San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry has launched an assault on the character of his major opponent, San Manuel tribal chairman James Ramos, in a campaign mailer tying Ramos to “gang members,” “drug dealers” and “killers for hire.”
The flier labeled Ramos a “Casino Boss” with ties to the Mexican Mafia. It was found plastered on hundreds of windshields outside Ramos’ campaign headquarters in Redlands on Tuesday night, where Ramos was hosting a campaign kickoff event at his headquarters, said Dave Gilliard, Ramos’ campaign manager.
In a statement Wednesday, Ramos called Derry’s hit mailer a “false and pathetic attempt to smear me by my opponent and his campaign consultant.”
“I believe that voters want
Information revealed in court documents and by former tribal employees showed that the San Manuel reservation had been infiltrated by the Mexican Mafia, whose members were believed to be extorting money from tribal members, who receive monthly stipends of roughly $100,000, generated from casino profits.
In an e-mail Tuesday, Derry’s campaign manager, Christopher Jones, said the Third Supervisorial District is a “conservative, law and order stronghold.”
“With a contested Republican Presidential Primary and hotly contested local Republican Primaries for Congress, voter turnout in the June election is expected to be even more heavily Republican than usual,” Jones said in his e-mail.
The flier was e-mailed to 11,000 Third District constituents Wednesday. The Third Supervisorial District includes portions of San Bernardino, Redlands, the San Bernardino Mountains, the Morongo Basin and the High Desert.
Ramos has secured endorsements from multiple law enforcement officials, while Derry has secured endorsements from city officials across the county.
Gilliar called Derry’s campaign tactics those of a desperate man.
“It’s so pathetic,” Gilliard said. “We’re kind of saddened that that’s Derry’s opening salvo in a campaign. He’s trying to create a story that doesn’t exist there.”
A serious candidate would not have put out a flier like that,” he said. “That kind of mailer is a real insult to voters. It’s so over the top that it backfires.”
Derry remains confident in his campaign tactics and believes they’re appropriate.
“He can spend two times the amount of money, but he’s the chairman of a sovereign nation, doesn’ pay income taxes and doesn’t have to follow the same laws he wants to pass for other people in this county because he lives on a reservation,” Derry said. “(Ramos) should run for some federal office because he falls under federal laws. I have no objection to him running for Congress.”
What do you think? Paul Schrader