While reporting on the San Diego area’s extremely competitive congressional race in CA-52 between Democrat Scott Peters and Republican Carl DeMaio, my colleague Casey Breznick noted that “DeMaio recently took further steps to distance himself from the Tea Party by releasing a new campaign ad where he says:

“As a proud gay American, I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but a Tea Party extremist? Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

I assert that the internal polls for Peters must be worse than those Casey officially reported, because the Democrat ads are referencing Tea Party so often that one could confuse DeMaio for the president of Lipton Tea Company.

And, as I noted previously, DeMaio has never truly been “Tea Party”.

However, I am now concerned that the ad may have been too demeaning of the area’s Tea Party groups, who are among the most active grassroots supporters of DeMaio.

Dawn Wildman, co-founder of the SoCalTax Revolt Coalition and the organizer of the area’s first Tea Party finds the approach disturbing. She says:

“I am really disappointed with Carl, especially since I sent him a thank you a couple of weeks ago for NOT throwing the tea party under bus due to the Peters ads. This ad was unnecessary, because it’s the Tea Party people who will vote for him and the people who don’t care for Carl’s socially liberal stance are telling their folks to vote for Peters. Carl seems to have forgotten that we are the ones that worked for his measures to help him BE the reformer he became.”

Sarah B., San Diego area conservative activist agrees,”I’m sure it did nothing to assuage anyone afraid of us, and will just piss off his Escondido base.”

On the other hand, W.C. Varones (San Diego’s noted vegan, libertarian pundit and Tea Party participant) is nonplussed. “You can put me down as a Tea Party extremist. Before communism was cool, someone once said, ‘Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice‘.”

He agrees with the ad’s sentiment and says “Tactically, the Tea Party label has become toxic. The Obama sycophants in the MSM have succeeded in poisoning the name. Time to re-brand.”

If this race is truly as close as being reported, and if DeMaio pulls defeat from the jaws of victory, I will point to this ad as being a primary cause.

Yet, there will be no political ad this election cycle that will be as laughable as one Peters offered. The incumbent congressman accused DeMaio of being a “product of Washington DC.” I will be chuckling about that one all the way to the polls.