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A U.S. Navy veteran challenging Rep. Maxine Waters for her congressional seat took his campaign against the Democrat to her doorstep.
Joe Collins, a who fought in the Iraq War, is now waging a battle against the 82-year-old California Democrat who has represented California’s 43rd congressional district since 1991. Collins slammed “Mansion Maxine” for not fighting for her own district in a new campaign advertisement that kicks off right outside of her $6 million California home.
“Do you know where I am right now? Maxine Waters’ six million-dollar mansion,” Collins asked in the video released over the weekend. “Do you know where I’m not right now? Maxine Waters’ district.”
“Maxine does not live in her district — but I do,” Collins added, noting that he grew up in South Los Angeles, an area represented by Waters in her more than four decades as a member of Congress.
(Source: Joe Collins/YouTube)
Redistricting moved Waters’ neighborhood into the 37th District, currently represented by Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, though it once sat within the boundaries of California’s 43rd District.
“Maxine Waters does not drink our water, she does not breathe our air and while she sits here, in her mansion, our district is in ruins,” Collins said in the video ad before taking viewers on a tour of the southern part of Los Angeles County where he grew up.
“Maxine Waters has been in office for 44 years. Has anything got better around here?” Collins asked. “I can tell you first-hand that it hasn’t.”
“I survived a drive-by shooting in this house when I was a child,” the Republican candidate said as he stood outside a house in the area. “Gangs, drugs, violence, that was my upbringing. And where was Maxine Waters?”
According to his campaign website, Collins was returning home “from his grandfather’s community church” on Sunday when “a drive-by shooting incident left bullets riddled through the family house, piercing windows and into the cushions of the sofa.” The incident reportedly prompted his mother to move the family to Texas.
Collins went on to note that he “survived” and went on to graduate high school before serving in the U.S. Navy where he rose to the rank of Petty Officer First Class.
“But while I was fighting for this country, Maxine Waters could not be bothered to fight for her own district here in America. And when I returned from war, I cam back to my community as a war zone,” Collins said, noting the spike in deadly crime and homicides in the area just this year,
He also pointed to the “crippling” poverty rate in the area with 43 percent of residents living below the poverty line, and over 40,000 people making up the staggering homeless population. Homelessness has increased by 264 percent since 2009, Collins noted, going on to point out the number of sex trafficking cases and the failing school system in South L.A.
As he continued his video tour of the area, Collins referred to the city’s decline amid recent violence and rioting, pointing out that while unrest broke out, Waters “sits safe in her mansion guarded by the same police she demonizes,” and never had to deal with the demonstrations in her own neighborhood.
“That must be nice, but this is the way the rest of us lives,” he added.
Collins explained to Fox News that the video ad was aimed at showing the stark contrast between Waters and her own constituents.
“She has a very nice community, she has a really big house – and that’s just one of three or four house that she has,” he said.
“And meanwhile, she comes to the inner city and preaches the message of hatred, and a message of us vs. them,” he added. “And when she’s done spreading the hate through our community, she goes back to this huge mansion while the rest of us live in crime-infested, poverty, neighborhoods where people are absolutely struggling to live.
“We have bars on our windows. We don’t have any high-paying quality jobs,” Collins told Fox News. “And people needed to see that. And so it was very important that we shined a light on the disparities between how Maxine Waters lives and … how we actually live.”
The video ad began to get attention on Twitter where it has been viewed over 2.5 million times. Many Twitter users applauded the Navy veteran’s effort and donated to his campaign.
Powerful! People have to vote that old bag out of office!
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) October 11, 2020
Thank you so much!
— Joe E. Collins III For Congress CA-43 (@joecollins43rd) October 10, 2020
Incredible real life ad! Praying for his victory in CA 43!
— Matthew Recker (@cmrecker) October 12, 2020
🙏🏾 thank you.
— Joe E. Collins III For Congress CA-43 (@joecollins43rd) October 11, 2020
This is amazing! I grew up in LA and it’s gone from bad to worse to almost uninhabitable. I hope you win Joe, the citizens of 43 deserve so much better! Thank you for your service to our country and this district!
— Jessa White (@JessikahWhite) October 12, 2020
Wow, I’d vote for him if I could! (I’m in England!)
— Ann Lahiff (@ann_lahiff) October 12, 2020
We did the same thing from Texas. 👍
— Cam Anthony (@retiredfromwfms) October 11, 2020
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