While most political observers in Alabama have been focused on attempted smears regarding Governor Kay Ivey’s health, a flier that is circulating in predominantly black parts of the state has raised eyebrows with its racially charged rhetoric and “incendiary” images aimed to increase Democratic turnout.
The flier, which can be viewed below, says “Governor Ivey, Attorney General Steve Marshall and Republican Legislators are strong supporters of Trump’s plan to ‘Make America White Again.'”
The images featured on the flier include President Donald Trump, members of the Ku Klux Klan and children displaying swastikas while performing the Nazi salute.
The flier is sponsored by Vote or Die, the S.O.S. Movement for Justice & Democracy and the Alabama New South Coalition.
These organizations are all tied to outgoing state Sen. Hank Sanders (D-Selma), and this is not the first time this type of controversial flier has emerged right before a general election. Yellowhammer News reported on similar efforts before Alabama’s election in November 2014.
The political arm of the Alabama New South Coalition has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, and Maddox has touted this endorsement on his website.
When asked by Yellowhammer News about the flier on Monday morning, Maddox campaign spokesman Chip Hill noted, “Walt’s name isn’t even mentioned in the piece. Neither our campaign nor anyone in the campaign had anything to do with the creation or dissemination of it.”
Hill added, “This piece of literature had/has nothing to do with New South’s endorsement of Walt Maddox.”
Because the campaign was not involved in the creation or dissemination of the flier, Hill said that the Maddox campaign will not count it as an in-kind contribution. The Alabama New South Alliance is registered as a PAC in the state, yet it has not filed since 2013.
When asked whether Maddox agrees with the sentiments in the flier, Hill initially did not answer this part of Yellowhammer News’ inquiry. When asked again on a follow-up, Hill said, “Since we didn’t have anything to do with the creation of the flyer we don’t have anything to say about it.”
Alabama Republican Party chair Terry Lathan told Yellowhammer News that the fliers contained “blatant lies” that were meant to fuel “hurtful divisiveness.”
“The only hate on the rise is paying for and condoning blatant lies such as this incendiary garbage,” Lathan said. “Producing this outlandish propaganda is trying to divide and scare people- the opposite of what they claim they don’t want.”
She continued, “I call upon the ‘Vote or Die’ group to apologize for their disrespect and total falsehoods to all Alabamians regardless of their skin color and to stop being a part of hurtful divisiveness.”
In Uniontown this morning with the “Vote or Die” Caravan enjoying connecting & visiting with so many people on the road. We are headed to Demopolis, then onto Eutaw & then to Panola in Sumter County for “Panola Day.” Hope to see you there! #VoteOrDie #VoteNovember6th! #Vote pic.twitter.com/GIkUeywHXr
— Hank Sanders (@SenHankSanders) October 20, 2018
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn