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Another setback in the GOP's outreach efforts

Erika Harold, a likely Republican congressional candidate in Illinois
Erika Harold, a likely Republican congressional candidate in IllinoisAssociated Press

There are a few odd political stories in the news today, but this one has to be one of the more offensive.

A county Republican Party chairman in central Illinois called a black female congressional candidate the "love child" of the Democratic party; a "street walker" whose "pimps" are party leaders; and suggested that after the election, she will be "working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires."

And it's a Republican candidate he's talking about.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R) already represents Illinois' 13th congressional district, which is generally pretty friendly to Republicans. That said, Davis won the election by the skin of his teeth -- he won by literally just 1,002 votes -- and Democrats see this district as a key 2014 pick-up opportunity.

Enter Erika Harold, a former Miss America and Harvard Law grad, who hopes to challenge Davis for the Republican nod next year.

To be sure, these kinds of intra-party disputes often get contentious, but Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen has taken this to an unfortunate level. Consider exactly what he said in print about the likely candidate: "Rodney Davis will win and the love child of the D.N.C. will be back in S---cago [Expletive deleted] by May of 2014 working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires.... Miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS."

I can appreciate why some ugly rant from an obscure country GOP official may seem forgettable, but there's something about this tirade that summarizes a larger problem for some elements of the right. What Allen said is racist and misogynistic and deliberately alienating towards moderates, all at the same time.

A spokesperson for Rep. Davis distanced the congressman from Allen's message, calling it "misguided."

Good move.

Update: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today described Allen's comments as "astonishingly offensive," and called for his resignation.

Second Update: By late this afternoon, Allen did in fact resign his post.