by Andrew Walden
Now arriving in Honolulu mailboxes, an AFL-CIO mailer supporting Colleen Hanabusa’s flagging challenge to Honolulu’s incumbent congressman Charles Djou claims “Djou signed a pledge that he will continue to give tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas.”
The attack is a familiar one, it was deployed in April against Djou by the National Democrats during the special election campaign. The charge, extrapolated from Djou’s signing of the Americans for Tax Reform “No New Taxes” pledge, has already been debunked. FactCheck.org explains, “A Democratic ad claims a GOP House candidate pledged to protect breaks for sending jobs abroad. He didn’t…. The ad is not true….“
But that is all old news.
What is new is that the AFL-CIO takes a page from the Mufi Hannemann playbook and targets Djou’s Chinese ancestry. The “message from your union” is none too subtle. In the cover imagery, they jab a pin right into the heart of Shanghai, China under text reading “if you don’t want your job to go here…don’t let Charles Djou go…(to Washington, DC).”
It is well known that Djou’s family is from Shanghai—their immigrant story has featured in Djou’s campaign--so the AFL-CIO is clearly insinuating that Djou--one of Congress’ very few military reservists--is not loyal to the United States. The message is further designed to play on ethnic divisions in Hawaii and drive a wedge between Chinese-Americans and other ethnicities.
The media will jump on this any second now…
FACTHECK.ORG: A Democratic ad claims a GOP House candidate pledged to protect breaks for sending jobs abroad. He didn’t. (April 9, 2010)
ATR: DCCC Attacks Charles Djou with False Claims about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge (April 7, 2010)
HFP: Fact Checking: Anti-Djou attack ad “Simply false” (April 6, 2010)
Political Radar: Union mailer
HFP: Rothenberg: Democratic poll shows Djou ahead by double digits