An interest group injected racism into a political race again this election season. A few weeks ago, the Laborers’ International Union of North America was behind the decision to omit Justin Fairfax, the Black candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor, from a political flier that lists the three Democratic candidates for statewide office.
Now, in Minnesota, the St. Paul Police Federation has come under fire for suggesting in a political flier that St. Paul mayoral candidate Melvin Carter is somehow responsible for an increase in gun violence.
According to the mailer, distributed by a political action committee named Building a Better St. Paul, “Over 100 shots have been fired since August 15 when Melvin Carter’s guns went missing.”
That’s a reference to the theft of two guns from the candidate’s house during a robbery over the summer. The flier blames him, among other things, for not contacting the police soon enough after the break in. However, the strategy backfired.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that on Monday Gov. Mark Dayton became the latest public official to condemn the attack on Carter.
“It’s just very unfortunate this injected that kind of negativity and that kind of racial bias into the race,” the governor said, according to the newspaper.
On Oct. 26, the state’s Democratic congressman Rep. Keith Ellison tweeted that the police union can of course support the candidate of its choice but “politicizing their role as officers to smear Melvin Carter is unacceptable.”
The backlash from donors forced the PAC to shut down, The Star Tribune reported. The police union was its biggest donor.
Carter tweeted a thank you note to those in the community who shared his outrage.
SOURCE: Minneapolis Star Tribune