Monday, July 10, 2006

Mongo, DeVos and Hitler - Oh My!

Reading the news from the past week, I came across a story that I found very disturbing. Voice the Vote, a Detroit-based political action committee, recently ran full-page ads in the Michigan Chronicle that featured photographs of Hitler, Granholm and a swastika, and accused Democrats of taking black voters for granted. The paper has a large African-American readership. The PAC also has ties to Adolph Mongo, a political consultant, and Democrats suggested that Mongo was responsible for the ad and that he might be on the DeVos campaign payroll. However, DeVos spokesman John Truscott denied any connection:
We have not worked with Adolph and will not work with Adolph and this is a perfect example of why.
That doesn't sound very credible to me, especially since Mongo has been featured on Saul Anuzis' blog at the MI GOP, and Saul is the Republican State Chairman.

I also think the DeVos campaign is lying about the Mongo connection since he has a prior history of supporting a Republican candidate that used Adolf Hitler to smear a Democrat. In 2005, the DeVos voucher PAC, All Children Matter, contributed $157,458 to Jerry Kilgore, the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia, and three contributions were designated as media expenses in October and November of 2005. Yet in mid-October of 2005, the Kilgore campaign ran an ad charging that his Democratic opponent opposed the death penalty for Adolf Hitler.
So just last fall DeVos money was funding vicious Republican attacks unscrupulously using Adolf Hitler to attack a Democrat. Dick DeVos (R-Amway) apparently had no problem supporting the Hitler-using candidate in Virginia.

Never condemned the ad.

Never asked for his money back.
That tells me DeVos doesn't really want to distance himself from these kinds of tactics, and it tells me what kind of a man he really is and the kind of company he keeps. The ads sound like something Karl Rove would dream up, but Saul Anuzis voices a similar mindset. Matt from Michigan Liberal relates this incident he recently witnessed:
...few weeks ago I was invited to be a representative of the Democratic side in the annual Boys' State conference at Michigan State University. Republican State Chairman Saul Anuzis was one of the speakers at the opening program, and one of the things he said there really stuck with me. He said, quoting from former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK), "There are two kinds of people, Democrats and Americans." In other words, if you are not a Republican, you are not an American.

I don't know if Saul was trying to be funny or not when he said this before a group of several hundred impressionable teenage boys. But it struck me then, as now, that this is a pretty good illustration of the kind of machine we're up against in 2006.
It's also a good illustration of DeVos' character. A person of real integrity - a person with real "values" - would distance himself from people like this and have nothing to do with them.

UPDATE: For anyone interested in reading the transcript, Matt @ Michigan Liberal questioned Republican State Chairman Saul Anuzis about his quotation mentioned above. Matt also gave this correction: " was former Reagan Interior Secretary James G. Watt - NOT former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts, as Saul originally said."

Anyway, here's Saul's response when asked why he quoted Watts:
" was in jest, and we were having fun at that conference, as I was, and I said, you know, there's two kinds of people in this country, they identified them as Democrats and Americans. And so the implication is that, you know, good Americans ought to be Republicans, and that's what we're saying.
Saul may think that's funny, but I don't - and I'm sure the thousands of American soldiers dying for our country in Iraq won't think so either. In fact, my Democratic father served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII and I know he fought for all Americans - regardless of their political affliation.

Also noteworthy is this link: Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer called attention to the Michigan Republican Party's deafening silence on the infamous Hitler ad. Brewer also personally attested to having seen The Amway Guy and Hitler-ad backer Adolph Mongo hanging out together at a recent pancake breakfast. I guess that explains the silence.


Thomas Gagne said...

If enough rumor, conspiracy, inuendo, and speculations are repeated over and over eventually people will believe they're true.

It's fascinating how liberals suspect any black person that doesn't follow the black-democratic orthodoxy as being a republican operative. Obviously, black people can't think for themselves so DeVos' campaign must be behind Mongo's political activism. Does it matter that Mr. Mongo has been at this longer than DeVoss has been a candidate? Is it possible Mr. Mongo has been re-reading history books or perhaps even recently published and thoroughly researched tomes by Steele and Sowell and discovered democratic social policies have moved blacks backwards rather than forwards?

Is it possible the Michigan Chronicle just attracts this kind of controversy? Perhaps the entire paper is a front for the Michigan GOP?

I really don't think we should encourage overreactions without first considering the point the authors were trying to make. Afterall, Christians were asked why they reacted so violently to Piss Christ--why not consider the statement the artist was making?

In an interview on WJR, Mongo (after insisting his ads are his own) explained how Jesse Owens' treatment after the '36 Olympics seems to parallel how the democratic party continues to treat blacks today.

He's not alone. There are plenty of (presumably--but I have no evidence suggesting it) of better educated, better read, better researched, and better spoken authors that have the same view but haven't any connection to the DeVos campaign.

Or do you think Steel's book White Guilt was deliberately released in spring 2006 to jeopardize Granholm's campaign?

Another vast right-wing conspiracy?

Kathy said...

Thomas, I don't care about color. Mongo could be purple and I'd still think DeVos and his campaign were behind the scenes using him, just like Republicans used people to say Ann Richardson was gay or John McCain had fathered a black child.

There's an old saying:

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

DeVos has been hanging out with the junkyard dogs in the Republican Party for quite a while now. Like I said, a person with real integrity would have disassociated themselves from that bunch a long time ago. DeVos continues to run with the pack because he's one of them.

Rolfe said...

"If enough rumor, conspiracy, inuendo, and speculations are repeated over and over eventually people will believe they're true."

Is that the intent of the Hitler ad? After people see it enough they will equate Governor Granholm and Bill Clinton with the Nazis?

I agree Kathy and the mere insinuation of the ad is a an unfounded weak attack. To compare how Hitler and FDR treated Jesse Owens to the actions of Governor Granholm and other prominent Democrats towards African-Americans is a joke. You can certainly make that claim, but it's dead wrong.

I don't thin there is any widespread conspiracy, merely a blatant attempt to stir the post and hurt Governor Granholm.

Lew Scannon said...

smear and fear, it's all the Republicans have. They certainly can't run on their abyssmal record of increased deficits.

Thomas Gagne said...

Rolfe, the inuendo being repeated was from the article, not Mongo's ad. I agree the ad was in bad taste, but in the same way the media focused on Ann Coulter's comments about the Jersey Girls and ignored the point of the chapter as well as the other more poignant points of the entire book, the media will focus on the Hitler/Nazi thing, distract people by asking DeVos if he's associated, and ignore the point Mongo was trying to make.

lew - smear and fear is a tactic used by both parties, which is sad. My record is clear, I think, on my opinion of the sad state of affairs which is our nation's political discourse.

Interrobanger said...

DeVos had Mongo assist Kilgore in Virginia in 2005. Of course he knew. It's a second-rate swift-boating -- and I don't use the term lightly.

DeVos doesn't seem to have his heart in it. He's letting stupid people run his campaign, and I bet his exiled-from-politics former-Michigan-GOP-chair wife Betsy DeVos has something to do with it. They're both a joke. If Granholm gets any more good job news beyond Google's announcement, she'll end up crushing him.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Thomas. Well put -- twice.