MNGOP accuses DFL of "using racist tactics" by darkening photo of Rep. King Banaian [IMAGE]
|Did the DFL employ "racist tactics" by darkening this photo? The MNGOP thinks so.|
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The mailer darkens Banaian's skin, but the DFL says that a document released by the MNGOP that highlights the contrast actually darkens the first-term legislator's skin more than the original DFL mailer does. Banaian, an economics professor at the St. Cloud State University, is of Armenian descent.
Here's the DFL mailer:
And here's the MNGOP's side-by-side comparison of the DFL image and the original photo:
On Twitter, Kevin Watterson, media director for the MNGOP House caucus, has been criticizing the DFL -- the "party of diversity" in his words -- for using the "racist image."
Watterson's sentiment was echoed by Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington:
From the St. Cloud Times:
"The DFL has doubled down on using racist tactics to try and win an election," [House Majority Leader] Matt Dean said. "These xenophobic tactics did not work in 2010 and St. Cloud voters will reject them in 2012."Following a recount, Banaian won election in 2010 by all of 13 votes. His DFL challenger this election cycle is Zachary Dorholt.
DFL spokeswoman Kate Monson responded by calling Dean's charges desperate and baseless.
"The photos in question were in no way altered with the intent of making someone's skin appear darker," Monson wrote. "The DFL would never condone such tactics."