ABED ARTICLE THROWS SLURS AT CAMPA NAJJAR
I appreciate Mr. Ross’s disclaimer article in this week’s paper regarding the candidate profiles he is writing between now and the elections. Such in depth pieces are critical to give voters a comprehensive picture of the women and men who hope to represent us in government. That said, I must write to correct several statements in this week’s article with Sam Abed because of slurs thrown by him at the likely Democratic candidate, Ammar Campa Najjar.
At least twice in this article the Campa campaign was accused of ballot harvesting. If Mr. Abed is upset that campaign volunteers helped voters to get their ballots mailed or delivered to ballot collection points, I am not sure I understand why that is a problem. Should we not assist every voter to get their ballots in on time? California state law now allows voters to give their completed and sealed ballot to anyone (not just a family member) to deliver to a polling place.
Mr. Abed claims that the Steyer organization paid $3 million to help register seven thousand new Hispanic voters in Escondido. While I do not have knowledge of how Tom Steyer spent his money, I can assure you that many groups, including the Campa campaign, worked tirelessly throughout 2017 and 2018 to register voters all over the county because we believe that voter registration is important. So if seven thousand American citizens exercised their legal franchise to become new voters then Sam Abed should be celebrating that victory for American democracy.
Abed claimed that Mr. Campa Najjar is very liberal but campaigning as a Republican. This is false on both ends. Campa Najjar is a moderate. Some in the party would like to see him move farther to the left but he works diligently to reach out to residents at all parts of the political spectrum. He proudly talks of campaigning at the Turkey Grill in Ramona and having Republican voters give him donations because he talks to them about their issues. I only wish the candidates in the Republican party would do the same to reach out to Democrats and NPP voters.
Lastly, Mr. Abed refers to the four freshman congresswomen who he claims hate America. They clearly love this country enough that they campaigned in tough districts to go to Congress and try to make America more functional for all of us. While I do not agree with everything that they say, I do believe they have the right to speak out as guaranteed by the Constitution’s 1st Amendment. They also have the right to worship as they wish without being accused of false allegiance to another country. They, in fact, are working diligently to make stronger the foundation to which Sam Abed refers. This country, unlike the Europe of old which he seems to revere, was built on being a land open to immigrants seeking better opportunities. While we have not always lived up to the ideal, we are a melting pot that still allows our residents to keep their original identities. I am a 6th generation American, and I welcome the many new immigrants and refugees who want to help make our country even better.
Our district is changing, I hope for the better. We are no longer a homogeneous group with only one political view. While Sam Abed served the city of Escondido as he believed best for that demography, he needs to recognize that the 50th congressional district is larger, more diverse, and more visionary.
CAROL GENDEL, San Marcos