Carr Super Pac tries to draw connection between Lieu and Hamas

The race to represent the 33rd California District in the United States House of Representatives took a nasty turn recently.

Residents in the district have received mailers claiming that Democratic candidate Ted Lieu is sympathetic to the Palestinian terror group Hamas. The district, which spans from the Westside to the San Fernando Valley, is home to one of the nation’s largest Jewish populations.

The mailer, sent by a Carr-supporting super PAC called the American Alliance, describes what Lieu has “in common” with the Gaza-governing party, emphasizing Lieu’s connection with the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Three bold-print words in large typeface dominate the mailer: “Hamas. Lieu. CAIR.”

Lieu received an award from CAIR in 2012 after his co-authorship of a state Assembly bill that addressed workplace discrimination. The Anti-Defamation League was among the organizations that supported the bill.

In 2007, a federal judge ruled that CAIR was an “unindicted co-conspirator” of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity that was providing material assistance to Hamas. CAIR’s inclusion on the list was controversial and the organization was never charged with any crime. In a 2011 New York Times article, FBI officials said they regularly work with CAIR offices across the country.

In a phone interview, the Lieu campaign denounced the mailer and also stressed that Lieu is a pro-Israel candidate.

“They are attacking someone who is totally consistent and strong in support of Israel,” Bill Carrick, a campaign consultant working with Lieu, told the Journal.

“It’s the politics of smear. And it’s unfortunate that this got entered into an otherwise pretty good campaign,” 

A representative for the American Alliance, which has donated more than $25,000 on behalf of the Carr campaign according to opensecrets.org, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Carr’s campaign attempted to distance itself from the mailer.

“The mailer was sent by a third-party group that we do not control,” John Thomas, chief strategist for the Carr campaign, said in an email. But Thomas also said Carr is a better friend to Israel than Lieu is.

“Pro-Israel voters could not have a more crystal clear choice in November,” Thomas said.  

The winner of the race will succeed Rep. Henry Waxman, who has a long record of pro-Israel support, and who has endorsed Lieu. 

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