Are They Communists or Catspaws: A Red Baiting Pamphlet was created by Ray P. Chase, and circulated the month before the 1938 gubernatorial election between Farmer-Labor candidate Governor Elmer Benson and Republican challenger Harold Stassen. Chase claimed that Benson’s inner circle of five advisors were communists and implied they were Jews.
He devoted many pages to the University of Minnesota to demonstrate that it was infiltrated by Communists under Bensen’s watch. Although attacked for its lies, it was also applauded by some in the press and some church leaders. Its lies and manipulated photographs were revealed by the Benson campaign in a response.
All scholars writing and researching about this period agree that Chase’s pamphlet was an antisemitic attack on Benson.
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