I live in the 11th Minnesota senate district, and I’m represented by a Democratic incumbent, Dallas Sams. I am not a fan of Sams; he’s one of those pro-life moderate Democrats, not particularly progressive (although he did make the effort to squelch an anti-gay marriage act), and if there’d been an alternative candidate at the Minnesota caucuses, I would have pushed for them over Sams. I will be voting for Sams on November 7th, though—I won’t even hesitate.
His opposition is a Republican, Bill Ingebrigtsen. Ingebrigtsen has been sending ads—expensive-looking (he has raised twice as much money as the incumbent), glossy, full-color ads—to my house all week. Ingebrigtsen has annoyed me with the implicit racism of his campaign. Ingebrigtsen is a thug.
One of the ads was a collection of mug shots, mostly of minorities, all labeled as “on parole”…apparently, thanks to Dallas Sams. Anyone remember Willie Horton? This was Willie Horton times ten.
Oooh, scary. Better vote for Ingebrigtsen—he wouldn’t ever consider the particulars of a case, or worry about the rights of convicts, or allow the perfectly legal, reasonable process of parole to be carried out. Once you were convicted of anything, forget it—lock ’em up, throw away the key.
Another was a green-tinted, grainy picture, as if taken through night-vision goggles, of a group of dark-skinned people climbing over a wall. Stopping illegal aliens is Bill Ingebrigtsen’s #1 priority! It didn’t look like a sight I’d see at the Canadian border, though; maybe it was Iowa.
Another was astounding in its hypocrisy. He piously deplores the rising cost of college educations, ignoring the fact that it is his party that is responsible for the trend away from support for public institutions, and blames the problem on one horribly irresponsible proposal. Can you guess what it is? There’s a theme here, you know.
That’s right: illegal immigrants. Those damned undocumented aliens want to take your tax money to educate their children, which means you’ll be subsidizing the tuition of brown people while paying exorbitant amounts of money for your kids to go to school. What prompts this fear is that Dallas Sams supports the Minnesota DREAM Act. This truly radical proposal says that children of undocumented aliens who had attended two years of public school in Minnesota and who were enrolled in a Minnesota university would qualify for residency and be charged for in-state tuition.
Bill Ingebrigtsen thinks that if you are a Lutheran who grew up in a white, prosperous suburb of Minneapolis, you are more of a Minnesotan than if you grew up in a rural town where your parents were recent immigrants brought in to pluck chickens at minimum wage for one of the poultry factories in the area. He seems to believe that it is to our state’s advantage if we keep these newer residents of our state poor and uneducated.
That’s all he babbles about: the threat of a Mexican invasion of Minnesota. It’s true that we do have a growing Hispanic population, as our rich factory farms try to bring in more and more cheap labor to do the dirty and dangerous work. It seems to me more to our interests to bring these new people into our communities as full partners, rather than treating them and their children as outsiders who must be ostracized and blocked from becoming even more involved members of our society. But no…that’s not the kind of thing that comes to the mind of a thug.