Confusion is nothing new in local politics, but many new ads for Silicon Valley politicians demonize him by falsely associating him with Donald Trump.
Former San Jose City Councilman Johnny Khamis, who is running for District 1 on the County Board of Supervisors, said he was disgusted by recent emails sent by his opponents and her political allies. will take on San Jose City Councilman Sylvia Arenas for a seat in District 1, replacing Supervisor Mike Wasserman, whose term expires at the end of the year.
Arenas’ campaign and mail sent by the South Bay Labor Council likened Khamis to former President Trump, spent taxpayer money on several trips abroad, and was endorsed by far-right Republicans. , claiming to be more pro-life than mainstream Republicans. Hamis said he publicly left the Republican Party for the Trump administration and said the ad was defamatory.
“Being placed next to Trump and almost physically wearing a MAGA hat on his head was very deceptive and the exact opposite of what I expected from Sylvia,” Camis told the San Jose Spotlight. Agreed to avoid ad hominem attacks. “This does not magnify the truth. These are direct lies and character assassinations. Why can’t we just focus on policy differences?”
Gene Cohen, executive director of the Labor Council, defended Mailer, saying he informed voters the truth about Camis’ affiliation with “far-right Republican elements.”
“Kamis speaks like a Republican, thinks like a Republican, and gets along well with pro-Trump organizations,” Cohen told the San Jose Spotlight. “He’s more Republican than independent.”
Arenas chief of staff Patrick McGarity said Mr. Camis’ departure from the Republican Party was “just a campaign to hide his right-wing identity.”
“Voters need to know that the largest MAGA Trumper in the county is on a crusade to gain power over healthcare decisions and public health policy by electing Johnny Cumis,” he said. rice field.
The MAGA mailer is the latest in a string of misleading, racist and offensive political ads this election cycle. San José Spotlight confirmed the facts of these claims.
Claim 1: Is Khamis a MAGA Republican?
Hamis was a Republican for most of his adult life, but it was Trump’s views on immigration and Republican conservative views on social issues that alienated him, he said. In 2018, he officially left the party and publicly denounced Trump several times.
The Arenas campaign did not claim that Khamis was a MAGA Republican, but said MAGA voters supported Khamis. Mailers don’t make that distinction explicitly. They point to former Camis chief of staff Shane Patrick Connolly, who is leading local efforts to re-elect Trump as Santa Clara County Republican Party chairman.
“Will Sylvia stand by everything that every Democrat has ever done?” Connolly told the San Jose Spotlight. Should we call it an arena? That’s ridiculous.
Arenas campaign mailers also claim that Camis is backed by the Proud Boys (a far-right white supremacist group linked to the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol) and local Republican groups. . There is no evidence that Khamis is related to the Proud Boys. Khamis received endorsements from the Santa Clara County Republican Party and the Republican Women’s Association of Silicon Valley.
However, Mr Khamis said he did not seek their support and even called for him to be removed.
Claim 2: Taxpayer Travel
Campaign mailers for Arenas allege that Khamis spent $20,000 to travel to Ireland with Connolly on the San Jose City Council, but this had nothing to do with city business. The city spent an estimated $20,000 on the trip, which includes travel expenses not only for Khamis, but for her eight other city employees.
The trip was to Sister Cities, a long-term partnership between foreign cities created to promote peace and promote tourism and cultural exchanges. San Jose has at least eight sister cities, including Okayama, Japan and Dublin, Ireland. The purpose of the trip was economic development training.
Mailer also claims that Khamis has made five taxpayer-funded trips to the East Coast, Europe and Asia. He travels on official business for the city, but with the exception of a trip to Dublin, he paid for all his overseas trips through personal funds and scholarships.
Claim 3: The Abortion Stand
In a text ad, Arenas’ campaign volunteers claim that Camis is pro-life and “supports a ban on abortion even more extreme than the ban proposed by Republicans in DC.”
Khamis says this is not true and supports abortion rights until late in pregnancy. In 2016, Khamis said in a survey that she only supports abortion until 12 weeks pregnant.
“People’s perspective changes the more they learn,” says Khamis. “I have stated this on many forums, so these are misleading lies.”
Contact Jana Kadah [email protected] Or @Jana_Kadah on Twitter.