ALEC member and Candidate Capitalizes on Trevon Martin’s Death in Vicious, Dishonest Attack Ad Featuring Dark Men in Hoodie
Campaign uses fear mongering and half-truths to distract from real issues
ALBUQUERQUE – Not even a year after Trayvon Martin was shot dead for wearing a hoodie in his own neighborhood, State House candidate and ALEC member Nate Gentry puts a dark man in a hoodie front and center in a scare-tactic campaign mail piece.
The inflamatory ad comes from the campaign of self-proclaimed ALEC member
Nate Gentry who defended the organization earlier this year after ProgressNow NM and others called for members to denounce the group which had sponsored the “stand your ground” legislation (also dubbed, “kill at will”) which Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, used in attempts to justify the shooting of the unarmed teen.
Following the shooting of Martin, protests and vigils erupted around the country – including here in Albuquerque – calling for a renewed attention to the issues of racism and prejudice towards young black and brown men.
“It is unconscionable that any politician would find it acceptable, even for a second, to use an image of a dark man in a hooded sweatshirt in a political ad today,” says Pat Davis of ProgressNowNM. “Nate Gentry has either been living under a rock or believes, like George Zimmerman, that kids in hoodies are boogeymen first and kids second. Either way, let’s hope his voters know better.”
“We might need a ‘million hoodie march’ around Gentry’s house,” added Davis, “because he apparently missed the hundreds of others held across the country to end just these types of prejudiced actions.”
This type of malicious attack has no place in New Mexico politics. It does nothing to resolve the pressing problems New Mexico faces, it distracts from the real issues voters truly care about, and it makes Nate Gentry’s entire campaign look petulant and desperate. Nate Gentry should issue an immediate apology not only to the members of his community who received this mailer, but also to the family of Trayvon Martin whose son’s death he is capitalizing upon.
UPDATE (10.20.12) – The DemocracyForNewMexico blog (run by Gentry’s opponent), posted a clip of Gentry appearing at a neighborhood candidate forum on Wednesday claiming that he would “not be responsible” for any negative mail pieces in this campaign. See the video below.
Clearly Gentry was being dishonest with his constitents, or his mail pieces are not run through Gentry. Gentry is the subject of a complaint with the Secretary of State regarding illegal coordination between Gentry’s campaign and a SuperPAC run by Governor Martinez’s political advisor.
Questions surfaced when a mailer sent by another candidate, which matched that sent by Gentry’s campaign, included a return address for the PAC but “paid for by…” disclosures from the campaign.