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Politics Group Hits Halter With 'Indian' Ad, Both Dems Condemn

Tejwant Singh

Group Hits Halter With 'Indian' Ad, Both Dems Condemn

Arkansas Senate: 2010 Election BREAKING News

Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, on Saturday condemned an advertisement that uses Indian actors and images to raise claims that Halter outsourced jobs to India.

Lincoln and Halter both took the unusual step of criticizing the ad before it was expected to air on Arkansas television stations. The ad, reportedly made by a Virginia-based group called Americans for Job Security, began appearing on various websites Friday night.

A telephone message at the group's office was not immediately returned Saturday afternoon.

The ad features Indian-American actors "thanking" Halter while superimposed in front of various street scenes in India. The spot has been criticized as playing up stereotypes of India.

"Bangalore says thanks, Bill Halter," an announcer's voice says in the ad.

Lincoln has accused Halter of outsourcing in relation to WebMethods Inc., a company where he once served on the board of directors.

In a piece called 'Worst Ad Ever?', Politics Daily reported:

"I condemn the television ad reportedly scheduled to air in Arkansas sponsored by a group called Americans for Job Security," Lincoln said. "It is offensive and doesn't belong in Arkansas. As a victim myself of constant negative attack ads by outside third party groups since early March, I deeply regret that their participation in this campaign isn't more constructive."

In a debate on April 24, Halter said to Lincoln, "Why don't you ask the folks who are running ads claiming that I am privatizing Social Security to identify themselves? We have no idea who they are." Lincoln said she would like the third parties to make their identities clear, "instead of making cagy names, or putting them at the bottom of their ads, or their postcards, or anything else."

Americans for Job Security does not attribute any source for the statements against Halter that it makes in its commercial.

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