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A blogger who received campaign funds from U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, has launched racist attacks on Republican Representative Mayra Flores, the first Mexican-born woman to be elected to Congress and Gonzalez’s opponent in the race in Texas’ 34th congressional district. .
Texas political blogger Jerry McHale called the congresswoman “Miss Frijoles” and “Miss Enchiladas.” He accused her of “playing the race card”; and called her a “cotton-picking liar” because of her claims that she worked in cotton fields with her immigrant parents as a child.
Gonzalez’s campaign gave the McHale report $1,200 on June 24 for “advertising services,” according to the Federal Election Commission, as well as $1,000 on Oct. 27 of last year.
Gonzalez did not immediately respond to request for comment.
NBC News first reported on the campaign contributions. Gonzalez’s campaign manager, Collin Steele, told NBC News that the campaign had not paid for McHale to roll out these attacks, texting the network: “Of course the congressman is against naming Rep. Flores as ‘Miss Frijoles’ or a ‘cotton-pick-a-liar’.”
In a statement to the Texas Tribune, Flores said she was “disgusted that Vicente Gonzalez hired a creepy blogger to attack my Mexican heritage and sexually degrade me, but I won’t let that distract me from my work.”
“Vicente Gonzalez is an example of everything that is wrong with Washington. He has no case to rely on,” she said.
McHale also appears to have received publicity disbursements from the campaigns of former U.S. Representatives Filemon Vela and Solomon Ortiz dating back to 2004. Vela’s campaign, which resigned from office earlier this year, gave McHale $500 for publicity in March 2020.
It’s the second time since Flores was elected in her June 14 special election that Gonzalez has taken aim at comments made about her opponent. Gonzalez told Newsweek last month that the freshman congresswoman was an “unqualified” Republican Party “pawn” and distanced herself from Flores, saying, “I was not born in Mexico, I was born in the South Texas, the son of a Korean war veteran.”
McHale defended his rhetoric in a blog post on Monday where he wrote that Flores “obviously has no concept of satire, especially in the political arena”, adding “when did frijoles become the equivalent of the word” NOT “?”
Flores pointed to the posts on Twitter, drawing comparisons to First Lady Jill Biden’s comments in San Antonio last week where she said the city’s Latino community was “unique like breakfast tacos” (the first lady later apologized for the comment). Several Republican allies drew a similar comparison, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tweeter “#WeAreNotTacos” in support.
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