nate shinagawa

OCA's Statement on Racial Rhetoric in Political Campaigns

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is deeply disturbed by the uptick in volatile racist rhetoric that has taken place during the 2012 election year.

“With the 2012 elections quickly approaching, we have seen an alarming ease by which candidates and media personalities resort to racist rhetoric under the guise of light hearted humor. This is simply inappropriate, ineffective, unnecessary, and inexcusable,” said Tom Hayashi, Executive Director of OCA. “We condemn the characterization of Asians as a ‘perpetual foreigner’ regardless of context.”

Most recently, New York Congressional Candidate Nate Shinagawa was racially demeaned during the broadcast of a local radio talk show. Shinagawa, a third-generation Japanese-Korean American, was ignorantly ridiculed when it was asserted that he came from the “Peoples Republic” and mocked for his Japanese heritage. These desperate xenophobic comments are especially troubling given the fact that such rhetoric has also been used by perpetrators of bullying, harassment, and hazing from schools to the military with dire consequences.

Unfortunately, Mr. Shinagawa is not the only victim of racialized political attacks this election year. During the most widely viewed Super Bowl in history, the notorious “Debbie-spend-it-now” ad by the Pete Hoekstra campaign grossly exaggerated the proposition of insult and mockery by the Chinese for the seeming economic dependence by the United States; accusing the candidate as a contributor to the transcontinental financial relationship. In a separate campaign video by Congressman Mark Amodei, similar themes are echoed as well as the prediction of a military seizure of the US Capitol by the Chinese military following an economic meltdown caused by the current administration. These ads have been pointed out as being extremely problematic not only by APA civil rights leaders, but also broadly condemned and discouraged by both political parties.

Elections should be issue-focused without resorting to unfair and inaccurate comparisons. Demonizing a specific class of people using fear tactics based on broad political and economic generalizations or predictions should not be tolerated by the community at-large.

As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders become more involved in civic life, we call upon political parties to promote an environment that welcomes the inclusion of diverse perspectives and experiences. In the final months before this year’s elections, we urge political candidates and the media to refrain from using xenophobic language and imagery. We also urge those elected into office to support policies that address the serious problem related to all forms of discrimination and bias.

Nate Shinagawa Jumping In Polls!

In a recently released memo, it’s revealed that New York’s upstate race is really heating up! Not only is Nate kicking ass with several TV ads, this poll shows that he’s actually leaping in support with voters! 

A recently conducted poll in New York’s 23 Congressional District shows a 10-12 point swing among voters ENTIRELY TOWARD NATE SHINAGAWA, bringing Shinagawa within 5 points of his opponent, Republican Congressman Tom Reed.

In a poll conducted August 21 – 23 of likely voters, Reed garnered merely 39% of voters who had settled on a candidate to support – a vulnerable position for any incumbent Republican in a Presidential election year – with an additional 8% who leaned in his favor. Shinagawa took 30% initially, and picked up an additional 4% with voters leaning his way.

Since August, Shinagawa has considerably narrowed the margin, picking up an additional 10 – 12 points, largely from the demographics identified in August as most likely to respond to his message. Meanwhile, Reed has virtually remained in the same position, despite having gone uncontested on television for the last 6 weeks. In short, our message is resonating with voters across the district, and our strategy is working.

Among the demographic groups identified in August as most likely to swing toward Shinagawa ater an aggressive paid and earned media campaign (see graph below), we see incredible movement after just 1 week on television, especially among key groups that traditionally make up swing or undecided voters. Of particular importance is Shinagawa’s movement among Independents, voters in the Western region to whom both candidates are new, and women. All three groups make up the largest undecided bloc – in fact, 70% of undecided voters are women.

Remember to SHARE AND SHARE AND SHARE. The more people that know about this race, the better. Along with Otto Lee, Jay Chen, Tammy Duckworth, and many more, we can really start getting more Asian American representatives into office! So take this and SIGNAL BOOST the hell out of it because our boy needs our support NOW!

I'll be covering Nate Shinagawa's last couple days before the Democratic primary.

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“An Ithaca Democrat challenging Congressman Tom Reed is relying on his experience with healthcare and economic development to carry him to Washington.

A Tompkins County legislator for six years and an administrator at the Guthrie Healthcare-affiliated Robert Packer Hospital, Nate Shinagawa announced on March 15 that he would challenge Reed for the Corning Republican’s seat in the current 29th Congressional District. The number will change to the 23rd as the state’s new district lines go into effect.”

In a strange turn of events...

I may be going to Ithaca to see what happens with the primary election! Those of you in the 23rd Congressional district (Tompkins County) in New York, I highly encourage you to register to vote if you have not done so already. This is going to be one hell of a race and if I were you, I’d keep my eyes on Nate Shinagawa.