Willie Horton Anyone? Allen West Uses Opponent’s Mugshot in a Political Ad
In a move that shows how times are changing in racial politics, Congressman Allen West decided to used a picture of his opponent’s mugshot during a recent campaign for re-election to Congress. West says that back in 2003, he was preparing to head to war, while his opponent, Patrick Murphy, was going to jail for a drunken brawl that took place at a night club.
“Two men, a country in crisis. You decide,” the ad says.
Murphy has fired back, stating that he was 19 years old at the time of his arrest. His campaign also notes that West was 20 years older than him when he was punished for misconduct during the war in Iraq.
“The only reason he escaped prosecution was that he cut a deal to retire,” Murphy campaign manager Anthony Kusich said in a letter to fundraisers.
West was reprimanded for firing a pistol next to a detainee’s head in order to extract information from him. He was allowed to retire with benefits, rather than face punishment for his behavior.
The ad reminds many voters of the Willie Horton ads of the 1988 presidential campaign. In the race between eventual winner George Bush Sr. and former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, an image of convict w***y Horton was used to scare white voters into being tough on crime. Horton escaped from authorities during a weekend furlough program and committed armed robbery and rape during the time he was released.
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