Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat, has been working hard to portray his opponent, Mayra Flores (D), in a negative light, in an effort to secure Texas’ 34th Congressional district in the midterm elections. Gonzalez’s most recent reelection campaign went so far that he transformed Flores’ image, giving her an uncanny, aggressive expression that could upset some voters.
Gonzalez posted the image to his campaign account on October 10th, and it first appears at the ten-second mark of the attack ad.
After the tragic shooting at Uvalde, Mayra Flores’ first vote in Congress was AGAINST a bipartisan school safety bill. We need a representative that works to protect our children and families; not someone who puts them in danger. Remember to vote for Vicente Gonzalez. pic.twitter.com/h4liKjAFEp
— Vicente Gonzalez (@VoteVicente) October 10, 2022
The original photo showed Flores smiling and holding a gun, adhering to good trigger control, but the doctored image makes Flores look grimaced, with her eyebrows downcast, and extended.
Gonzalez did not indicate that the image was edited at the time the ad was released.
After invoking Uvalde’s school shooting, the ad juxtaposed Flores’ voting record on the “Bipartisan Safer Community Act” with the image and then with a dynamic picture of children in a classroom. Flores, who is known to be “Pro-Life”, Pro-Second Amendment, and Pro-Law Enforcement, did not support the bill which enacts red-flag law.
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Gonzalez supports amnesty and DACA for illegal aliens and opposes deporting criminal noncitizens. However, Gonzalez’s ad criticized Flores for voting against keeping firearms out of the hand’s Mexican criminals.
The ad ends by calling Flores “disgraceful” while claiming that Flores does not represent South Texas values.
Rachel Campos Duffy, “Fox & Friends,” suggested that Democrats fear conservative Latinas “so much” that they “do stuff like this.”
Michael McAdams is the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. He tweeted: “More sexist behavior by scumbag @RepGonzalez. Dem candidate for key House race uses a doctored photograph to make female opponent appear aggressive in a campaign ad.
Flores replied on Twitter, recalling how Vincente Gonzalez hired a racist blog to attack me for our heritage” and suggesting that her opponent is now doing the dirty work herself with this shameless and pathetic photoshop.
First, Vicente Gonzalez hired a racist blogger to attack me for my heritage. Now Vicente is doing the dirty work himself with this shameless and pathetic photoshopping. https://t.co/5cMNOGQsyU pic.twitter.com/DukV8Wc1ZC
— Mayra Flores (@MayraFlores2022) October 12, 2022
Flores meant Jerry McHale when he called McHale a “racist blogger”. According to the Texas Tribune, McHale received thousands of dollars from the Gonzalez campaign for his “advertising services”.
McHale called Flores the first Mexican woman to be elected to Congress “Miss Frijoles,” and “Miss Enchiladas” He also called Flores a “cotton picking’ liar.”
McHale, who received financial support from the Gonzalez campaign, wrote on May 13: “DOES FLORES WANT TRUMP to COME & TAAKE HER P**SY?”
Flores responded to McHale’s comments by saying, “I am disgusted Vincente Gonzalez has hired an evil blogger to attack and degrade my Mexican heritage, but this will not distract me from my work.” … I was elected to Congress to represent the values of my community: God, Family, and Country. Vincente Gonzalez is an example of all that’s wrong in Washington.
Gonzalez went beyond hiring McHale as a Flores prosecutor. He also attempted to deny the election. He claimed that “they stole that last election” in reference to the June special elections in which Flores defeated Dan Sanchez to win a seat in Congress. Joe Biden, Democrat President, claimed last month that anyone “refusing to acknowledge an election…is a threat to democracy.”
Although the Gonzalez campaign used visual disinformation to promote its interests, it is not the first time this has been done in recent history.
CNN was accused last year of making Joe Rogan look “sickly” by altering his footage.
Rogan posted a video to Instagram showing that he was using monoclonal antibodies and ivermectin to fight COVID-19. Some question whether the CNN version showed a drop in saturation and an increase in yellow. Others believe it was deliberate and was correlated with the network’s desire to discredit Rogan. CNN denied that they had done so, but they remained firm in their denial.
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