Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The View Is Always Better From The High Road

A Michigan newspaper revealed that an RNC-funded organizer in Michigan is coordinating "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" and "Fun With Guns" events at the University of Michigan, similar to Republican events in other states like Pennsylvania and Texas. In the first event participants would win prizes for catching others posing as illegal immigrants and in the latter, "young Republicans would shoot cardboard cut-outs of Democratic leaders such as Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)."

The report of these RNC-funded activities also comes just two days after the Washington Post reported that "in a pivotal year, [the] GOP plans to get personal."

In response, Howard sent a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman today calling on him to stop RNC-funded campaign activities that promote discrimination and endorse violence against political opponents.

Ken Mehlman, Chairman
Republican National Committee
310 First Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003


September 12, 2006


Dear Ken,

A troubling article today reported that a Republican National Committee-hired intern is planning events that can only be described as divisive, potentially dangerous, and discriminatory to promote the Republican Party's agenda at the University of Michigan.


Promoting "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day," which has been used by the Republican Party in other states including Pennsylvania and Texas, is not only offensive, it promotes discrimination for political gain. And an event titled "Fun with Guns" that encourages young Republicans to shoot cardboard cut-outs of Democratic leaders further promotes intolerance and violence. These un-American activities cannot go unchallenged.


We'd read that the RNC would use its funds to engage in negative campaigning in a desperate attempt to hold on to power and mobilize Republican voters in November, but these un-American attacks and violent, inflammatory campaign tactics are beyond the pale. As Chairmen of America's two major political parties, we have a responsibility to elevate the political discourse in America. Whether this is directly an RNC funded activity or not, I ask that you not only order such events ceased but also denounce these types of campaign tactics that breed only hatred, division and fear.


You said yourself to a gathering of Hispanic elected officials that America is a "nation of immigrants.a nation united by ideas, not race, creed or place of origin." That same day you also acknowledged that "we are all held to account by a common rule of law," and that "respect for this basic concept is critical to an America where we are all treated the same." To demonstrate your commitment to these words and ideals you must immediately act to have these desperate, inappropriate attacks stopped. America's democracy can only continue to work if we respect each other, and uphold the values that have made our country great. I hope to hear back from you on this important matter promptly.


Best regards,

Howard Dean, Chairman
Democratic National Committee


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