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Tying your Republican primary opponent to Obama is all the rage in Arizona

A mailer accuses Arizona House candidate Bob Littlefield of being an ally of Obama. (Courtesy Bob Littlefield)

Ahead of Tuesday’s primary election, local Republican candidates in Arizona are getting tied to President Obama.

Bob Littlefield (R), a Scottsdale City Council member running for the state House of Representatives, was accused of being an Obama ally in a mailer sent out by a group called the Arizona Free Enterprise Club. On the mailer, Littlefield is Photoshopped next to Obama and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and described as “Liberal Bob Littlefield… Good news for Democrats. Bad news for Republicans.”

“These folks know they can’t beat us on the facts, so they’re trying an emotional appeal,” Littlefield told The Washington Post. “It’s fear mongering.”

A spokesperson for the Arizona Free Enterprise Club did not respond to a request for comment.

Littlefield said that he’s not the only candidate to be featured in mailers tying Republicans to Obama and that these tactics have caught on in the state.

“Now it’s started this king of trend,” he said.

Doug Little (R), a candidate for corporate commission, has been accused of supporting “Obama-like taxes” in signs posted around the Phoenix area, and other candidates have seen signs with bright red arrows reading “voted for Obamacare” placed next to their campaign signs.

“They’ve been doing it all over,” said Thomas Ryan, an attorney for Rep. Bob Robson (R), who was accused Monday of removing one of these signs by Maricopa County sheriff’s officers.

Robson received a traffic ticket and complaint from the officers, who said he had removed a “vote for Obamacare” sign  from his own yard. His attorney called it “hokey.” Robson never removed any signs from his yard, Ryan said, and even if he had, he was within his rights. Arizona law allows people to remove signs placed on their own property.

The signs don’t indicate who is responsible for them, but they’ve been put up by a group called Arizona Taxpayer Action, according to the Arizona Republic. A Twitter account for that group has been tweeting images of the signs. A spokesperson for the Arizona Taxpayer Action did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.

Robson was one of 14 Republicans in the state legislature who voted to support Gov. Jan Brewer (R) in expanding the state’s Medicaid program, something primary opponents across the state have tried to capitalize on, lumping these Republicans together with Obama and the Affordable Care Act, Ryan said.

“It’s a joke because it’s not Obamacare,” Ryan said. “Everyone is accusing their opponent of supporting Obama.”

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post

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