By Cash Michaels –
One of the top black Republican political consultants in Washington, DC, has blasted his party, and specifically Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for “playing the race card” in sponsoring campaign ads promoting Democratic senatorial candidate Erica Smith in the March 3rd North Carolina primary.
“Once again Republicans have proven that when the radical liberal Democrats call us a party of racists, there is some merit to the charge,” an outraged Raynard Jackson wrote in his weekly column last week. “[T]hey saw more value and votes with white Southern Democrats, Dixiecrats, than with the black community.”
Jackson, President and CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, was blasting recent reports that the Faith and Power PAC, a political action committee that has been confirmed to be connected to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super-PAC controlled by Sen. McConnell, reportedly spent $2.4 million to purchase political advertising promoting state Sen. Erica Smith in her primary race against frontrunner Cal Cunningham in the Democratic senatorial primary.
The scheme, apparently, was to either push Smith to win the primary, thus setting up what Republicans perceive to be a weak candidate for incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis to face; or to force Cunningham to spend money against Smith, thus depleting his campaign war chest against Tillis. The PAC’s attempt to sway the election was unsuccessful, as Cunningham handily won the primary and will face Tillis in the Nov. 3rd general election.
The ads also sought to label both Smith and Cunningham as early supporters of national front-running Democratic Socialist presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. Neither Democrat endorsed Sanders.
Raynard Jackson apparently was displeased that McConnell’s super PAC would create a “throw-away” PAC to spend $2.4 million specifically to set up a “radical liberal” black female Democrat to fail, instead of spending that amount with his company “…to cultivate relationships in the black community.”
“[I]n their minds, it’s easier and more cost effective to inject race into an election and further divide a state and country, versus taking their conservative message directly to the black community and ask them to support their candidate,” Jackson wrote.
“Do you know how much good I could have done with this money to help our Republican candidate in North Carolina? Blacks account for over 21% of the population in North Carolina and the [Republican] party and Tillis has little to no meaningful relationship with the black community,” Raynard Jackson continued.
He goes on to suggest that McConnell’s action may have cost Tillis his Senate seat in November, because outraged black voters will be sure to line up against the senator.
“If Tillis loses his race, more than likely, Trump will lose the state also; thus, making it almost impossible for Trump to be reelected as president. So, in many ways, Trump and Tillis are tied at the hip.”
Jackson rhetorically asked the central question many Democratic and progressive activists ask when it comes to well-documented Republican attempts to undermine the black vote.
“If they really believe in a conservative message that can cure the ills of liberalism that have been directed towards the black community, when will they take their message to the marketplace of ideas within the Black community?” he asked.
Jackson urged McConnell to “… not only apologize for injecting the worst of racial politics into this election; but [he] should make an affirmative commitment to work with black operatives to engage with the black community in senate races across the country and cease and desist from the racial politics that should be in our past.”
Before the primary, Sen. Smith had urged her supporters to understand that she was not working with Republicans to win the Democratic primary, and she denounced the Faith and Power PAC campaign ads. For his part, Tillis’s campaign denied having anything to do with the McConnell super PAC plot.