WASHINGTON -- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a statement on Tuesday evening denouncing what could very well be the most outrageously sexist and racist ad in political history.
Earlier this week, the group Turn Right USA released a web ad that could double as a parody of race baiting and bigotry. The spot, targeting Janice Hahn -- the Democratic candidate in a special election to take over Rep. Jane Harman's L.A.-based House seat -- spun a fairly uncontroversial attempt to have reformed gang-members draw current ones away from that lifestyle into tales of demonic violence, taxpayer subsidized rape and drug abuse.
It seemed like a transparent attempt to hook eager cable news producers for some free airtime. For the large part, however, it went under the radar.
Which is why the DCCC's decision to call on the Republican candidate in the race, Craig Huey, to condemn it is a bit of a head-scratcher.
"This ad does not reflect the values of California’s hardworking women and men," said Jennifer Crider, deputy executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Craig Huey’s silence should send a chilling message to our mothers, sisters and daughters that this kind of outrageous and sexist material is tolerated.”
Democrats are, to their benefit, playing with House money here. California's 36th district remains decidedly their terrain even if, as Slate's Dave Weigel notes, the party "bungled a low-turnout jungle primary."
In that regard, making this spot symbolic of the depths to which conservatives will go could have its benefits. Certainly getting Republicans to condemn it before any money is spent on its airing is important as well. Still, Crider's statement draws attention to a spot that few, if anyone, had seen.
Huey's camp completely disavowed the offensive spot.
“The Internet video in question is inappropriate, highly offensive and has no connection whatsoever to the Craig Huey campaign,” said Huey spokesman Jimmy Camp.
He said that the campaign doesn't know the makers, and described them as "very fringe."
The treasurer for Turn Right USA, Claude Todoroff, confirmed the group is real, but declined to talk about it. "I don't know about the ad but I wouldn't talk to The Huffington Post, anyway. You're a bunch of liberal idiots," Todoroff said, before hanging up.