Just like our pal Josh Mandel, Michigan Republican Pete Hoekstra is running against an incumbent Democratic Senator in a Midwestern state. But the two Republicans are otherwise not too similar. The biggest difference: unlike Mandel, Hoekstra actually served 18 years at his elected position (Congressman) before seeking higher office, where Mandel spent all of about 3 months as Treasurer before kicking off his campaign for Senate.

So when I saw that Hoekstra had donated $2500 to Mandel’s Senate campaign I wondered: what else could these two guys possibly have in common?

The answer came during this year’s Superbowl: racist ads.

In the last election cycle when Mandel was running against Kevin Boyce for Ohio Treasurer, Mandel ran an ad that Joe Hallett said “sticks out as the scummiest so far”. “Mandel apparently wants Boyce’s job so badly, ” said Hallet, “that he is willing to resort to bigotry to get it.”

Salon.com said Mandel’s ad “falsely suggests … that his black (and Christian) Democratic opponent is Muslim.” And the Toledo Blade even threatened to withdraw their endorsement of Mandel over the ad calling it “distasteful and irresponsible” adding that Mandel “should cancel his offensive campaign ad immediately.”

Hokstra recently made the news after running a pretty racist ad of his own during the Superbowl. Wikipedia describes the ad as opening “with the sound of a gong” and showing “an Asian woman riding a bike in a rice paddy and talking in pidgin English.”

The ad was called “very disturbing”, “blatantly racist” and “revolting”.

What is it with Republicans and racist ads anyway?

Hokstra and Mandel seem to share a similar short term goal (running for Senate) but it’s their penchant for running overtly racist ads that really seems to bind them. Have no fear, Peter. I can assure you Team Mandel is currently dreaming up lots of ways to spend that $2500 on things that will more than make you proud.

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