Mark Miloscia hit with anti-Catholic attack

By Jordan Schrader
Tacoma News Tribune

An attack on state Senate candidate Mark Miloscia uses an anti-Catholic caricature to accuse him of representing “the people of the Vatican” instead of “the people of Federal Way.”

The image, on an anonymous website attacking Federal Way Republican Miloscia, circulated Friday on Twitter and drew a prompt rebuke from Miloscia’s opponent, Shari Song.

Song, D-Federal Way, posted on her Facebook page:

“There are lots of things in my opponent’s record that are fair game to take issue with. But I respect Mark Miloscia’s religion and I certainly don’t condone ANY of my supporters making attacks on that basis. 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. This campaign should be about the issues, not personal attacks.” 

The cartoonish picture shows Miloscia in a papal crown holding a cross on a string of rosary beads and a suitcase with a Confederate flag. It dubs him “Mississippi Mark,” an apparent reference to his birthplace where he lived as a small child before his family moved to New York. Another post on the website compares “Pope Mark” with Pope Francis in an attempt to cast Miloscia’s views as extreme by modern-day papal standards.

Miloscia is a conservative Catholic from Federal Way who opposes abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the death penalty. Formerly a Democratic state representative, he lobbied for local Catholic dioceses before switching parties this year and running for the Senate.

Miloscia has downplayed his views on social issues, saying any effort to restrict abortion is going nowhere in this blue state. But advertising by Democrats and labor unions and abortion-rights groups have emphasized those views, in one case accusing him of wanting to “deny rape victims emergency contraception” because he supported a proposal to declare that life begins at fertilization of an egg.

Nothing, though, has been as inflammatory as the new website, which does not disclose its author. It says its costs are “below minimum public disclosure requirements.” State law requires disclosure for anyone spending $100 or more on independent campaign advertising.

Miloscia’s campaign manager said fliers with the same image were distributed at a candidate forum this week.

Democrat Song’s campaign manager said Song had no idea the website existed but thinks she knows who created it and has asked the person to take it down.

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