Thursday, June 08, 2006

Race Card Played in 65th AD Campaign

In a campaign largely coordinated and funded by San Bernardino County Supervisor and Republican Party Chairman Bill Postmus, the race of one of the opponents of his chosen candidate, Paul Cook, was made a major closing issue in the race.

In one mail piece directly funded by the Cook campaign, Cook attacks second-place finisher Brenda Salas for naming a street in her hometown of Banning after local businessman Maurice Calderon "to honor the winner the Consuledo de Mexico Premio Ohtli Award." Cook calls it an award "for service to the people from Mexico."

In reality, the award was to recognize service to his local community, the Inland Empire, and highlight ways Mexico and the U.S. can work together. The award ceremony was attended by dozens of local elected officials as well as business and community leaders including the CSU San Bernardino Air Force ROTC.

In fact, Calderon is from one of the most highly respected families in the region and the street was named after his family by the developer in recognition of the generations of service they have provided to the community.

As a local mayor, Cook knows better than to think a Councilmember would have the authority to name a street. He was simply trying to make the point that it was a Mexican that was being honored hoping that would hightlight Salas' Mexican heritage and turn off some voters in the current racially-charged atmosphere.

Calderon was the Arrowhead Credit Union Senior Vice President at the time. Ironically, the Arrowhead Credit Union donated $1000 to Cook's campaign.

Cook, who highlighted his leadership abilities as a retired Marine colonel, has been pleading ignorance, telling people that he had no idea Calderon was attacked in the mail piece presumably approved by him and sent out by his campaign.

In an even more insidious, and possibly more effective attack, in a mail piece billed as a "GOP Voter Guide," the photos of all the candidates are used. The photo of Salas is obviously darkened to stress her Hispanic ancestry.

There was a third such attack in the race although it is still unclear if it was the Cook campaign or the Ayres campaign that was responsible for it. A man with an exaggerated Mexican accent called voters saying he was from a Democratic Party organization claiming they were endorsing Salas "informing" them she supported illegal immigration. People who heard the message commented that the person making the call lost his accent as the call went on. Salas, of course, was the candidate supported by the Minuteman Project and, according to her campaign literature, is a founding member of the Inland Empire Minuteman Project.

Although this third incident fits comfortably into the Cook/Postmus campaign's pattern of racially-based attacks, one of Ayres' consultants was noted taking credit for the anonymous phone call.

The Democrats have been largely successful in deflecting on Republicans their own historically racist role in politics. But it seems too many Republicans are willing to embrace the part the Democrats have accused us of playing.

Screaming racism is, of course, a common Democratic tactic. Yet as Republicans know, most affirmative action programs are racist themselves, designed to keep minorities in poverty and thereby relying on the government (in the form of Democratic politicians) for their survival.

But the sad fact in this case is that many Republicans can't recognize a racially motivated attack when it is true. The chances are there will not be a legislative candidate like Salas - a conservative, Hispanic, female, elected official - for at least another decade. If Republicans were really serious about becoming a majority in California, she is exactly the type of candidate we need to attract.

No one has yet said Paul Cook or Bill Postmus are racists. But they certainly proved skilled at playing the race card and running a racially inflammatory campaign.


At 6/08/2006 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you are right about one thing...we won't have another Brenda Salas in a Republican Primary. Thank goodness that mess was defeated. We make fun of RINO's (Republicans in Name Only), but in this case we had someone who was actually registered as a Democrat and contributed to them less than 3 years ago. She had no respect for campaign finance law and clearly thumbed her nose it. Hopefully, the FPPC will fine her and her cohorts for gross violations of campaign finance law. I hear an investigation is proceeding. Brenda was the wrong person in the wrong primary, at the wrong time, in the wrong district. Brenda ran a nastier campaign and spent more money doing it than any of the others and yet is shocked when someone attacks her. Prediction: Two years from now...Brenda who???

At 6/08/2006 8:43 PM, Anonymous SB Watcher said...

Postmus has gotten too big for himself. After spending almost a $1.5 million in his Assesor race, he still couldn't pull it off. He's in big trouble. A lot of big donors are starting to wonder if he can really win.

At 6/08/2006 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So having a race baiter is better? Cook is going to be a disaster. Another do nothing, go along, get along Assemblyman.

At 6/09/2006 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES! Another old white man in the congress! That will help us!

At 6/09/2006 7:11 AM, Blogger CRA President said...

I can't speak to everything in the post, but I served with Maurice Calderon on the Library of California Board. (I was a Pringle appointee. While we disagreed on some stuff, I found him to be a very decent man committed community service. A very good guy.

At 6/09/2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm all for getting minorities into the party...but not electing them just because they are a minority...they still need to be the best candidate..not 28-year old former Democrats! Just sounds like sore losers on this site..and I guess they have a right to be...they got creamed by someone who they laughed at and consistently said wasn't even a credible candidate in this race. Cheers!

At 6/09/2006 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am appalled how insular many of you (my fellow Republicans) are.

It is atrocious for me to imagine that a Painted Marine, who has won a Republican Primary, would be patronized by the ignorance of this blog.

Paul Cook is someone who has been a lifelong Republican, an esteemed mayor, and an influential leader in his community. Cook won this primary with the blessing and endorsement of California’s most prominent leaders, and financial contributors.

The only lame duck in this state of affair are those who speak ill of other republicans- without reason.

At 6/10/2006 12:53 AM, Anonymous Joseph Turner said...

Inland Empire Minuteman Project?

I have never even heard of it...which is interesting, since I am an anti-illegal immigration activist and live in the Inland Empire.

Brenda Salas is a fraud. Good riddance.

I am sorry, but claiming to be a part of an organization I have never heard of, strapping on some binoculars for a campaign year photo op, paying a couple of bucks in dues to a prominent anti-illegal immigration organization does not allow you to portray yourself as being strong on the illegal immigration issue.

Especially, since a few years earlier she was schilling for "Working...for Open Borders" Joe Baca.

At 6/10/2006 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Turner is a joke and so is this blog.

At 6/10/2006 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact is Cook ran a racist campaign and he's Bill Postmus' bitch. And if the rumors are true, that entails a whole lot more than just voting the way Postmus wants.

At 6/11/2006 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, Postmus is NOT raciest and has always believed in and supported the best Republican candidate regardless of their skin color or gender, and in this case Paul Cook was by far the best candidate for the Assembly, plus part of the 65th runs into Postmus’ supervisorial district and Paul Cook was an SB candidate.
Bill Postmus has supported and placed the Party behind (not just endorsed, but contributed financially) numerous minority & female Republican candidates that were the BEST person for the job. Such as:

Paul Leon, Ontario Mayor
Acquanetta Warren, Fontana City Council & CRP Regional Vice Chair
Marge Mendoza-Ware, Colton School Board
Dennis Yates, Chino City Council
Rex Gutierrez, Rancho Cucamonga, City Council
Josie Gonzales, 5th District Supervisor (Democrat…but by name only)
Sharon Runner, California State Assemblywoman
Mike Ramos, San Bernardino County District Attorney
Trinidad Perez, Adelanto Mayor Pro-Tem
Gwenn Norton-Perry, Chino Hills Mayor Pro-Tem
Janice Rutherford, Fontana Councilmember
Bea Cortes, Grand Terrace Mayor Pro-Tem
Diane Williams, Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Pro-Tem
Rudy Cabriales, Victorville Mayor Pro-Tem

On another (less important) note, more than half of Postmus’ government and campaign staff is either a minority or female…BUT, Postmus has never cared about what the skin color was of the people he hired or endorsed, all he cares about is having the best & brightest work for him and insists in, hard work, dedication, winning at all costs, and most importantly TEAMWORK.

At 6/11/2006 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colonel Cook wins. Ayres says "if anyone wins except me, I hope it's Paul Cook." Lowe says "I look forward to working with Paul Cook."

At 6/12/2006 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brenda Salas would be eaten alive by the Latino Dems in Sacramento. First for being a traitor to the Dem party, second of all because most of them are much older and have come from the 'hood in LA County. Let's see her stuff first. She can start taking shots at the Latino Dems, publically. Then she can move over to her old boss Baca. Once she's done with that then move over to the LA County side where most of the Latino Dems live. Don't get me wrong, I like her, I just want her to show me her game so we can see if she has the street smarts to get down with the Latino Dems in Sacramento.

At 6/12/2006 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joseph Turner and the rest of the bitter soon the be Ray Haynes staff need to get over the fact that their boy lost as did half the guys he was backing.

Ray's day is over, go home you soon to be unemployed freaks.

At 6/13/2006 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did Team Ayres, with all that cash and supposed dream team JCA turn into such a loser?

At 6/13/2006 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame the campaign manager, Thats probably what Clark is doing.

At 6/13/2006 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The boat was sinking before it ever left the dock! Despite the lack of ground game from the Ayres’ campaign, that loss is solely on Jim..

At 6/13/2006 11:00 PM, Anonymous Joseph Turner said...

LMAO at someone injecting Ray Haynes defeat into the conversation as a substitute for putting forth a substantive rebuttal.

You are going to have to work a little harder and come up with something a little bit better than that in your bid to get under my skin.

All in all, a pretty weak take.

By the way...are you a member of the "Inland Empire Minuteman Project"?

At 6/17/2006 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Turner is a joke!

At 6/20/2006 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lack of ground game? To my knowledge Paul Cook didn't have any ground game, yet he still won. The best campaign managers do nothing to affect the outcome of an election, a bad campaign manager can lose and election (Re: The Robin Lowe nightmare). No, I think it’s more complicated than that. Anybody with a fifth grade reading level (for the Valley Chronicle) and a second grade reading level (for the Record Gazette) along with two years undergrad experience in media influence understands how the 65th got so messed up. It also helps if you live in the district, then you could have had weekly bon-fires with all the mail attacking Jim Ayres (you could have used the newspapers to start it).

At 6/24/2006 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cook had ground in SB County - where he beat everyone at least 2:1; Ayres had the most money at nearly $500K spent (finished with almost $200K still in the bank); Salas benefited from almost $200K in ie support; Ayres (6 mailers) and Cook (5 mailers) where the most "attacked". Lowe has the most late money -- almost $100K in the last 3 days.

At 6/24/2006 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cook did not have any ground game. His ballot designation and over 100K in ie’s gave him the win..

At 6/24/2006 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong, Cook didn't have a ground game because Salas had the support of all the local political organizations. I have access to, so I know what the money tally was at the end. The bottom line is that Lowe and Salas took votes from eachother, and Cook and Ayres (the two male veterans) took votes from eachother. Cook won because of ballot designation and Ayres' medal fiasco. As soon as the medal thing came out, Ayres was no longer competitive with Cook's ballot designation.
Hands down, Ayres was attacked more than Cook. Cook had maybe 3 mail pieces come out against him, and one of them was him on the front and Robin Lowe on the back, which studies show aren't as effective as single issue, single target mailers with lots of pictures. Ayres got the shaft in this race because of Salas' IE attacks. I hope her campaign gets fined for not reporting with the Secretary State.

At 6/26/2006 6:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, you need the read the post before you comment. Obviously you missed the part where I stated that “Cook did not have any ground game.” Second, what local political organizations did Salas have? If I am not mistaken, the Riverside YR’s and Regan Forum are shaft groups that have no political clout. The Riverside YR’s might as well be a PTA or a social club because they don’t get involved.. So, when you mention local political organizations which creditable ones are you talking about? Compared to San Bernardino County, Riverside has no political capital.

At 10/14/2006 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want a really great way to alienate people and make sure they won't vote for you??? Bill Postmus does! Flyers went out asking voters to vote for him and several of his cohorts. Now, I have a "no soliciting of any kind - including printed materials" sign on my front door. Obviously whoever left this flyer on my door didn't care for my sign, as they also left one on my garage door, with double-stick tape!!! When I took the sign down it pulled the paint off the garage door. You can rest assured that I won't be voting for anyone who disrespects my property.


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