Can we get the number for your button maker?
Can we get the number for your button maker? screenshot via youtube

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Finally, we can see ourselves the way Washington State Republicans see us. The state GOP has funded a new campaign ad ostensibly showing Seattleites praising Democratic state senate candidate Manka Dhingra but in fact showing mediocre actors portraying Republicans' favorite stereotypes about Seattle.

"We don't have enough liberal politicians," says a young person hilariously dressed in a t-shirt bearing Dhingra's logo and buttons that read "SAWANT!" and "RAISE TAXES!" (plus one with a hammer and sickle). "Manka Dhingra will give us free stuff. I love free stuff," says...a hippie I guess? "Who cares about higher car tab fees? [Fuck] the cars," says a cyclist who looks like every man in Seattle. "Manka Dhingra is Seattle sophisticated," scoffs a woman in glasses, "not like those Eastside soccer moms."

Sawant! Lenin! Get it????????????????

Dhingra is running for a seat in the 45th Legislative District (Kirkland/Redmond), which is up for a special election because Republican state senator Andy Hill died of cancer last year. With the balance of power in Olympia at stake, the race has become the most expensive race in state history. (That's not even counting spending from outside groups like the one that produced this ad.)

Republican Jinyoung Englund has repeatedly tried to characterize Dhingra as "extreme" or link her to Seattle politics, despite the fact that Dhingra is no Seattle socialist. She's a moderate Democrat who does not support a state income tax and is lukewarm on safe consumption sites. She doesn't have the endorsement of Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant. She is a prosecutor.

The ad was paid for by an Issaquah-based PAC called Eastside Values. The group's only donor is the Washington State Republican Party, which has given $200,000. Eastside Values has not yet reported its spending, so it's unclear how much this ad cost or where it will run. (The group has not returned a request for comment.) Eastside Values' campaign manager is Alex Hays, a political consultant and former director of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington, a group formed to "provide a voice for moderate Republicans within the GOP."

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Dhingra took to her campaign's Facebook page Sunday to respond to the ad:

As a PROUD Eastside soccer mom, I am truly offended and shocked at how low and how deceptive the Washington State Republican Party has gotten with this ad! They went so far as to make a fake T-shirt with my campaign logo to trick voters into thinking this ad is from my campaign. If you are as outraged as I am, make sure you vote and tell all your friends to vote. We need honesty and integrity in the Washington State Senate. Not lies and false information.

Update: Republicans ran nearly identical spots against Jon Ossoff.

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