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NHGOP: 4 years ago, Shea-Porter praised author of 'Tea Party/KKK' email

Senior Political Reporter

October 22. 2013 6:01PM

The state Republican Party is trying to link U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter to fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, who compared the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan in a campaign email that received widespread attention Tuesday.

The state Democratic Party said the NHGOP is using an outdated comment made by the congresswoman favorable to Grayson and went on to criticize a recent comment made by a Republican state House candidate the Democrats called a slur.

"Obviously, Carol does not support this comparison," her spokesman, Ben Wakana, said. "She's focused on standing up for New Hampshire families and creating jobs here, not partisan mud-slinging."

After news of the Grayson email surfaced in national political media reports, the NHGOP pointed out that four years ago, Shea-Porter praised Grayson, along with former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., at a Netroots Nation conference that was televised on C-SPAN.

"I love both of these men and I will tell you that they are driven by a moral compass that is just wonderful to behold," Shea-Porter said in August 2009 of Grayson and Murphy, according to a C-SPAN video of a panel discussion.

"We share almost all the same kinds of goals and values and Alan and I do as well," she said at the time.

Grayson's campaign email Tuesday depicted a burning cross as the "T" in the words "Tea Party," with a photo of hooded KKK members around it.

"The Tea Party is no more popular than the Ku Klux Klan," Grayson says in the email.

New Hampshire Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn said in a statement Grayson's comparison of "fiscally responsible Americans to the Ku Klux Klan is despicable and disgusting.

"It is outrageous that Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter has embraced Grayson's extreme agenda, praised his 'moral compass' and said that she shares his radical goals and values," Horn said, who added that Shea-Porter should "immediately reject his disgraceful behavior."

State Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein responded that Shea-Porter's praise of Grayson four years ago has been "sitting around longer than Jennifer Horn's massive unpaid tax bill. She should pay less attention to outdated quotes and more time worrying about what members of her own party are saying today."

He accused Republican former state Rep. Pete Silva of Nashua of using a "racist slur" earlier this month when he predicted his Democratic opponent in a special House election, Latha Mangipudi, who is of Indian descent, could benefit from a large turnout of Indian-American voters, saying "they'll be coming out of the woodwork" on voting day, Nov. 5.

"I thought I was in New Delhi," Silva reportedly said in reference to a large turnout of Indian voters at the Nashua Ward 8 polling place during the recent special primary.

Silva has refused to apologize and Kirstein noted that Horn has not called on him to apologize.

"While Republicans in other states have tried to rebrand and etch-a-sketch away their more out of touch views, with candidates like Peter Silva, the NHGOP continues to be the face and voice of the Tea Party and radical fringe," said Kirstein.

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