Republican Candidate Attacked For Being Catholic

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Mark Miloscia, a Republican running for state senate in Washington state, is fending off attacks on his Catholic faith.

Miloscia, a former Democratic state legislator running for senate as a Republican in Washington’s 30th District, converted to the GOP over social issues. His campaign is encountering some old-school opposition: An anti-Miloscia attack website believed to be run by a Democratic Party member supporting Democrat Shari Song posted a piece of propaganda portraying Miloscia as a Vatican stooge. The Daily Caller has also learned that copies of the image were placed beside Song’s campaign literature at a recent candidate forum.

“Republican Mark Miloscia comes from the Deep South…with plenty of baggage,” the image read. “‘Mississippi Mark’ has always worn his church on his sleeve. Rather than represent the people of Federal Way, he has best represented the people of The Vatican.”

The image then listed five socially conservative positions that Miloscia has taken that apparently make him a Vatican stooge, and called him a “Lobbyist for the Catholic Church.” Miloscia has lobbied for the Washington State Catholic Conference of Bishops.

“It’s unconscionable that that website is up,” Miloscia told TheDC. “People say to me, ‘Didn’t they do this against Kennedy?'” Miloscia noted that religion is a hot-button issue in parts of Washington state, where people of faith are sometimes viewed with suspicion.

The proprietor of Markmiloscia.info is unidentified. But Song, who condemned the image, wrote on Facebook that she told the activist to stop the anti-Catholic attacks, writing, “I understand one of my supporters may have crossed the line of what is appropriate in that regard, and I’ve asked them to stop.”

Song’s campaign manager Alex Hendrickson told TheDC that “rumors” led her to believe that local Democratic Party member Keith Tyler is responsible for the website.

“It’s a very small town here and he’s involved in the local Democratic Party just as a member. He’s not a politician or a campaign worker,” Hendrickson said, adding that the campaign does not condone the image. Hendrickson said that she left voice mail messages at all the phone numbers that she has for Tyler but has not been able to reach him.

Keith Tyler is a figure in local Democratic Party politics, serving on the King County Democrats’ Endorsement Committee for Song’s district. “Keith Tyler” recently referred to Miloscia as “Mississippi Mark” in an online comment defending Song. Tyler also “liked” an official Song Facebook photo showing her posing with campaign volunteers.

In fact, Tyler is even photographed standing directly behind Song, holding a Song sign, in the main featured background photo on Song’s campaign Facebook page (in glasses, seen just above Song’s left arm).

Tyler did not immediately return a request for comment on Facebook.

“He is a big activist, a big-time volunteer for them,” Miloscia campaign manager Keith Schipper told TheDC, referring to Tyler, but noted that the identity of the website proprietor has not been confirmed. The image, meanwhile, was not merely posted to the Internet.

“They let us put literature out on the table,” Schipper said, describing protocol at a debate-style candidate forum at Twin Lakes Country Club hosted by the local newspaper The Federal Way Mirror. “Right next to her literature was the graphic in question. That was right next to it. So for her campaign to say they didn’t know about it, I find it hard to believe that that’s true.”

“I never saw it personally” at the forum, Hendrickson shot back. The Democratic campaign manager said that literature from all groups and organizations were placed on the same six-foot table. “I was there all evening and I never saw that literature period.”

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