Mia Love surges ahead despite racial attacks

If GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney didn’t receive the bounce he’d expected from the Republican National Convention, rising political star Mia Love did. Love is the Saratoga Springs, Utah, mayor running to unseat six-term Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson from their state’s 4th Congressional District. Love is young, attractive, conservative, articulate, pro-life and African American.

In July, an internal Love campaign poll showed her to be a long shot at 38 percent to her opponent’s 51 percent. Shortly after her convention appearance, Love was running just slightly behind her opponent. A new internal poll released Tuesday by Public Opinion Strategies showed her trouncingMatheson 51 percent to 36 percent, an almost complete reversal of the July figures. But the road hasn’t been an easy one for her.

As reported here last month, a hacker vandalized Love’s Wikipedia page after her electrifying convention speech, peppering it with epithets and racial slurs, including names like “dirty, worthless whore,” “sell-out” to the “right-wing hate machine” and “the House N—–.” The damage to Love’s Wikipedia page was immediately reported and corrected, but it hasn’t stopped the attacks.

Salt Lake City ABC news affiliate KTVX reported Wednesday that a package containing racially charged material arrived at Love’s mayoral office. The package included photos of family members with hooded Ku Klux Klan members and dead fetuses.

Although the package contained nothing overtly threatening, it was nonetheless unsettling and is the subject of a police investigation.

Not all attacks have been anonymous. In a Sept. 24 Mother Jones article, Stephanie Mencimer wrote that Love “is what Republicans derisively call an ‘anchor baby’ — someone born to immigrant parents specifically to game the immigration system and secure legal status for family members.”

There’s no question that her parents arrived in the United States from Haiti with $10 in their pockets. That’s part of what makes Love’s story so compelling. There’s also no question that Love was born in the United States after her parents’ arrival here. Therefore, it’s quite possible that her parents attained their American citizenship by virtue of her birth.

The Mother Jones article attempts to imply that Love is hypocritical because of her support for the GOP’s immigration position, which would phase out citizenship by virtue of having a U.S. born child. I say it’s irrelevant.

If Love was an “anchor baby” — and that status is not yet certain — it was hardly her fault. It was her parents’. One cannot attribute the sins of the parents upon the child.

She’s been accused of vacillating when answering questions on this issue. Given the affection that obviously exists between Love and her parents, that’s understandable.

“I think it’s sad,” Love said of the Mother Jones report. ”I think it’s sad there are outside groups that would come in and start attacking my parents.”

If Love succeeds in defeating her opponent, she would be the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.

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