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Manan Trivedi accused of playing race card

September 13
01:47 2010

Manan Trivedi

NEW YORK: The Indian American Leadership Initiative (IALI) has denounced Congressman Jim Gerlach’s campaign for playing the race card against Indian American opponent Manan Trivedi in the Pennsylvania Congressional campaign.
It was reported in The Hill newspaper that Congressman Jim Gerlach’s campaign spokesman accused Manan Trivedi of playing the “race card” because he is raising money from Indian Americans. According to The Hill, Gerlach’s spokesman said:
“The only one who has played the race card here is him [Manan Trivedi], by going to Indian-American groups to raise money.”
In Pennsylvania’s 6th congressional district, where Democrat Manan Trivedi is challenging Rep. Jim Gerlach (R), the Republican’s campaign is painting Trivedi as a far left-winger and has said Trivedi “doesn’t share our values.”
When Gerlach’s campaign was accused of a subtle racial slant, his spokesperson said it was in fact Trivedi who was playing the race card by raising funds from Indian American groups.
Calling it “an incredible accusation” to make in an American political campaign where it is quite common for candidates from both parties to seek support from ethnic organizations, Kathy Kulkarni, President of IALI said, “You would never see Gerlach attack an Italian American, Jewish American, or Greek American candidate for raising money from their ethnic communities. It is ludicrous for Gerlach to say an Indian American candidate should live by different rules. His campaign statement shows disdain for the Indian American community and the Congressman should apologize immediately.”
“Dr. Manan Trivedi is running a campaign focused on the Pennsylvania families and businesses struggling in this economy. Gerlach, on the other hand, is making these ethnic charges to distract voters from his record of supporting the economic policies that created this recession,” continued Kulkarni.
“We must send a message to Congressman Gerlach that the Indian American community is proud to support our candidates. Like all Americans, we have the right to make financial contributions to any candidate we choose – regardless of their ethnicity. IALI was proud to endorse Dr. Manan Trivedi early this year when he was in the midst of a tough battle in the Democratic primary. After that victory, he is now one of the Democratic Party’s top Congressional candidates.”
The Hill’s campaign blog points out that more Indian American candidates than ever are running for office in 2010 and that there are worries their ethnicity could become a factor.

India Post News Service

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