(Cross-posted on valuesalliance.org)
Have you noticed the theme yet? They're all from the same candidate - Republican Vernon Robinson from North Carolina. Robinson is running for Congress in the Thirteenth District against incumbent Brad Miller. Robinson's favorite issues are "culture war" wedge issues, and he uses them in quite straightforward attempts to divide and confuse voters. It is quite possible to disagree on immigration policy, or same-sex marriage without suggesting - as Robinson does - that undocumented Latinos and gay citizens are immoral beings whose very presence ought not be tolerated .
Perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of the sordid mess is Robinson's campaign slogan - stolen from a Winston-Salem Journal editorial condemning the candidate and his tactics: "Jesse Helms is back! And this time, he's black." Robinson is African-American. Helms, as you might remember, was the former segregationist Senator from North Carolina known for extreme conservative and racist views. Someone should, perhaps, tell him that it wasn't a compliment. Sadly, it did seem to draw conservative voters to rally around him.
While Robinson's attacks are over the line and despicable, the Raleigh-Durham News and Observer claims that the race is heating up with both candidates now engaging in mudslinging and biting attacks. Apparently, neither candidate is willing to stop the madness. The voters will be left holding their noses and choosing the less offensive of the two candidates - assuming, of course, that they don't respond to the negative campaign by just staying home.
Robinson's campaign has emphasized immigration issues, such as a radio ad that features mariachi music and states "If Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals."
Robinson has made his opponent's personal life a campaign issue, after alleging that Congressman Brad Miller was a homosexual, due to the fact that Miller married somewhat late in life and has no children. Miller had to explain that his wife was unable to concieve due to a hysterectomy she had to undergo prior to their marriage.