Mia Love tells Fox News that Democrats target her because ‘I am a black female Republican’ and they want to control everything

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Congresswoman Mia Love speaks to the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board Thursday Feb. 22 2018.

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, told national Fox News on Monday that Democrats are targeting her because “they do not like the fact that I am a black female Republican.”

She said that on Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade Show. He asked her if Democrats are targeting her “because you’re African American, you’re Republican and you’re successful?”

Love responded, “All of the above. All of the above. Absolutely, all of the above,” and added, “They do not like the fact that I am a black female Republican.”

Love said Democrats also do not like that she is trying to help people improve their economic situation.

“They don’t like that I’m out there talking about that we’re going to help make life better, that we are going to get people out of poverty programs that are completely trapping them,” she said. “They don’t like those things because they want to be in control. They don’t want people to be in control.”

Do such statements amount to playing the race card in her race?

“Absolutely not,” said her spokeswoman Sasha Clark. “I don’t see that as playing the race card at all. She’s just factual. She challenges [House Democratic leader] Nancy Pelosi’s narrative. That’s why Nancy Pelosi wants her gone.”

Love explained more about what she sees as Pelosi’s views in a separate television interview by Kilmeade for Fox News.

She said Pelosi and House Democrats “claim that they like diversity but if you think on your own, if you are an independent thinker, that's not the diversity they like. If you're a Republican that's certainly not the diversity they like.”

Love added, “They're frankly afraid that we're going to bring more people to come along with us. I'd be happy to bring more black women, more minorities to the Republican Party and that's certainly not something that Nancy Pelosi wants to see happen in Washington.”

In response to her comments, Alyson Heyrend, spokeswoman for Love’s opponent, Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, said, “Ben McAdams is running on the issues, rather than throwing out misleading claims and negative attacks.”

She added, “Ben is running for this seat to provide Utahns with a choice — a person who has a bipartisan record of balancing budgets, lowering the tax rate and getting things done, rather than someone who behaves like a Washington insider with a dubious ethical record; someone who thinks rules don’t apply to her and who backs the president’s agenda almost 100 percent of the time.”

That response, in turn, repeats something that Love’s campaign has said is misleading — McAdams’ continued claim in ads that he has constantly lowered Salt Lake County’s tax rate. That is technically true, but it does not mean he lowered actual taxes.

For example in 2016, the county was about to retire bonds that voters approved in 1995 to finance a jail expansion. McAdams proposed to keep collecting the same amount and spend it on criminal-justice system improvements.

But under state law, that was considered a tax increase of $13.92 on a $230,000 home — and the county was required to hold a Truth in Taxation hearing to approve it.

Also in 2017, the county’s tax rate went down. But assessed property values went up — so those lower rates still generated more tax revenue. The county proposed to increase spending more than the previous year, so a Truth in Taxation hearing was again required for what state law considered a tax increase of $2.61 on a $250,000 home.

The Salt Lake County Council, which has a Republican majority, this year approved a $58 million sales tax increase — adding 2.5 cents to a $10 purchase — which takes effect this fall. McAdams did not veto the increase because it was approved with a veto-proof majority after a number of city councils endorsed it.

However, in many other years the county imposed no tax increase.