Friday, September 03, 2010
Guest Blog: Response to Hateful Letter About Brian Colón Published in Valencia County News-Bulletin
This is a guest blog by Victor Raigoza, a life-long Democratic activist who serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County.
Victor offers a message to Democrats in response to a letter to the editor published this week in the Valencia County News-Bulletin with the headline, "Lt. Governor candidate needs to act like a man." The letter is a hateful and highly personal ad hominem attack on Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Brian Colón and his family. The letter has prompted numerous complaints to the newspaper questioning why such a venal, insulting and slanderous message was published at all.
There has also been a huge outpouring of heartfelt support for Brian and his family, who lived for many years in Valencia County as highly respected and much-loved members of the community. His father suffered from muscular dystrophy and was lovingly cared for by his mother, who also suffered from health problems. The family built and operated a local flea market to help make ends meet, and Brian worked there and at other jobs from a young age. Both of his parents are now deceased, with his dad passing away at much too early age due to MD.
On the campaign trail, Brian often talks about his experiences growing up, how Democratic programs like surplus cheese from the federal government helped the family survive and how educational assistance helped him become the first in his family to earn a college degree, and then a law degree. He believes in helping and trying to inspire others to do the same, and is a strong supporter of public education and the compassionate values that have long been the core of Democratic Party principles. Brian Colón not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. -- Barbara Wold
My fellow Democrats,
This past Wednesday, the Valencia News-Bulletin published what I consider to be the most hateful, mean-spirited letter to the editor I have ever seen in my life.
The sad part about the letter is that it represents the views of so many right-wing Republicans who are vehemently against so much of what we as Democrats hold near and dear to our hearts. I believe that the author expresses the true feelings of compassion -- or I should say the lack of compassion -- of the current New Mexican Republican Party.
My immediate response to the letter was one of anger in that I truly feel, "you can mess with me but don't mess with my family." Brian Colón is not only a dear friend to me and many of you, but he also is an example of the success of so many of the programs we as Democrats have fought to implement over the years. If the letter does not stir you to the importance of the upcoming election, nothing will.
After reading this letter, I hope you are moved to do whatever you can to assure a Denish-Colón victory in November. Over the next 60 days, when you are so tired or so busy that you feel that you simply cannot do more to help the cause, please reread this letter. I guarantee that it will motivate you to go the extra mile in support of our candidates and our cause.
Are you going to stand by and let this bully talk this way to one of our own, or are you going to be moved to action? I have never tolerated bullies and I am not about to start now. I am here to fight to the end to defend my candidates and my Democratic family -- and I hope I can count on you to do the same.
Your Bernalillo County Vice Chair and your brother in arms,
Victor P. Raigoza
This is a guest blog by Victor Raigoza. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.
Note: Research via Google shows that the author of the vile letter to the editor is, among other things, a tea party activist, a self-described Lifelong Conservative Republican and a collector of Ann Coulter dolls.
He wrote on the Coulter doll site, "I'm buying my oldest daughter this doll. I would much rather she grow up to be like Ann than some liberal, tree-hugging, no brain Barbie. Ann speaks the truth, that's why the left hates her so. If I were elected President, Ann Coulter would be my press secretary."
He is listed as the official New Mexico organizer for Draft Palin 2012. He’s also a "Tea Party Patriot and a member of the Los Lunas Tea Party group as well as the right wing group “New Mexico Liberty.”
The guy also tried to infiltrate a private fundraiser for the ticket in Los Lunas last month, where he had to be escorted out after causing a ruckus. At that time he claimed he was not a conservative political activist at all.
If you'd like to express your opinion to the News-Bulletin about their publication of this slanderous, personal attack on Brian Colon, click here.
How dare this Kimothy guy insult Brian Colon who is a truly honorable candidate. Victor is right it will make people work that much harder for victory.
Posted by: pct chair | Sep 3, 2010 12:50:06 PM
I grew up in valencia county. I was raised by a proud conservative republican father who served his country in the army and in war. My parents encouraged me to vote and register republican. In college I changed to democrat. But I maintain good political and social ties to many republicans in my hometown of Los Lunas. I regularly support many republicans for public office in municipal and county government because I grew up with the candidates and I know they are good people. The letter attacking the deceased family of Brian Colon is sad example of how the GOP has lost it's way. Vote Democrat and tell the world you disagree with personal attacks like this. I'd like to see the good hearted republicans I know speak up and repudiate this type of thing. Sure it's a free country but the community can and should come together to condemn the hate.
I saw many Val Co republicans at Brian's primary election events. I attended his colon crew kick off and a house party in Los Lunas where republicans served on the host committee. These are people who went to LLHS with Brian who know him well. A republican mayoral candidate and judicial candidate were in attendance. Brian commands strong support in Valencia County and anyone dumb enough to attack him in such a vicious manner in a letter to the editor of a news paper in our home county is painfully unaware of how close knit valencianos are. It will likely backfire.
Posted by: Valenciana | Sep 3, 2010 1:00:03 PM
I'd bet that everyone who has ever met Brian Colon or heard him speak knows that the letter to the editor is mean and inaccurate. I have to ask what is wrong with the guy who wrote it. His experience of life must be miserable with all that hate.
Posted by: Old Dem | Sep 3, 2010 1:18:23 PM
Think about it-this Kimothy writing the hate is a tea party leader and Susana Martinez kissed up to the tea party people like crazy during the Republican primary. This tells you something about what she is about too.
Posted by: LC voter | Sep 3, 2010 1:24:01 PM
The Republican Party has really run off the rails, under the leadership of people like John Beohner and the fundors behind the Tea Party.
What has happened to them is that the policies that they were pushing as far back as the 1930s, in reaction to FDR's New Deal, were largely proven, under Reagan, Bush and Bush, to be very flawed.
The Christian Right tends to think that because they are so absolutely perfect in their thinking, that they ought to be listened to as if they wrote the gospels. They tend to forget they didn't. They confuse writing the gospels with writing the Constitution. They didn't write that either.
But they are right, dammit! Next thing we know they will be demanding a Chile style overthrow so all of us can be commanded at the point of a gun.
These people really need to work on their perspective. Jesus didn't preach hatred or emotional blackmail.
We really need to make sure these people don't get into public office, wherever they might be running. If elected, they will be nothing but argumentative and obstructionist, making real thinking about real problems harder at the very time we need leadership that is intelligent, focused and capable.
Posted by: Stuart Heady | Sep 3, 2010 2:30:48 PM
I have no problem with right-wing viewpoints - I try to publish commentaries from all types of individuals on my own site. However an editorial like this does not demonstrate even a semblance of journalistic integrity, and I am surprised the News-Bulletin published it.
The really hilarious thing is: Because of the thoughtless language used, the writer of the editorial comes across as more "whiny" than the whiniest of tree-hugging democrats he claims to revile so much. Why don't you "suck it up", Mr. Kimothy or whatever they call you at the Tea Party rallies? Don't you have more important things to whine about than Mr. Colon's family, many of whom aren't even around to defend themselves? If all your "hard work" made you so bitter and miserable, then you don't present a very good example for the rest of us.
Posted by: Lily Ribeiro | Sep 3, 2010 6:37:28 PM
I agree with Lily. We all support the first amendment and understand political debate can get rough at times but this guy's letter goes way too far and is way too personal. If he stuck to political policies it would have been fine but what he said was very mean. Like you said it reflects more on him than anything else.
Posted by: gente1 | Sep 3, 2010 6:44:32 PM
Furthermore, he can't spell. The word is "teat," not "teet."
Posted by: wedum59 | Sep 3, 2010 8:44:38 PM
Helping those in need is indeed a core Democratic value – but it’s more. It’s a litmus test to many.
People who react the way this Kimothy did feel that everyone should be able to excel, unaided, under all adversities. Those who cannot, even little single-parent or orphaned children, have only themselves to blame.
We Democrats, on the other hand, feel that people in need deserve help.
I've many times heard Brian’s talk about how he and his mother got a hand up from programs like Headstart. And every time I choke up with pride because these values of generosity, caring and kindness, these core Democrat values, are MY VALUES.
I know the system and the programs work because they brought a certain freckled-faced kid out of poverty to become a pillar of our community - a testament to why we should continue to support these programs and step up our support of Brian.
Keep telling your story Brian. It will continue to bring you and Diane support from New Mexicans because we know that helping people in need is not only the right thing to do, but it pays in dividends like creating good people like you.
Posted by: Danny Hernandez | Sep 4, 2010 10:47:32 AM