Just arrived in the inbox from Mayor Steve Adler’s campaign:
This weekend, members of the Austin community brought to Mayor Adler’s attention the existence of an IndyAustin PAC video that uses a hate symbol, giving rise to questions about its campaign communications.
The video, titled “Steve Adler’s Shell Game Attack on Indy Austin” concludes with an image of Pepe the Frog, a controversial and recognized hate symbol, as identified by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“I am troubled that a symbol used in anti-Semitic communications by members of the alt-right throughout the United States would now appear in an Austin campaign.” Mayor Adler said. “And I’d like to know why it was featured in a video produced by a PAC that is attacking me. Our community deserves to know.”
The Mayor appreciates that Bobby Epstein, owner of the Circuit of the Americas and one of the key contributors to IndyAustin, recognizes that the use of the cartoon symbol is not okay, is opposed to such use of a hate symbol by IndyAustin, and has withdrawn all financial support for IndyAustin.
Oh dear. I’m far more inclined to chalk this up to cluelessness than alt-right dog whistles on the part of Curtis. The ad is downright bizarre. The video production is straight out of a middle school computer class circa 1997. There’s not even any sound. It makes the odd decision to highlight the large amount of money IndyAustin has received from out-of-state donors. And then there’s the frog.
Mark Littlefield, a lobbyist for the MLS deal that IndyAustin is trying to get overturned, expressed skepticism about Epstein’s pledge to “withdraw funding.”
Apparently the video has been taken down. I’ve got a copy of it but, like Curtis, my computer skills are limited and I can’t figure out how to upload it. If you want to check it out, email me and I’ll send it along.
It has been replaced with a “live action” version of the ad, minus Pepe. You tell me if there is some cinematic genius I’m missing: