Smear Campaign

Homophobic Fliers Target Ex-Aide Who Helped Save Gabby Giffords’ Life

In a smear campaign reminiscent of the 1960s, Tuscon School Board member Daniel Hernandez is being targeted with homophobic fliers in an effort to recall him from office. That’s bad enough. It’s worse when you consider that, as an aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Hernandez was one of the people credited with helping to save her life when she was shot in 2011, and that the fliers charge that Hernandez is not “a real man.”

The ostensible cause of the attacks is a bitter fight that has broken out among school board members about their support for the local school superintendent, who Hernandez and another board member have criticized for unethical behavior. A majority of the board voted to extend the superintendent’s contract anyway, which led to a recall effort against two of them. In turn, the two targeted board members have started a recall against Hernandez and the other board member allied with him. (This proves once again that school board politics are just high school food fights elevated to a new level.)

The fliers circulated against Hernandez show him at a gay rights event and proclaim that he “is LGBT,” which presumes a level of understanding surpassing the IQ of anyone who might be moved by the smear. A separate flier complains that “Daniel Hernandez cares about only one one things [sic] taking your guns away.”

No one has owned up to producing the fliers. The head of the recall effort, Marcus Castro, who is the brother-in-law of one of the pro-superintendent board members facing recall, told Right Wing Watch he had “no knowledge” of where the posters came from.

A disturbed mind might be a good place to start looking.