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Super Bowl-linked GOP ad using Asian woman decried

Washington, Tue, 07 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb.7 (ANI): The Super Bowl not only attracted controversy for an incident involving rapper M.I.A., but also for Republican senatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra's political ad that featured an Asian woman speaking broken English.


It sparked off an immediate protest from Democrats and civil rights groups.


During the halftime show, M.I.A. made an obscene gesture, extending her middle finger.


Both the NFL and NBC, which broadcast the show, have apologized for the offense.


Hoekstra's campaign ad was broadcast only in Michigan, where the former congressman and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate is seeking the GOP nomination to run against Sen.


The 30-second ad, filmed in California, begins with the sound of a gong accompanying the Asian woman as she rides her bicycle on a path lined by rice paddies. She stops pedaling, smiles into the camera, then breaks into broken English.


"Thank you, Michigan Senator Debbie Spenditnow. Debbie spends so much American money. You borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs. Thank you, Debbie Spenditnow," she says.


Hoekstra then appears in front of fire. "I think this race is between Debbie Spenditnow and Pete Spenditnot," he says, stressing his position.


Even though it was a broadcast locally, the ad drew immediate condemnation, including from the nonpartisan Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote - Michigan, which said it was "deeply disappointed" by the ad.


Democrats also were quick to condemn the ad, which is scheduled to run on local cable for the next two weeks.


State Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, said: "Pete Hoekstra's ad and marketing ploy is not only offensive, but a blatant attempt to demonize Asian culture."


The Los Angeles Times quoted Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer, as saying: "Politicians like Hoekstra run shameful, deceitful ads like these when they cannot defend their own records."


Hoekstra defended the ad, saying: "We knew we were taking an aggressive approach on this. But this is a time where the people in Michigan and across the country are fed up with the spending, and we wanted to capture that frustration that they had with Washington, D.C." (ANI)


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