This just in…
STATEMENT ON ANTI-MUSLIM RHETORIC
Contact: Mike Levin
Executive Director, Democratic Party of Orange County
(714) 835-2122 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, a number of Orange County Republican leaders Ã¢â‚¬â€œ including former State Republican Party Chairman Shawn Steel, former state legislator John Lewis, and Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen Ã¢â‚¬â€œ have attempted to gain political advantage by injecting virulent racial stereotypes and fear mongering into two local political races.
Under the heading, “Something Scary in Anaheim,” Steel and Lewis posted a letter on OC Blog, a local conservative web site, questioning the loyalty of Anaheim City Council candidate Bill Dalati, an insurance agent who was born in Syria and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1987, Basing their attack on Dalati on his Muslim faith and his participation in the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a mainstream American civil rights organization whose local chapter has welcomed Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to their meetings, the Steel-Lewis letter insinuated that Dalati “could be an extremist,” or a “Manchurian Candidate” and asked, “does he really have an agenda here to support extremist organizations and cloak them with respectability?”
In a similar attack launched by mail against Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, her 47th district opponent Tan Nguyen used offensive and inflammatory photographs of a Middle Eastern terrorist to link the issue of illegal immigration to terrorism and question the Congresswoman’s commitment to keep American safe.
There has long been a dark side to the Republican Party, an instinct to use racial fears to their political gain. From the infamous “southern strategy” of Richard Nixon to the unfortunate blemish on Ronald Reagan for launching his presidential campaign in the southern city where three civil rights workers were assassinated, Republicans have had a hard time resisting the short term political gain of appealing to the baser instincts of the voting population.
Admirably, Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, a long time Republican leader, has firmly distanced himself from these deplorable acts and it is time that every responsible Orange County Republican leader Ã¢â‚¬â€œ from party officials, to the Lincoln Club to the New Majority – joined him in this principled position.
While partisan debate is welcome in our electoral process, hate is not an American value and it should never be tolerated. The Democratic Party is a party of inclusion. The response of the Orange County Republican leadership to this recent hateful display will determine whether the Democratic Party will remain the only true party of inclusion in this county.
Chair, Democratic Party of Orange County
Vice Chair, Democratic Party of Orange County