including Heller, said it trampled on religious freedom as institutions may be forced to contribute to the cost of contraception, something against the beliefs of some religious groups.

In Nevada, the ad, which was not endorsed by any candidate, ran on the radio in Spanish and targeted Berkley and President Barack Obama. In Wisconsin, virtually the same radio ad aired, but in English and focusing on Obama and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. In Nevada, the ad refers to the “Obama-Berkley” law, while the Wisconsin version calls it the “Obama-Baldwin” law.

“Obama and Berkley want to force the Catholic Church and Americans of faith to abandon their religious dogma, obligating the church to pay for medical procedures and drugs that go against their beliefs,” a woman says in Spanish. “And if the church doesn’t obey? The Obama-Berkley law sanctions them, forcing them to pay fines for doing simply what they think is right. It is a direct attack against religious freedom.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee Communication Director Brian Walsh framed the race, and the ad, in terms of personal freedom and government intervention.

Click to enlarge photo

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) speaks during a welcome home ceremony for the 422nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion at the Mandalay Bay Sunday, January 15, 2012. The Army National Guard soldiers entered field service on January 7, 2011 and have been serving in Afghanistan since March 28, 2011.

“On virtually every issue, when there’s been a clear choice between bigger government and personal freedom, Shelley Berkley has consistently stood with President Obama on the side of bigger government and more regulation, and the Congresswoman will be held accountable for her very liberal record in Washington,” Walsh wrote in an email.

According to Latino Decisions, which casts itself as an independent polling firm, the Democrats’ tactic may carry more punch than the Republicans’ approach.

“There is virtually no indication that any Latin voter will turn out to vote on the contraception issue,” Segura said. “The Catholic Church has been opposed to abortion for forever and the Democrats have run pro-choice candidates forever, and that has not stopped Latinos from voting for them. If abortion was not sufficient to sway them, why on earth would the pill or condoms be sufficient? It makes no sense.”

On the other hand, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad hits on two issues that polls show Hispanic voters think are important, education and immigration.

“Who is their candidate now? Dean Heller, the Republican who wants to copy the anti-immigrant Arizona law here in Nevada, who voted to cut funds to Head Start and student scholarships, who is against immigration reform, and would deport grandparents and separate children from their mothers,” the ad states, referring in part to a vote by Heller to reduce federal Pell Grant benefits for college students.

Jim Gonzalez, a Las Vegas resident who is a member of Somos Republicans, one of the largest Hispanic conservative groups in the country, said he has not yet decided which Senate candidate he’ll support.

“I do see the contraception issue as one of religious freedom,” said Gonzalez, who describes himself as an Evangelical Christian. “I won’t vote for Obama, but he did all right in backing off and suggesting a compromise on that issue. I think the contraception thing will not last as an issue, but immigration will be an issue for the long run. I want sensible immigration reform, and if the Democrat is the one who offers that in the Senate race, that’s who I’ll vote for. I’m going to wait and see.”

CORRECTION: This story was updated to reflect that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is a national campaign committee. | (February 22, 2012)

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  1. The simple fact of the matter is that, on the most part, the entire Democratic Party treats Hispanic Americans like people. At times, it appears they are unable to address their issues, but that isn't directly attributable to inaction nor uncaringness. It's pretty much due to the flammable political climate we seem to be immersed in nowadays.

    Just the name "Sharron Angle" stirs up a sour taste in the mouth from the last election regarding xenophobia, race baiting, fearmongering and blatant stereotyping that encourages only the most despicable prejudices. Most people get that.

    But, I really think it just fortifies the horrible truth that Sharron Angle represented them, and the entire Republican Party, along with their Tea Party infection, actually continues to demonstrate they THRIVE off of dehumanizing/demonizing an entire race of people all in order to vote monger. To pander to the Caucasian vote only. They seem to pride themselves on this short sighted policy.

  2. I don't understand the racial reference in the first comment. You attack a group of people by making a cheap racial references because they are racially insensitive?

    How is that any different? Either it was sarcasm or spewing nonsense to get bigots all riled up.

    Funny how the U.S. loves the classification of "White, Black, etc" yet the people that fit under that classification actually distinguish themselves with a passion. Ever been to Europe and put an Italian with an Irish? An English with a French? German with a Polish? They don't have the affinity towards each other as portrayed here in the U.S.

    Of course once you become more diverse - you feel threatened and begin to develop an affinity with others - in the U.S. it has been due to the color of your skin. It really is a crazy concept. And the way people have been made to conform to these classifications is flabbergasting.

    That aside - Democrats to push the GOTV effort. Get out there and register people to vote and get them out to the polls! EVERY! vote counts. You can even register online with certain restrictions. GOTV!

  3. Good comment? What is so good about a comment that makes no sense?

    Do Democrats become intolerant because of race or because you oppose them?

    Flabbergasting!

  4. Hertic: "Evidently the Democrats are the only racially tolerant folks on the face of the earth..... unless you oppose them!"

    That is a monumentally fallacious comment. What does opposition have to do with racial tolerance?

    Is it race that makes them intolerant or do they become intolerant because they were opposed?

  5. And doesn't Shelley Berkley look, act, sound and VOTE like Nancy Pelosi?

    Rubber stamp.

  6. Heretic: "Clearly Carmen and Colin are bigots who foment divisiveness."

    During the Angle/Reid Senate race in November 2010, Angle ran an attack ad against Senator Reid that was totally confirmed completely racist.

    It portrayed Hispanic Americans according to a stereotype: Young Hispanics, all wearing bandanas, heads up looking at the camera with slitted eyes with an angry "I'm gonna kick yer...." look on their faces, wearing colors, flashing gangsta signs, in the background a fence, on the border, intending to make it sound like all Hispanics (even American ones) are bent on running across the border bent on criminal destruction, taking away jobs, raping, and pillaging.

    This is only one of many instances of Tea/Republican Party political ads used nationwide. They demonize the entire Hispanic American vote, disregarding them, in order to curry favor by fearmongering the white vote to their side.

    How exactly is it that I am bigoted by pointing out that?

    Also, Carmen is a Hispanic American. It was stated. Your comment about me groups me the same as Carmen, I guess.

    You are far from the truth.

    To clarify, I am a retired U.S. Navy Veteran living in Las Vegas.

    I am a natural born American citizen.

    CAUCASIAN.

    You seem to like to throw out the term "bigots," but you seem to be unaware of what it actually means. Nor who qualifies to be labeled by that term. You also clearly assume perceptions about other commenters. Perceptions that are untrue. Rhetoric is more important than facts.

    Lastly, the Tea/Republican Party here in Nevada, on the whole, simply enjoys fomenting divisiveness. They have a tendency to group legitimate Hispanic voters the same as illegal alien immigrants, and seem to enjoy spouting the same crap you hear on Fox News, an infotainment channel that feeds the basic fears of viewers who are too lazy to look up the truth about stuff. They tell you, you listen, you decide, YOU ARE INFORMED HOW WE WANT YOU INFORMED, DAMNIT. Stuff like the despicable term "anchor babies" and vague generalities like "they are taking away our jobs." All of this is crap only meant to dehumanize an entire race of Americans in order to get another race to vote for them; especially the uninformed. In Nevada, THEY HAVE PERFECTED THIS AS CAMPAIGN POLICY. Contrary to their mistaken beliefs of how things work, THAT IS NOT AMERICA. A majority of people in America don't think like that.

    I still stand by my words: For a Hispanic American voter to cast a ballot for a Tea/Republican Party politician, given all of the rhetoric that is thrown out there, all the proof in the past of blatant constant attacks against people who are verified they are flesh and blood Americans just like anyone else, is totally counter-productive. And I am very sure they know this. That is exactly why the Tea/Republican Party is going to get crushed in November 2012.

    Nice try, Heretic. Now who's the bigot?

  7. Heller is a cow county buffoon in the same mold as Angle. He was safe and secure running in the cow county district as a House Representative. Now he must face the ENTIRE STATE ELECTORATE to keep a seat in the Senate that he did not earn in the first place. All Berkeley needs to do to beat this fool is run on her sterling record in congress that represented ALL NEVADANS, not just teabag nutjobs. Heller is a Grover Norquist drone, who does not deserve election to the US Senate. Any candidate who swears allegiance to Norquist over his/her sworn oath of affirmation to the US CONSTITUTION deserves no respect or the vote of any TRUE PATRIOT.