..ehr, I mean “Poizner”; but his name might as well be “poisoner”, though. He’s been attacking economic refugees by calling them “illegal aliens” and going all Lou Dobbs on them. Current Insurance Commissioner Poizner has been doing this in a particularly venomous manner throughout his almost now desperate campaign (he’s behind in the polls) to gain the nomination of the Republican Party in California to be the state’s governor against fellow Republican candidate Meg Whitman. His commercials are everywhere on local TV stations and are filled with poisonous rhetoric. Here’s one where he uses the dehumanizing and bigoted term “illegal alien”:
Notice that he keeps on blaming California’s economic crisis on “failed liberal policies”, when in reality a large part of the blame should go to conservative obstructionist policies via the Prop. 13 catastrophe that has resulted in California’s dysfunctional government. But he’ll never admit to that, of course.
Here’s his latest piece of work where he uses the usual conservative line of fear mongering, using overdramatizing images to blame everything that is wrong with California on immigrants-and by implied extension of course, on Latinos. What’s particulary interesting about his latest videos is that he drops the term “illegal alien” for “illegal immigration”. I wonder if that was deliberate, or someone in his camp told him to cool it a bit if he is to actually be successful at winning the governorship, which would be a near impossible task without the Latino vote:
His attempts at posturing himself at being the “tough enforcer guy” are just plain sad and tragic. Not only does he look as the antithesis of being macho right-wing guy, but with his skinny mousy insurance clerk physique and look, his persona just comes across as him being dishonest, nasty, negative, and wreckless (and not in the sexy bad boy kind, but rather in the loser kind).
To add insult to injury, he slams fellow Republican Meg Whitman for supposedly having the same “liberal” immigration policy preferences as President Barack Obama. In watching the video below, you have to wonder: who is advising this guy? Are you serious? Mr. Poizner is running in a state that have entire counties that are now or will be soon predominantly Latino and have strong connnections to the immigrant experience, on a state that voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama (even in counties that are typically conservative-leaning) and STILL approve of Obama by large margins. It is clear that the majority of Californians agree with President Obama’s policies on a number of issues, INCLUDING on immigration. So why is Mr. Poizner committing political suicide by not only angering the Latino and other minority voting blocks that will take deep offense to his negative campaign messaging but also by running against President Obama himself?:
Painting Meg Whitman as Obama-lite might even be working in Whitman’s favor. In a weird way, it’s almost like Steve Poizner’s commercials are having the unintended consequence of telling people to vote for Whitman because she is the Obama candidate, not State Attorney General Jerry Brown (the actual Democratic Party potential candidate). Mr. Brown is not helping the situation either: he’s actually positioning himself as a “centrist”, which is code for progressives for “Conservative Democrat”, a category that has become toxic in progressive circles. By positioning himself as a conservative-lite on a number of issues (including immigration) and even going as far as pledging to work with the racist “Tea Party” people, Mr. Brown has painted himself as not exciting to his base, which is typically a huge political mistake to do because it can have the unintended consequence of tranlating into Democratic voters staying home come election night. In some ways, what happened in Massachusetts with Scott Brown is happening in California: the focus is so much on the Republican nominees that Mr. Brown, devoid of an exciting progressive message, is getting lost in the background (and this is independently of the fortune that Meg Whitman is pouring into her marketing campaign). Not surprisingly, Meg Whitman, who has by the most part stayed away from such direct hate-on-immigrants tactics, is surging on the polls because she has chosen to do what has also proven to work on political campaigns: offer a hopeful and positive message (which has proven to yield powerful results: Obama and Reagan are practically exhibit A’s of this). What’s even more remarkable, although Meg Whitman appears to be on the same page as Steve Poizner on immigration, she is doing it low-key in a way that is not so public and in-your-face: through one-on-one debates with him, not on full-blown TV commercials. In fact, Meg Whitman has gone so far as to pledge during the state Republican convention that if elected, she “will ban undocumented students from attending California’s higher education system” and yet this has received very little focus in her campaign to the larger public.
By comparison, it is clear that Mr. Poizner is either not listening to smart political advise because his own ideological bigotry is blinding him from reality, or he is just surrounded by incompetent advisors. Via The Los Angeles Times:
[Poizner’s] campaign strategist, Stuart Stevens, said the emphasis on illegal immigration stemmed not from polling data but from Poizner himself.
“It’s something that Steve Poizner feels passionately about,” he said.
Stevens brushed aside the concerns of some Republicans that concentrating on the issue could extend the backlash among Latinos, the state’s fastest-growing ethic group and one the GOP is eager to attract for its long-term survival.
“There’s zero concern. . . . I don’t buy into the notion that 187 is the root of difficulties in California that the Republicans have had with Latino voters. I think it’s a specious argument.”
He attributed the breach to the GOP’s attraction to “big money and status quo power” candidates — like, he said, Whitman.
Others, however, see the emphasis as a sideshow in an election in which voters are focused laser-like on other matters.
“There’s absolutely no sign it’s helping Poizner at all,” Quinn said. “The overwhelming issue affecting Republicans and Democrats is the loss of jobs and the budget mess.”
Yeah, keep on living in denial Poizner camp. There is NO question that Prop. 187 WAS the poison that killed the Republican Party in California and that completely destroyed Pete Wilson’s aspirations of running for President. Granted, even in this day and age you might get some short term gain from your attacks on economic refugees, but let’s be clear Mr. Poizner: you and your party will pay a high prize for it, just as it happened after Pete Wilson’s Prop. 187 passed and the Republican Party was decimated at the polls in the subsequent years by the Latino vote.
Regardless, we cannot let Mr. Poizner’s media onslaught against immigrants go unanswered. His tactics might very well be hurting his own political campaign but that is nothing compared to the damage that he’s doing to the entire state of California through his bigoted poisonous rhetoric.
Let Steve “the Poisoner” know that Latinos and other immigrants will not tolerate being his floor mat. Contact him to let him know that his campaign messages against “illegal aliens” are an attack on decency and are filled with hate and that you will not tolerate it come election night. Here’s Steve Poizner’s contact information:
You can write a letter to him to this address:
Steve Poizner for Governor
520 Capitol Mall, Suite 220
Sacramento, CA 95814
…and you can contact him through his website here.
Update: be sure to also tweet Steve Poizner’s Press Secretary, Bettina Inclan on her twitter account @BettinaInclan, who is a Latina herself. Also take a moment to send a tweet over to Mr. Poizner’s official campaign team account at @TeamPoizner.
Here’s a couple of sample tweets you can send their way (don’t forget to ask people to “RT”!):
plz RT: @StevePoizner @TeamPoizner Prop13 pushd CA economy off cliff, NOT hardworking ppl tryng 2escape poverty http://digg.com/d31Nsm2?t
Update #2: when you send your tweets to the people above, please use the following hashtags for maximum effect: