Top Filipino-American Campaign Official Resigns Amidst Controversy

SAN DIEGO (10/8)- San Diego real estate developer and founder of the National Federation of Filipino-American Republicans (NFFAR) resigned from his post and withdrew his endorsement of presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ) amidst an air of speculation and confusion.  In a written statement, Diaz stated, “I am resigning as Chairman of NFFAR.  It was a hard decision on my part.  However, I believe that I have to do it because of what has been happening in the McCain campaign…  I endorsed McCain before the California primary believing that he was the right man for the job.  I was wrong.  His selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate and his decision a few days ago to resort to personal attacks on Obama’s character and integrity run counter to my personal beliefs and core values.  I have lost my respect for McCain and I believe that a McCain/Palin administration would only worsen the economic situation in the country”

Part of his the reason for sudden resignation could also be found at his website (see:www.perryscope.org ) wherein he posted (10/3) what is believed to be a series of policy disagreements between Diaz and specifically against Sarah Palin offer insight into the resignation.

In regards to the environment Diaz pointed out that, “Sarah Palin falsely claimed that she was the first governor to form a climate change subcabinet, when at least 28 states had already taken action”.  Furthermore he pointed out that, “Sarah Palin said “I don’t want to argue about the causes” for global warming, when she has clearly taken the position that she doesn’t not believe it is man-made”.

In regards to the issue of Medicare reform, Diaz posted one piece stating, “In her closing remarks at the vice-presidential debate Thursday night, Ms. Palin referred earnestly, if loosely, to a quote from Ronald Reagan. He had warned that if Americans weren’t vigilant in protecting their freedom, they would find themselves spending their “sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in America when men were free.” What Ms. Palin didn’t say was that the menace to freedom that Reagan was talking about was Medicare. As the historian Robert Dallek has pointed out, Reagan “saw Medicare as the advance wave of socialism, which would ‘invade every area of freedom in this country”.  Furthermore, “Palin says taxes wouldn’t go up under the McCain health care plan, a fact even his own campaign has acknowledged isn’t true”.  Also it is posted, “Palin claimed Obama’s health plan is “government run” which has been widely debunked as a “canard”…”

In regards to the War on Terror, Diaz stated, “Palin repeated what the AP called the “highly misleading” attack that Obama opposed funding for the troops, and Factcheck.org notes that the same methodology would lead to the same conclusion for McCain”. In regards to the recent “surge”, Diaz states “Palin said that [McKiernan] did not say a surge wouldn’t work in Afghanistan, when just yesterday he said “The word I don’t use for Afghanistan is ’surge,’ ” McKiernan stressed, saying that what is required is a “sustained commitment” to a counterinsurgency effort that could last many years and would ultimately require a political, not military, solution…”  Another point of contention was the issue of civilian deaths in Iraq, where, “Sarah Palin said “Obama had said that all we’re doing in Afghanistan is air raiding villages and killing civilians and such a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment again hurts our cause. That’s not what we are doing there.” Unfortunately, the Associated Press says that Obama was right in discussing a critically important point about avoiding civilian casualties”.

The harshest complaints are leveled regarding the McCain /Palin campaign in regards to the economy.  In regards to partisanship, Diaz stated, “Palin said McCain is “known for putting partisan politics aside to just get the job done,” but he has voted with Bush 90% of the time in the Senate and bragged about his support for Bush on important issues”.  Diaz also pointed out that in regards to taxes, “Palin repeated the attack that Obama voted for higher taxes 94 times, which the New York Times says is “false,” CNN says is “Misleading,” and FactCheck.orgsays is “inflated”.  As for the economy, “Palin tried to say “John McCain saying our economy was strong” was taken out of context, but McCain has used the phrase “The Fundamentals Of The Economy Are Strong” at least 16 times this year…”

While it is uncertain what will happen next for the real-estate developer.  It is fairly certain that this sudden change of opinion will have a drastic effect on the presidential election, leaving the Republicans with less than 4 weeks to select a new community to draw from the Filipino-American community.

-Jose Ricardo G. Bondoc