First negative ad runs in Taylor, Shuler race

The first negative campaign ad hit the airwaves last week in the close-heat Congressional race between U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor, R-Brevard, and Heath Shuler, his Democratic challenger.

Taylor’s campaign ran a radio ad accusing Shuler of supporting illegal immigration. Shuler’s campaign promptly countered the accusation.

“It is unfortunate that Charles Taylor has chosen to launch his campaign with a false and negative attack radio advertisement,” Shuler’s campaign said in a press release.

The ad avoided a direct reference to Shuler’s personal beliefs on illegal immigration. Instead, the ad criticized Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi and lumped Shuler into the same category, a sort of guilt by association for being a Democrat.

“Rookie Heath Shuler is following the playbook of San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi,” the ad begins. “Do Heath Shuler and the national Democrats really want weaker borders? That’s right, their leader Nancy Pelosi voted against stronger borders and she recruited a California candidate who urged illegal immigrants to vote in a special congressional election. The Pelosi game plan — elect Heath Shuler and others like him and takeover Congress with the votes of illegal immigrants.”

Shuler’s campaign countered the attack in a press release. Shuler supports all measures to secure the borders and increased funding for border patrol and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants — all of which is clearly laid out on Shuler’s web site, his campaign stated.

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Taylor’s ad says that Taylor is fighting for tougher border security. Shuler’s campaign questioned Taylor’s record, however.

“Charles Taylor has had 16 years to close the holes in our border and has done nothing. In fact it is estimated that there are now more than 12 million illegal immigrants living in America. He has not lead on this issue and is now trying to distort the truth in this advertisement to hide his failure,” Shuler’s campaign said.

The Asheville Citizen-Times asked Taylor and Shuler to stake out their positions on several key issues in 30 words or less. Shuler’s answer: “I strongly oppose illegal immigration and amnesty for those who have broken our nation’s laws. I support all measures to secure our borders and stop the flow of illegal immigrants.”

Taylor’s answer: “We must first secure our border using fences, border security agents, National Guardsmen, advanced technologies. I reject the president’s call for amnesty for those hwo have broken our immigration laws.”

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