Looks like Keith Rothfus, the Republican candidate in PA-12, is enlisting some of the darker elements of the right wing to help him try to unseat Democratic Congressman Mark Critz.
Last Thursday, Rothfus was endorsed by the Tea Party Express, and now it’s being reported that Rothfus is using the political consulting firm Long and Nyquist.
Both these groups have either flirted with with racism or employed racist language to advance their political causes.
Long and Nyquist were the “brains” behind the Mark Mustio for State Senate campaign in the Republican primary against D. Raja and Sue Means.
From the outset of the campaign, Mustio’s campaign used blatant racism in their attacks on D. Raja. They used racist appeals in their television ads and campaign mailings, like that time they placed an Indian flag behind Raja saying that he “shipped jobs to India.”
They also used Raja’s full name “Dakshinamurthy” instead of the name he goes by – “D.” – an obvious dogwhistle to the “racial conservatives” in the electorate that Raja’s not one of them.
As a result of the campaign that Mustio and Rothfus’ consultants ran, The Pittsburgh Post-
Gazette withdrew its endorsement of Mustio. In their editorial repudiating the Mustio campaign, the paper said Mustio’s campaign (and by extension, Long and Nyquist) “will stoop to racism to get elected…”
Of course Mustio ultimately bears the blame for running such a dark campaign, but obviously Long and Nyquist share the blame for the – let’s say *unprofessional* – decision to design those ads and mailers.
Rothfus’ embrace of the Tea Party Express is especially gross.
Controversy has swirled around the Tea Party and alleged racism within the movement since the beginning. No tea party organization has been more brazen about its racial politics than the Tea Party Express. They were even expelled from the National Tea Party Federation because of their
leaders’ flagrant use of racism in their appeals to conservative and disaffected voters.
In 2010, their spokesman Mark Williams penned a fictional letter from “colored people” to Abraham Lincoln. It began, “Dear Mr. Lincoln, We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!”
Yet, even after they were expelled from the National Tea Party Federation, the Tea Party Express refused to rebuke their spokesman’s writings.
If the Tea Party Federation thinks the Tea Party Express is too extreme even for them, what does that say about Keith Rothfus?