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Shame on Huffington Post

October 10, 2012

A post by John Celock that appears in Huffington Post today is a disappointing example of desperate tactics some on the left employ to paint political opponents with the broad brush of racism.

When contacted by Huffington Post for comment on some racially-charged writings, AFP-Arkansas State Director Terese Oelke, who happens to be a Hispanic female, denounced racism in the strongest terms. Yet reality seems to have no bearing on some reporters or news outlets, who wrote this dishonest, misleading headline: Americans For Prosperity Distributes Ads Promoting Pro-Slavery Arkansas Legislators.

Teresa Oelke said she was personally offended by both racially charged comments and HuffPo’s race-baiting headline.

For a little background, earlier this year AFP-Arkansas sent some mailers thanking Rep. Hubbard and Rep. Mauch for taking the side of economic freedom on issues like health care and taxes. But last Friday, Democrat opposition research revealed that Rep. Hubbard had written about America’s past history with slavery in terms that many find offensive.

HuffPost scribe John Celock, obviously eager to run with the story, asked AFP for a response:

I wanted to reach out with a question. I saw some mailers that AFP sent out in the Arkansas legislative races supporting Rep. Jon Hubbard and Rep. Loy Mauch regarding health care and senior related votes. I wanted to know in light of the reports of Hubbard and Mauch’s positions on slavery, will AFP continue to support their bids for reelection? Are future mailers planned to back their campaigns?

AFP-Arkansas replied with this statement:

“AFP Arkansas is an issue advocacy organization and does not endorse or support candidates. Period. AFP Arkansas asks the public to contact individuals in a position to shape public policy, and to urge them to adopt positions favorable to economic freedom, and to reject the tried-and-failed, big-government, tax-and-spend policies. AFP did issue education efforts that ended last month in those areas.  As far as future plans, we don’t discuss internal strategy and never have.

AFP believes it is absolutely unacceptable for any public official to espouse racist views. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to pursue prosperity, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

Despite a clear rejection of racist views, HuffPo was determined to paint AFP, an organization with more than 2 million activists and permanent state chapters in 34 states, as pro-slavery. These are the tactics of desperation. When your ideology has failed, when you support a president whose policies are failing, misleading headlines and smears are about all you have left.

PS: Celock, reporter and researcher extraordinaire, couldn’t even be bothered to accurately report what type of organization AFP is, calling us a SuperPAC when it’s well known we’re organized as a 501-C4.

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