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Skip to comments.Indian-Americans help unseat US lawmaker (McKinney)
Posted on 08/21/2002 2:45:30 PM PDT by veronica
The headlines credit the Jewish lobby for the defeat of lawmaker Cynthia McKinney in the Congressional primaries on Tuesday. But a neophyte Indian-American activists group, which co-wrote the script for this unusual Georgia election that attracted nationwide attention, is happy with just the footnote that recorded their role.
They like to do it quietly. They are not as political or as established as the Jewish lobby.
Congresswoman McKinney outraged a lot of people with some bizarre remarks. Among her more provocative comments was her theory that President Bush purposely ignored warnings about 9/11 to help the US arms industry. The comment angered not just the Jewish groups, but regular Americans as well.
The African American incumbent was not shy of expressing her opinion on the subcontinent either mostly ill-informed repeats made at the behest of the Pakistani and Khalistani lobby, according to Indian-Americans.
A sample: The Indian government is responsible for terrorism against its own people. It engineered the massacre of bus passengers in Kashmir and the blowing up of a passenger airliner.
Community leaders said she recorded that kind of "unsubstantiated nonsense, usually peddled by disgruntled and discredited conspiracy theorists," in the Congressional Record.
But it was when she began talking about the imminent breakup of India because of its 17 different separatist movements that the Indians of Georgia lost it for her and banded together.
One prominent activist sent out an e-mail to 3400 Indian-Americans in the area reporting her remarks (under the subject line "Balkanisation of India advocated by Rep. Cynthia McKinney") and urging them to work for her opponent, a local judge named Denise Majette.
Led by a prominent dotcommer in the area, they were soon holding fund-raisers for Majette, who like McKinney is also African-American. They chipped in with $20,000, although much larger sums came in later from Middle East groups the Jews backing Majette and Arabs and Muslims supporting McKinney.
Indian-Americans contributed in other ways too. Several volunteers worked full week for Majettes campaign. She was invited as the chief guest for an Indian-American beauty pageant. A motel owner turned his electronic billboard next to the main highway into her campaign sign.
It was much after the Indian-American effort began that the Jewish lobby rolled into town. But the two sides joined hands for a phono-thon and pooled other resources for the campaign.
When the results came in on Tuesday, Majette had polled 58 per cent to McKinney;s 42 per cent. The Indian bush telegraph e-mail was buzzing.
Money is important. But volunteer and other efforts are equally important. Even more important is that we need to be on the radar screen of the candidate we are supporting. Ms. Denise Majjette hopefully knows that we made a difference in her bid. Please keep in communication with her to further the relationship between IA (Indian Americans) and her, one prominent activist wrote.
The good news is that we offered our support before the poll numbers and Jewish money transpired. Thus, we got noticed, another group leader responded.
In keeping with the low-profile effort, none of them were eager to be identified.
The Indian embassy also quietly celebrated McKinney's loss, although, sticking to the principle of non-interference in local elections, it declined any comment. The embassy has been accused in the past of being a little too interested in the Congressional races.
Democrat Majette will now go up against the winner of the Republican primary for a seat in the Congress in the main elections due in November. But for now, Indians and Indian-Americans can breathe easy that they do not have to hear Cynthia McKinney's conspiracy theories in Congress.
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