WASHINGTON -- Workers' Voice, the super PAC affiliated with the AFL-CIO, launched an attack Thursday on Virginia Senate candidate George Allen's troubled history with minorities and issues related to race.
Online ads by the group targeting a union and non-union audience in northern Virginia and Richmond online ads ask voters to choose "the most deplorable of George Allen's past actions."
Choices include a report that Allen hung a Confederate flag in his living room, another that he kept a noose in his law office, and Allen's vote as a state legislator against recognizing Martin Luther King Day as a holiday. A final option is the former senator's use of the slur "macaca" while running for reelection in 2006 -- regarded by many as fatal to his reelection campaign.
Shortly after Allen announced his comeback last year, he tried to make amends for his comments, stating in an interview, "I made mistakes and I take responsibility for them." Earlier this year, he penned an op-ed honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
“George Allen kept a noose and a Confederate flag in his office and anyone who would insult the African American and Latino people of Virginia this way is not fit to hold office,” said Workers’ Voice spokesman Eddie Vale in a statement. “This is similar to, but even more offensive, than Mitt Romney secretly attacking 47 percent of all Americans.”
The goal for Workers' Voice is to rally African American and Latino households against Allen, who is locked in a close race with his Democratic opponent Tim Kaine. The super PAC has placed $54,000 behind the new ad buy.
UPDATE: 11:31 a.m. -- Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for the Allen campaign, issued the following statement in response to the ad:
It is disappointing to see that Tim Kaine and his union allies would stoop to this level rather than talk about the very serious issues facing Virginia families and small businesses. George Allen has apologized and forthrightly addresses these old accusations, but when he is on the campaign trail he is hearing from Virginia families and small businesses concerned about skyrocketing fuel costs, burdensome regulations and increased taxes that are bringing uncertainty. It’s ironic that the very labor unions leveling these attacks are the same ones that Tim Kaine worked so closely with as DNC Chairman and that stand in direct opposition to the Right-to-Work laws that give Virginia a crucial economic advantage in encouraging investment and attracting new jobs.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that the "Macaca" incident was in 1996. It was in 2006.