07/04/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

McCain Targeted On Arizona Immigration Law In Satirical Ad Campaign

A self-proclaimed rapid response, anti-GOP political action committee is going up on air with three new radio ads Wednesday, targeting lawmakers for their explicit support of Arizona's controversial new immigration laws.

The liberal-leaning Americans for America uses a bit of irreverence, a touch of severity, and the hook of Cinco de Mayo to go after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate candidate Jane Norton of Colorado in the new spots. The group is releasing a third bilingual ad in Las Vegas that, like the other two, warns listeners that the law recently implemented in Arizona would promote racial profiling against Latinos.

The ad against McCain is most memorable (and satirical) of the bunch. Set to the scene of Cinco de Mayo fraternity party crashed by over-zealous Arizona State troopers, it is designed to appeal to University of Arizona students, who have already been impacted by the new law.

"We have reasonable suspicion to believe you are illegal aliens," a cop declares in the ad. "You are listening to Mexican music, drinking Mexican drinks, and speaking Spanish."


The other two are more traditional political ads, with both a direct target (Norton) and appeal -- energizing Latino voters.


With an eye to electoral politics, Dan Manatt, a long-time Democratic activist and founder of Americans for America, said the goal of the campaign was to "reengage the Surge Voters of 08": students, Latinos and women (who are specifically targeted with the Norton spot).

Reengaging 2008 first time voters in 2010 is the stated objective of Democratic National Committee as well -- suggesting either shared messaging or, more likely, a clear sense among the activist community that the Arizona immigration law presents a real liability for the GOP.

The full buy of the ad campaign is just under $2,000, which sounds like a small amount except the group is going up on radio (not TV) in relatively cheap markets. Manatt says Americans for America will continue funding the ad as fundraising determines.