Local News

Candidate For Congressional Seat Launches Controversial Campaign Ad

Posted April 26, 2006

— Three candidates are hoping to unseat incumbent Congressman Brad Miller. The district covers seven counties from Rockingham to Wake. One of the candidates has launched a radio ad that's already getting a lot of attention.

Politically charged television and radio ads are nothing new for Vernon Robinson, having tackled the subjects of terrorism and gay marriage in a previous campaign. Now, the former Winston Salem councilman has a new ad that targets illegal immigration.

"These aliens pay no income tax and then send their money back to Mexico," said Robinson in the ad. "Then, they take to the streets and wave the Mexican flag, demanding more."

Some call it offensive. Robinson says it's his way of getting people out to vote.

"What the hard-hitting provocative ads do is that they let all the voter know what I stand for and contrast that with the 'Open borders, throw a party for illegals' opponent Brad Miller," said Robinson.

"Robinson has a perspective, and it can be right or wrong but it's certainly controversial," said political science professor Andrew Taylor.

However, Taylor says in this election, Robinson's approach might not be the best strategy.

"In a world in which candidates are trying to win majorities so that they can win elected office, it doesn't seem to be one that is designed to do that, especially in a district that voted 52 percent for John Kerry," said Taylor.

Robinson ran unsuccessfully for the 5th District seat in 2004, but he says his views and his "in your face" style won't change.

Hispanic advocacy group El Pueblo did not want to comment on the ads. A spokesperson told WRAL that "the ads speak for themselves."

Robinson faces John Hendrix and Charlie Southerland in the Republican Primary on Tuesday. Southerland called the ads irresponsible and said they could hurt the party.

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