Fresno · Politics

Is this campaign ad racist? Or just calling a candidate corrupt?

The incumbent in a race for a college trustee seat says a campaign attack ad against him, mailed to voters, is racist.

“The entire piece was improper and racist in nature,” Payne told GVWire.

The flyer in question depicts Eric Payne, who is Black and is running for his third term on the State Center Community College District board, in less than flattering pictures and brings up less than flattering moments in his career.

Created by local conservative group Common Sense Information — chaired by political activist Tal Cloud — the flyer criticizes Payne for a $54,000 state fine for campaign finance violations, using a district credit card to pay his PG&E bill, and improperly using a disabled placard to park.

It also includes a photos of Payne in an orange shirt, which could be interpreted as a prison outfit.

Cloud denies Payne’s allegations of racism.

“That’s a typical cheap shot that a politician makes when they can’t defend the fact their record that shows they are corrupt,” Cloud said. “I don’t think it’s racist. I think his record is his problem.”

Here’s more from GVWire.

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.