I thought Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was going to run a re-election campaign based purely on the popularity of Trump's tax breaks for the wealthiest people and corporations in the country, but that does not appear to be her current strategy! Instead, she's running a classic fear-mongering ad campaign full of insanely misleading claims and outright falsehoods.
On Tuesday, KXLY reported that McMorris Rodgers's latest batch of negative TV ads and mailers attacking her Democratic challenger, Lisa Brown, are so bad that a group of Spokane-area child abuse and prevention providers have signed an open letter "strongly condemning" McMorris Rodgers.
"Rep. McMorris Rodgers decision to distribute a provocative fearful image, mailed to tens of thousands of homes in eastern Washington, reinforces harmful stereotypes that do not correspond with the data on sexual assault perpetrators," the letter reads. "Further, this image references racial stereotypes that reinforce explicit racism and implicit racial biases that have devastating consequences for people of color in our country."
The group, led by Susan Hammond, a retired mental health nurse, ask McMorris Rodgers to publicly apologize to Brown and to "cease using this dishonest and harmful campaign tactic immediately." The letter has over 590 signatures as of yesterday afternoon.
UPDATE: Up to 590 signatures letter condemning @cathymcmorris for her appalling campaign ad, just as she sent out a second mail piece doubling down on this offensive message. You can view it here: https://t.co/qUqrZVHKW6. To add your name: https://t.co/SGVEoIsqKh #wa05 #waelex
— SusanLovesToSwim (@susanswim55) July 26, 2018
All the ads feature throwback attacks on some votes Brown took in the legislature back in the 1990s.
The TV ad slams Brown for voting against a House bill that would restrict child sex offenders from living near schools. According to Kip Hill over at the The Spokesman-Review, the bill passed the House but died in the Senate. Brown said she didn't vote for the proposal because it overlooked preschools and day cares—you know, those places where the children are.
McMorris Rodgers's spokesman, Jared Powell, did not respond when I asked if the Congresswoman plans to apologize to Brown for the ads and to stop distributing them around Spokane.
McMorris Rodgers is talking about votes Lisa Brown took in the 1990s because the Trump tax cut she constantly Tweets about isn't exactly a winning issue. According to Gallup, only 39 percent of Americans approve of the cut. The underwhelming response to the cut might have something to do with the fact that corporations used the extra money to reward their shareholders instead of their workers, as many predicted.
It seems like McMorris Rodgers is trying out this vintage attack to see if the old "Democrats-are-bad-on-crime" strategy still works in the 5th, using the August 7 primary results as a kind of free poll. If it works, I expect to see more mailers from McMorris Rodgers accusing Brown of voting for legislation that would somehow allow MS-13 to legally steal trucks from Republicans, drive them without a license, and murder the puppies of blonde virgins without penalty.