One Politician’s Guideline: Do Unto Others
By Marilyn Snyder
Published in the Redlands Daily Facts, September 27, 2013
“Sticks and stones may break your bones,” but contrary to the old saying, Pete Aguilar, the name calling and misrepresentation in your campaign email hurts my heart.
Your campaign sent a fundraising email stating: “He should be ashamed.
“Congressman Gary Miller has been endorsed by an extreme right-wing group that spews hateful rhetoric and even suggested that immigrants are like terrorists.”
It went on to say that you wanted “…to fight back against Gary Miller’s Tea Party backers.”
Your campaign misled readers of this email.
I believe it was an intentional political misdirection with the goal of first slamming an unnamed conservative group, then deliberately linking that disparagement to the Redlands Tea Party Patriots.
Readers logically assumed that the RTPP is an extreme rightwing group, that the RTPP spews hateful rhetoric, that the RTPP hates immigrants.
Not only are all three assumptions false, but implying that the RTPP are radicals and extremists is grotesquely false.
We are a group of loyal Americans — Republicans, Democrats and independents — who believe in the Constitution, free markets and fiscal responsibility.
We are not a nine-day wonder like the Occupy mini-movement you endorsed.
We are your neighbors and fellow Redlanders and you are our mayor. We are the people you have to face at the City Council meetings.
You know me by sight and by name. Will you be able to look me in the face after falsely implying that I spit out hate speech?
As for our calling immigrants “terrorists,” the facts speak for themselves. Some immigrants, both legal and illegal, are terrorists. Some are not. But there is a huge difference between legal and illegal immigrants.
I am the granddaughter of legal immigrants, married to the grandson of legal immigrants, teacher, taxpayer, loyal American, friend to every race and religion, enemy to none but those who would destroy my country.
We don’t gush any kind of verbosity.
We urge people to get informed so they can make educated choices about candidates and issues.
Implying that we are an extreme right-wing group is the kind of twisted talk that creates lasting ill will among your constituents.
I’m not the only RTPP member who got the wrong impression from this political fireball.
One member sent you an email that said: “I have never been a witness to or party to the accusations you have…made about the group that I am a member of…. it would be in your best interests to completely retract this hateful lie.…” The RTPP believe fiscal responsibility should be every politician’s byword.
We wanted to drive that point home to the Redlands City Council because of the number of California cities that have gone bankrupt or are on the verge of bankruptcy.
We didn’t want our beautiful city to join that parade.
I presented a petition, signed by hundreds of patriots, to the City Council that begged for prudent fiscal responsibility and a plan for the city’s millions of dollars of unfunded liabilities. You responded only that the city had a balanced budget.
It is not extremism that drives the RTPP to address the issue of fiscal responsibility.
It is good citizenship.
One fear of many Redlanders is that not enough is being done to prepare for the time when those millions come due.
It is not extremism for the citizens of Redlands to want our city to stay in the black rather than the red.
While it is difficult to run a campaign and to fulfill your obligation to serve as mayor of Redlands at the same time, you did commit to the people of Redlands first, so please, stop alienating us.
Redlanders, Mr. Aguilar needs to be reminded of the Golden Rule.
Email him at info@peteaguilar. com and ask him to run an honest and truthful campaign.