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The Dirty Politics of Race
Published May 25, 2016

The Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper has seen its fair share of negative campaigning in our 80 plus years of publishing. While typically we don’t condone it, the paper recognizes that candidates and campaigns alike often view such tactics as a necessary evil in the process of presenting a contrast between themselves and their competitors.

Problems arise, however, when candidates go beyond telling the truth, when they attempt to deceive voters, prey on their worst fears, incite hatred and division, or when they make their own facts up for personal gain. Unfortunately, that’s precisely what’s happening in the race to represent California’s 44th Congressional District. The chief perpetrator of such campaigning is former Hermosa Beach resident and City Councilwoman, Nanette Barragan.

If Barragan were running a campaign based on the issues and drawing a factual contrast with her opponent, State Senator and California Black Legislative Caucus Chair Isadore Hall, then it’s possible we wouldn’t weigh in on such an effort. But that’s not what Barragan is doing.

Instead, Barragan has embraced dirty Donald Trump like politics as she campaigns against Hall. She has injected racial issues into the campaign and exploited historical divisions between communities threatening to derail long standing efforts to build bridges among both local African American and Latino communities.

Barragan’s latest campaign mailer serves as fresh evidence of these stomach-churning tactics. In it, Barragan’s mailer not only flat out lies to voters about Hall’s record, but it artificially darkens the Senator’s skin tone using what appears to be a greyscale method.

In the year 2016 and after eight years of having an African American as President, with Barack Obama in the White House, it’s unimaginable that a candidate running for Congress in our paper’s backyard would insert such obscene, politically explosive, bigoted and dirty politics into the dialogue and campaign for such a high office as Congress.

Beyond her disgraceful and lewd campaign mailer, Barragan has misled the public about her background. While Barragan claims to be an advocate for children and poor families, her record illustrates that her priorities were really in helping greedy Wall Street banks kick working families and children out of their homes. As an attorney for some of Wall Street’s largest banks she got rich by cashing checks from these corporations after assisting in their efforts to expedite the foreclosure process against poor families.

These acts, whether it’s her offensive campaign tactics or her heartless efforts on behalf of Wall Street banks, underscore Barragan’s severe lack of good judgement. They also completely disqualify her to serve in Congress as the 44th District’s next representative. Rather than embracing the characteristics of what a true leader does in working to unite communities, Barragan has resorted to Trump style tactics of building up walls that divide communities. Her ferocious attacks are both repulsive and highly offensive and make this paper believe Barragan is simply unfit to serve.

Categories: Editorials | Exclusive | Op-Ed | Opinion

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