As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Calitics Press Clippings

Sandy Banks, the LA Times local editorial writer, had a peculiar connection to the Emanuel Pleitez mailer incident - it turns out her daughter appeared in one of the photos that Gil Cedillo pulled from Pleitez' Facebook page to smear him as a party animal. She writes today about the mailers.

The ad was supposed to frighten Pleitez supporters into Cedillo's camp, and it did scare off some voters.

But others saw it as a desperate attempt to tarnish not only Pleitez, but also the hard-working young people associated with him.

The "Animal House" photo that includes my daughter was taken at a gathering of Stanford students during their study abroad semester in Santiago, Chile. Some of those young women are now in law school or working on PhDs. Others are teachers, nurses, directors of nonprofit groups. Hardly the stuff of "Girls Gone Wild." [...]

...young voters lit into the tactic on political blogs, pointing out that the so-called gang sign in one photo is the symbol of Voto Latino, a national voter outreach program.

And the woman pictured making a V with her fingers alongside Pleitez is Rosario Dawson, who starred with Will Smith in "Seven Pounds" last fall. Either Cedillo didn't recognize the popular young Latina or thought she was throwing a gang sign as well.

That made Cedillo look foolish. But it also put young activists on notice.

"This is an embarrassing ad," one poster wrote on the Calitics political blog. "Everyone in the Facebook generation has photos like this. Will every Young Dem that decides to get into politics have to deal with this kind of garbage?"

I have to give respect to my friend Dante Atkins, who broke this story and drove it from the very beginning, raising its profile enough that future campaigns will have to think twice about using such a stupid tactic in the future. Atkins' posts drove the media narrative of that race, and Cedillo had to respond and defend his gutter tactics.

He deserves praise, and I wish Sandy Banks mentioned him by name.

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