December 13, 2008


America's Voice has put together a compendium of the worst campaign ads of 2008 that were focused on immigration.

You can choose from three:

Obama's Plan: Driver's Licenses for Illegals

The National Republican Trust PAC spent launched this ad attacking Barack Obama for supporting driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants and linked this policy to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in an ad that fact-checking sites called "terror-pandering."

Elizabeth Dole - Days B

Dole's provocative ad blamed immigrants for lost wages and runaway spending: "… here they came. Costing us a billion dollars each year. Billions in lost wages."

[SEN-LA] NRSC: Fence

The NRSC attacked incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu (LA) for being on the "wrong side of the fence" on immigration, and lambasted her for this vote and others that were no more "extreme" than Senator McCain's.

The Border is Broken

"I'll get tough on illegals," says congressional contender Jay Love, in an ad that invoked both high-tech surveillance images and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

David Woods for Congress

Alabama congressional contender David Woods put out this ad depicting what are presumably undocumented immigrants swimming across the border. The ad states that he opposes "amnesty for illegal aliens."

You can see them all and vote here.

These ads were most notable for helping drive Obama's victory (and that of Democrats generally) by alienating Latino voters. As AV notes:

Despite spending significantly on immigration ads, most candidates airing them lost. Of the 218 ads aired by Republicans or Democrats in races that have been decided, only 69, or 32%, favored a winning candidate.3 GOP candidates, party committees, and outside group allies sponsored 78% of the immigration-related ads in races that have been decided. Only 17% of these ads were placed by winning GOP candidates and their allies.

Now, will the right-wing nativists get out of the way and let progressives solve this problem? Not likely. But it's time for us to do it anyway.

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