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Damon Political Report

Horsford accuses political foes of lobbing racially charged attacks

Updated Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 | 5:04 p.m.

Steven Horsford

Steven Horsford

Democratic Sen. Steven Horsford is accusing his political foes of launching racially charged attacks against him in his congressional run against Republican Danny Tarkanian.

Horsford, the first African-American state senate majority leader, called on Tarkanian to condemn a blog post by conservative operative Chuck Muth that mocks a tweet Horsford sent about the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Steven Horsford continues to play the race card (he’s black) with this mindless, irrelevant re-tweet of a White House tweet on Saturday,” Muth wrote on his blog of Horsford’s tweet about the Emancipation Proclamation. “Sounds like somebody’s scared by last week’s poll showing him losing the urban vote to his white-bread Republican opponent, Danny Tarkanian.”

In his blog post, Muth also chides Horsford for using “two black kids” playing basketball in one of his television ads. Horsford has criticized Tarkanian for implying he can win the black vote because of his work with black youth through his non-profit basketball clinic.

The children in Horsford’s ad are his own.

“This shot was of me playing with my children in our backyard,” Horsford said in a written statement. “And to refer to my kids as just some ‘black kids playing basketball’ is extremely offensive. My children will be off limits in this campaign. I won’t accept my kids being exploited as pawns in a political game and these racially charged attacks must stop.”

Tarkanian’s spokesman Ron Futrell distanced the Republican candidate from Muth’s blog post.

“I would say that Danny does not see the commercial that way,” Futrell said. “(Horsford) needs to deal with Chuck Muth on that. In the past, Muth has attacked Danny pretty hard, so we know how that feels.”

Asked for a response, Muth did not back off of his original comments.

"First, for Steven Horsford to accuse me of race-baiting is a textbook example of the pot calling the kettle black," Muth said. "Secondly, I had no idea the two kids in the commercial were his sons. Thirdly, the two black kids are, in fact, two black kids, so my statement was accurate, not racist. Fourth, I can only point out the obvious; that it was Mr. Horsford himself who actually exploited his kids as pawns in a political game by featuring them in his campaign commercial in the first place."

As for an apology, Muth refused.

"Lastly, as to Mr. Horsford's demand that I apologize for my alleged "insensitive" comments, allow me to respond by quoting Brigadier Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne in the Battle of the Bulge: 'Nuts!'" Muth said.

It’s not the first time race has become an issue in the congressional race.

Last month, Tarkanian, under fire from the Horsford campaign, questioned whether he should “be like Steven Horsford… and pretend we’re black.

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  1. A non-issue. No one had heard of the bolg post until Mr. Horsford brought it up.

  2. Our society continuing to ignore issues like this which is exactly why they continue to be issues. So, racism in this campaign is definitely an issue.

    It would be easier to believe that Tarkanian wasn't a racist associating with racists like Muth if Tarkanian himself hadn't been caught making racist statements already. It seems like the only people trying to "play the race card" are Tarkanian and Muth.

  3. Seems like Chuck Muth has made this a racial issue. We see many campaign commercials and ads featuring White Candidates, and we never hear people like Chuck Muth mention their children. Why is it different for Steven Horsford? Are there different rules for people of color who run for office...Well, Yes!

    We see this stuff all day long with the Republican party trying to paint the President as being something different. Chuck Muth is taking his Que from a stand point of believing He is entitled to fashion his own reality when it comes to Steven Horsford's children. This is low down, down right racist, up front and personal. Just like others like Chuck Muth of the so called entitlement group think they have the right to treat people of color different.

    Steven Horsford is right for calling out Chuck Muth for what he said about Steven Horsford's children and how Muth is responding. People like Chuck Muth need to be confronted when the children are involved.

    Racist and Hatred right here in the Las Vegas Valley, alive and well in the mind of Chuck Muth.

  4. At one point, I could respect Chuck Muth's opinion. Maybe the reasoning wasn't completely on-point, but his position seemed to be genuine.

    Chuck seemed willing to listen to the other side and engage in constructive debate.

    But things have changed. That once reasonable man has slowly devolved into a race-baiting paranoid conspiracy theorist. As a result, his influenced has waned and is now relegated to sad, sorry attacks like this on Steven Horsford.

    Chuck's desperation and willingness to scrape the bottom of the barrel to attack his opponents is truly sad, and isn't representative of the man so many used to admire and respect.

    Nevada's own Pamela Gellar needs to take a break and regain his composure.

  5. Danny Tarkanian and his spokesman Ron Futrell are missing the point, and missing an opportunity.

    First, they both should have condemned Chuck Muth's " white-bread" remark,

    Secondly, they both should have condemned Chuck Muth's attack against Steven Horsford children.

    Instead, Ron Futrell releases a statement saying, "I would say that Danny does not see the commercial that way."

    Danny Tarkanian only addresses the comments in the commercial---a weak statement, a statement that sends a message to voters that Danny Tarkanian will not stand up and speak out clearly on attacks against people of color and their children.

    Either way, Danny Tarkanian and his campaign will be looked at in a different light if they do not clearly distance themselves from Chuck Muth,by condemning the comments made by Chuck Muth.

  6. Ditto to Vegasbike's comments, and "Mr. Horsford himself who actually exploited his kids as pawns in a political game by featuring them in his campaign commercial in the first place."

  7. @flyinglow,

    So what you are saying is, if a White Candidate is show in a political ad with their children it is alright?

    Your not being reasonable. This is showing there are different sets of rules for a Black candidate.

    Racism and Hatred is alive and well in the minds of many Las Vegans.

  8. The only racist I see here is Horsford. Is the Race Card the only card he has in his hand and is Racist the only thought he has in his head? Apparently so. If you can't run on the issues, scream "RACIST" every chance you get. Pathetic.

  9. "Why aren't people showing some pride in the fact Horsford was born in Africa, immigrated to the United States and then moved up the political ladder? Coming from a cesspool like Africa and then succeeding in United States politics took a lot of hard work and we should all respect that."

    Horsford was born in Las Vegas.

    Any more blatant racism from Danny Tarkanian to debunk?