Rep. Walt Minnick again criticized state Rep. Raul Labrador’s work as an illegal immigration attorney in a new campaign ad released Monday. Minnick got some help from former U.S. marshal and Republican Ada County Commissioner Mike Johnson.
Labrador’s campaign denounced the ad, just as the did an earlier Minnick attack ad. Labrador, a state representative from Eagle, also announced an endorsement from a well-known law enforcement official, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz.
“Trying to have it both ways on immigration sure makes Raul Labrador wrong for Idaho,” Johnson said in Minnick’s commercial, in which he calls immigration a broken system. The ad also includes pictures of police taking someone away in handcuffs and Latinos waiting in a line.
Minnick’s campaign said the new ad and a similar radio ad will replace the ads that are currently running.
Minnick also posted an opinion piece on his campaign website criticizing Labrador’s work, including a website he ran that offered advice on obtaining visas and green cards. “There should be close scrutiny of Raul for running for office and saying one thing about immigration after doing the opposite in his professional life,” Minnick said.
Labrador told The Associated Press he sold the immigration website, RapidImmigration.com, but in the commercial Johnson says it “offers advice to illegal immigrants seeking amnesty,” which could lead viewers to think Labrador still operates the site.
John Foster, Minnick’s campaign manager, said that many of the web pages from Labrador’s offering advice are still online and can be found using search engines.
“He never took them down,” Foster said. “It’s still his site, and they’re still out there.” The main page for RapidImmigration.com now sends visitors to a different website that has guides on obtaining citizenship, visas, or green cards.
Labrador’s spokesman, Phil Hardy, said that, much like the first Minnick ad on illegal immigration, this one is an effort to deceive Idaho’s voters and avoid talking about important matters in the campaign.
“Walt Minnick is afraid to face to the people of Idaho on the issues,” Hardy said.
Labrador also said he’s honored to get the endorsement of Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and has cracked down on illegal immigrants in his county.
“Joe Arpaio understands the seriousness of the subject of illegal immigration,” Labrador said in a news release. “Once elected I too will put my energies into enforcing federal laws on immigration that the Democrat-controlled Congress has chosen to ignore.”
“Congress needs a conservative Republican who understands immigration law; Raul Labrador will help America solve the problem of illegal immigration,” Arpaio said, who visited north Idaho Monday to speak to a Republican group.
Foster wasn’t impressed by the announcement. “I think think that Sheriff Joe is probably going to have second thoughts about his endorsement when more information becomes public about Raul’s troubling record,” he said.