The three Miami Republicans who promised to link Teresa Heinz-Kerry to Castro held their press conference yesterday. As expected, they merely recycled old, already debunked lies about the Heinz Foundation and provided nothing new. Except for the farthest right reaches of Blogistan (Free Republic, WorldNet Daily), the accusations are not getting much national coverage. That's completely appropriate, considering this slander is being brought up now as a desperate move by the old anti-Castro Cubans in Miami to deal with local political damage.
Fortunately, the local crowd is fully capable of rebutting this nonsense:
"This is incredible that the Bush campaign has stooped so low and talked these three Cuban congressional members into telling straight-out lies," said Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez, who is helping the Kerry campaign in Florida.
Whatever their reasons or intent, their actions are despicable. They are spreading known lies about a family member of a candidate just order to gain a few political points. This is much worse than cheap jokes about a candidate's kids (though, just for the record, I'm against that, too). I hope it backfires in a big way.
The Farmer over at Corrente has some great additional background on the group that originally produced these lies (Capital Research Center) and the Miami politicians currently diseminating them.
Correction: In my first post below, I incorrectly identified the three Miami Republicans, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, as state house representatives. The body they embarass is the House of Representatives in DC. They represent districts 21, 25, and 18, the three southern-most districts in Florida covering Miami, Hialeah, Homestead, the Keys, and the southern Everglades.