Every two years we get bombarded with campaign mailers and political speeches from candidates and elected officials we didn’t even remember existed. They tell us who they are and who they want to be for the term in the office they seek. They tell us what to be proud of, but most important, they tell us what to be afraid of.
After twenty-five years in power Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido is finally facing a strong challenger, a popular City Councilman, David Benavides. This fact has apparently gotten some of his supporters whipped up to the point of harassing his wife at work, and his own campaign touting endorsements he doesn’t officially have. But yesterday, “The Little Prince” Miguel Pulido blew his previously disciplined cool and stepped back in time to the age of Joseph McCarthy to find the real cause of Santa Ana’s problems as a big city.
Apparently, it isn’t crime, graffiti, mismanaged city finances, and endless success fees that top Pulido’s list. No, the biggest threat facing the people of Santa Ana is Communism.
Yesterday Mayor Pulido, standing with prominent red-bating Republican elected officials from Westminster, held a press conference to address Vietnamese media about his commitment to fight Communism in Santa Ana. Now you might think that Pulido could have simply reached as few months back in time to his pandering of the Vietnamese community when he made a big show of naming a temple in Santa Ana, the Birthplace of Little Saigon. For Miguel, that just wasn’t enough. He needed a big show, to set himself apart from his closest challenger David Benavides. I would argue that the biggest difference between between the two is the few feet in height that Benavides has over Pulido—but I digress.
I wrote yesterday about two Republican congressional candidates, Delong and Royce, stoking racist and communist fears in the Asian communities to beef up their support. Their actions can be chalked up—at least in part—to driving their respective base Republican voters to the polls. But highlighting communism in Santa Ana, less than a week before election day, smells like a crime of Pandering in the First Degree.
Senator Joseph McCarthy famously said during one of his hearings held to root out communism in the government:
“I have here in my hand a list of two hundred and five people that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department.” -Senator Joseph McCarthy.
I wonder, who’s on Miguel’s list? I’m guessing that David Benavides tops his list, along with the three other council members who turned on him politically in this election. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few reporters like Adam Elmahrek from Voice of OC, Doug Irving, Andrew Galvin, and Ron Gonzalez from the Orange County Register have made it on to Miguel’s List.
You know a campaign is on the ropes when the candidate reaches deep inside to channel his inner McCarthyism.