A printed mailer sent out by the Utah Democratic party features what appears to be a darkened photo of Republican House candidate Mia Love. Below is the image of the mailer:
Here's the original photograph, in color:
This isn’t the latest advertisement against Love, who would be the first black Republican woman in Congress, that seems to have racial undertones. An ad from Center Forward, a PAC associated with the Blue Dog Democrats, is running in Love’s district and claims the Saratoga Springs mayor is soft on crime because she cut budgets for police protective wear. “Mia Love’s record?” the voiceover says. “Skyrocketing crime, putting police and us at risk.” The ad shows a b-roll of police tape and a scared woman looking out her window. The ad then shows a black and white photo of Love. Watch the video below:
There don’t appear to be any other ads in this cycle accusing Republican House candidates of being soft on crime, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not yet responded to a phone call. National Republican Congresional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay emailed a comment.
"Democrats are so afraid of Mia Love’s candidacy that they are willing to stoop to these shameful and troubling tactics," Lindsay said. "What’s even more troubling is the lack of outrage from Jim Matheson and his friends on the left.”
This wouldn't be the first time Democrats have drawn attention to a minority Republican's race. In 2003, when Bobby Jindal was first running for governor of Louisiana against Democrat Kathleen Blanco, Blanco's campaign ran an ad that many deemed racist. John J. Miller reported in 2007:
Four years ago, a last-minute television commercial for Blanco flashed a controversial picture of Jindal and warned, “Wake up Louisiana! Before it’s too late!” The ad outraged Republicans. “They showed Bobby to be darker than he really is, with his hair messed up even though his hair is never messed up — they made him look like Don King,” says McCrery. “It was a racist ad.” When the votes were counted, Jindal lost in part because he underperformed among white voters in the northern part of the state, where Republicans traditionally have done well.
And last month, a Democratic ad portrayed freshman Republican House member Allen West of Florida, who is black, cartoonishly punching a white woman.
The Democratic ads in Utah come on the heels of a new investigation into an envelope delivered to Love’s mayoral office that reportedly contained racist attacks. The Deseret News has more:
City Manager Mark Christensen described the contents of the thick envelope as "disturbing" and "pretty creepy stuff." He said it included a picture of Love and her husband, Jason, and a hooded Ku Klux Klan character. There also were pictures of aborted fetuses, he said.
"I couldn't tell if it was threatening or anything. It kind of shocked me, what I saw," he said.
Christensen said the city has received others mailings aimed at Love but nothing like the one that arrived Tuesday. He said he turned it over to the police department.
Saratoga Springs Police Chief Gary Hicken said he assigned an officer to investigate.
"I can say it's racial in nature but I can't tell you it's criminal in nature," he said.
Love herself spoke about this investigation on Fox News Wednesday night with Greta van Susteren. She told van Susteren she was not "surprised" by the attacks but she is "disappointed."
In an internal campaign poll released Wednesday, Love is leading her opponent, Blue Dog Democratic congressman Jim Matheson, by double digits. The candidates are competing in Utah's new Fourth Congressional District.