With one mail piece, the Democratic Party of Georgia may have broached rock bottom in the 2014 election cycle.
In the pursuit of turning out African-American voters for contests for Senate and governor that have shaped up to be very close, the party is invoking this year’s tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri. One side of the mail piece carries the heading “If you want to prevent another Ferguson in the future…” above pictures of children in Ferguson holding cardboard signs saying “Don’t shoot.”
Another portion of the mail piece has another image from the riots that followed the shooting of Michael Brown. Text on the mailer encourages recipients to vote early, recounts the events of Ferguson, and states that “the choices may not always be perfect, but the cost of inaction is simply too great.”
In comments to the AJC, Democratic Party of Georgia chairman DuBose Porter defended the mailer as in line with the party’s overall message, and not insensitive or inappropriate.
“Well, not just police violence but the circumstances to put people in the conditions that they’re in. That’s what we need to change in Georgia because that’s what you have,” he said of connecting police violence in Missouri with elections in Georgia. “You have situations, you have communities that can explode like that because you’ve taken the opportunity away from them.”
The mailer has drawn fierce backlash from onlookers both in-state and nationally. Governor Nathan Deal said, succinctly: “It’s despicable.” A Fox News segment on the DPG mailer dubbed it “The Tragedy Strategy.”
Others, too, contrasted it with the African-American outreach efforts of Republican Governor Nathan Deal, which have been positive and focused on bipartisan criminal justice reform efforts made during his first term.
Images from the Deal campaign’s mail piece are below, and the DPG mailer is posted above.