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The Chesapeake faith leader directs hate speech at blacks and gays, some have charged.
Associated Press | File May
E.W. Jackson said that if Ken Cuccinelli could have more than one term as governor, he’d back ending the tax as well.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Black officials in the Virginia Democratic Party are teeing off on E.W. Jackson, the Chesapeake faith leader and Republican lieutenant governor nominee, for promoting what they call political hate speech against fellow blacks in the guise of religion.
State Sen. Mamie Locke of Hampton called his rhetoric ugly and mean-spirited, while Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, who’s also a minister, blasted Jackson for espousing a “message of hate and divisiveness” rather than one of Christian compassion.
Jones also took issue with Jackson’s penchant for using slavery metaphors to demean abortion rights advocates and black Democrats.
“Let’s make one thing clear right now. Nothing is like slavery,” he said. “And those who compare partisan politics to one of the worst institutions in human history do a grave disservice to us all.”
Jones offered those views Wednesday on a Democratic conference call targeting Jackson, one in a series of calls this week featuring party supporters with civic roles in the gay, Hispanic and black communities.
Democrats’ piling on Jackson — his controversial conservative commentary has been rehashed since his nomination on Saturday — is part of their broader strategy to cast him and ticket mates Ken Cuccinelli for governor and Mark Obenshain for attorney general as outside the political mainstream.
The party advanced similar arguments on earlier conference calls with gay rights advocates and Latino leaders to emphasize the Republican statewide candidates’ records on immigration and gay equality issues.
On a Tuesday call, state Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, said the ticket’s anti-gay rhetoric could harm Virginia’s outreach to corporate tenants that promote workplace diversity.
“Employers simply would not want to locate in a state where Cuccinelli and Jackson are using their elected offices to degrade and attack some of their employees,” said Ebbin, who is openly gay.
Cuccinelli and Jackson have both made past public statements condemning homosexuality.
Republicans are largely downplaying social issues as they campaign, emphasizing economic issues instead, but Jackson hasn’t backed off his beliefs.
Democrats will select their ticket in a June 11 primary election. Terry McAuliffe is unopposed for the gubernatorial nomination. Aneesh Chopra, a former state secretary of technology in Tim Kaine’s administration and the first chief technology officer in President Barack Obama’s administration, and state Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk, are running for the lieutenant governor’s spot. Former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax and state Sen. Mark Herring, D-Leesburg, are seeking the attorney general’s nomination.
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