(We Haven't Forgotten You.)
PLEASE CONTINUE TO CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TO REMIND THEM WE HAVE NOT FORGOT. IF THEY DELAY ACTION ON THE TRASH S2611 UNTIL AFTER THE MID-TERM ELECTIONS WE WILL CONSIDER IT A YES VOTE FOR AMNESTY AND A NO VOTE TO SECURE OUR BORDERS!
PAC's radio ads rip congressmanBy Tad Walch
Deseret Morning News
PROVO — A national immigration-restriction group released a radio advertisement Monday that openly mocked Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, and endorsed his opponent, John Jacob, in the June 27 Republican primary.
Team America ran the ad 13 times Monday on KSL Newsradio. The ad, called offensive by Cannon's chief of staff, used a sneering laugh track to attack Cannon's campaign statements that he is against illegal immigration.
"Chris Cannon's tough on illegal immigration? (Canned laughter) That's a joke, but it's not funny," the ad says. "That's why Utah needs to vote against Chris Cannon and for John Jacob ... to clean up the illegal immigration mess Chris Cannon helped create."
Team America, a conservative political action committee based in Washington, D.C., posted two versions of the ad on its Web site. Both used the same information, but one was a straightforward spot while the Web site called the one with the laugh track — the one that aired Monday in Utah — its "funny" version.
"I don't think people in Utah are going to consider it funny," said Joe Hunter, Cannon's chief of staff. "It's a pretty nasty ad and filled with laughter on a very important subject. We're very confident people in Utah will react the way Utahns usually do to ad campaigns like this."
In the ad, a commentator says Cannon voted nine times to support amnesty for illegal aliens and co-sponsored six amnesty bills.
Jacob said he hadn't heard the Team America ad as of Monday afternoon and did not endorse it. He agreed that Utahns have proved their distaste for negative campaigning.
However, he said, he didn't consider the Team America ad to be negative.
"Chris has made those statements, and his record is not the same," Jacob said. "He has supported amnesty, and he has supported illegal immigration."
Hunter said Cannon stands by his statements that he opposes amnesty and said Cannon's voting record reflects that.
The Cannon campaign responded with a new ad of its own late Monday afternoon. The radio spot, which also aired on KSL Newsradio, claimed Cannon's record shows real action to stop illegal immigration.
"I've been working for stricter screening at entry points, increased border surveillance, more border patrol agents and closing the loopholes that allow the system to be abused," Cannon says in the ad.
The two candidates argued Saturday during a debate over the definition of amnesty in a replay of Cannon's re-election bid two years ago, when another national immigration-restriction group, Project USA, spent tens of thousands of dollars on billboard and radio ads in a failed attempt to defeat Cannon.
Jacob expressed frustration Monday with statements Cannon made during the debate at Utah Valley State College.
"Saturday, I felt like he called me a racist, and that part bothered me quite a bit," Jacob said. "He didn't just say it once, he said it many times. He called the people coming out with this ad racist, and that didn't sound to me like a statesmanlike comment. I didn't consider it becoming of a congressman."
Cannon didn't call Jacob a racist but said the Republican party is split between arch-conservatives like Team America and conservatives with more moderate views on immigration reform over whether the party will be "anti-foreigner" or one that solves problems.
Cannon directly referred to Team America leader Bay Buchanan as a xenophobe. Hunter said Monday that Cannon was referring to an e-mail Buchanan sent last week that Cannon believed used a code for racism by talking about America being overrun.
In the same debate, Jacob implied that Cannon was a bum who needed to be thrown out of Congress but also didn't directly use the term.
"Chris is not expressing his outrage or offense at being called a bum," Hunter said, "because he is neither outraged nor offended."
Buchanan said in her e-mail, meant to raise money to pay for running the ad in Utah, that she will continue to raise money to keep the anti-Cannon ads on the radio until the primary.
Hunter said Jacob is benefiting from the ads because they call for his election, and that Jacob must decide if he wants to associate himself with people playing on fears the United States might be overrun by illegal immigrants.
Jacob said voters in Utah's 3rd Congressional District want the borders secured.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
David A. Bess