Locked in a Tight Election, GOP Rep. Mary Bono Mack's 'Third World Toilet' Comments About Her District Resurface
Continued from previous page
Bono's tragic death in 1998 opened the door to a political career for his wife. Many fine public servants entered politics the same way, including California's admirable Representative Lois Capps. Bono Mack should be judged on her merits and her own record.
It's not a good record. No wonder she's trying to change the subject.
Bono Mack's political views reflect the economic interests of her big-money donors far more than they do that of the middle-class and lower-income voters in her district. She's raised more than $11 million since 1998, and her top contributors include The National Auto Dealers Association, ATT, the National Realtors Association and the National Home Builders Association.
No wonder she's shown so little interest in the plight of her district's homeowners, who have seen their housing values plummet and foreclosures go through the roof. Higher-income homes are rebounding in her district, but years of plunging home prices have left her middle class constituents saddled with debt, stripped of their savings and facing a wave of foreclosures.
That big-money focus has continued in this year's campaign, where Bono Mack had raised more than $1.8 million as of last report. Her top industry contributors include Comcast and Qualcomm, which is undoubtedly the result of her fight for big telecom companies -- and against consumers.
Roughly half that money -- nearly a million dollars -- comes from PACs, while more than $700,000 comes from large individual contributors.
Mack's got about a third more money in her coffers than Ruiz, according to the data -- and that's not counting third-party ad buys from corporate-funded organizations like Karl Rove's American Crossroads GPS. Ruiz has received more than twice as much from small contributors, but that doesn't make up for his shortfall from the big-money crowd. In this tight race, he'll take every penny he can get from small contributors.
"Thank you!!!!" Mack wrote to the jock. "I heard some of your remarks with the councliman from Coachella. You were great!!!!!! Unbelievably great!!! Third World Toilet? That was too funny ... You rock and are so damn funny and smart! Hey, how come you don't send me poems and Shakespeare anymore? I miss that!"
It's a measure of Bono Mack's tastelessness that even the radio host seemed embarrassed and responded coolly.
A group of high school and college students responded more thoroughly to Bono Mack's email, after her office issued a placid and ineffectual denial:
"I welcome Bono Mack to walk the streets of Duroville, especially after the recent torrential downpour so she can experience firsthand what it really is like to live a life where the very air you breathe may be poisonous and where the streets you walk are covered in waste."
Bono Mack voted to gut environmental regulations.
"If Bono Mack is making such remarks when she thinks no one is noticing, what stops her from feeling the same way about neighboring cities?"
Or, to put it another way, what does she think about the "47 percent"?
"The living conditions of Duroville are not comedy sketch material. Treating them as such is tantamount to playground bullying."
"I would appreciate very much if our Congresswoman would see the Eastern Coachella Valley's current living conditions as a call to action rather than a source of amusement."