The Chinese are coming

In the late 19th and early 20th century, Nevada was a center of anti-Chinese sentiment, to the point that in February 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt sent a message to the Nevada Legislature through one of the state’s U.S. senators asking the lawmakers to back off on passing anti-Chinese bills because it was creating foreign policy problems.

Last week, a Nevada Republican running for U.S. Senate started running a television spot that revives this tradition. Mark Amodei’s spot features a fake news report from a fake Chinese television station crowing over the success of China’s fake takeover of a debt-ridden America. The video includes fake footage of a fake Chinese army at the U.S. Capitol.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California, chair of the House Asian Pacific American Caucus, said of the ad, “We’ve seen how these anti-Asian sentiments can lead to real consequences for our community. Tomorrow marks the 29th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American who was beaten to death by two Detroit auto-workers at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments during the crisis in the auto industry. I call on Mr. Amodei to take down this ad immediately.”

Amodei, the choice of Republican leaders for the House seat, may be the party’s nominee, depending on the outcome of a Nevada Supreme Court case on whether the election will be thrown open to all comers. Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller interpreted election law as calling for the all-comers option, in which all members of all parties run in a bunch in a general election rather than in party primaries or by party selection. Lower court judge Todd Russell, son of a former GOP governor, ruled against Miller’s interpretation of election law and found that party leaders could pick the candidates.

Whether that’s true will be decided by the Supreme Court, but the state GOP central committee decided not to wait and picked Amodei. If the Supreme Court reinstates Miller’s rules, Amodei would then have to compete as the establishment choice against other candidates.