Democratic congressional challenger Raul Ruiz launched his harshest critique of Rep. Mary Bono Mack today, accusing her of having a “a pattern of disdain for her constituents.”
Ruiz’s campaign dug up a 2006 email that the Palm Springs Republican sent KNWZ radio talk show host Gary Stone that laughed at Stone’s term of “Third World toilet” in a conversation with a Coachella councilman.
“I heard some of your remarks with the councliman from Coachella. You were great!!!!!!” Bono Mack wrote in an email that was later published on the website Daily Kos. “Unbelievably great!!! Third World Toilet? That was too funny.”
Bono Mack was running against Democrat David Roth that year. The email never re-surfaced in her later campaigns.
“Even Mitt Romney would have been disgusted by that comment,” said Ruiz. “Instead, Mary Bono Mack called it ‘great.’ When she was first elected, she said she wanted to represent the whole district. Now she shows a pattern of disdain for her constituents – not just through her words, but through her votes.”
When asked about the email today, Bono Mack’s political director Marc Troast said it was “inappropriate” to send.
“The Congresswoman understands that the email that was sent over five years ago was inappropriate and does not reflect her true feelings,” Troast said in an email.
He did not elaborate further.
Ruiz’s comments come as he’s been calling for Bono Mack to denounce controversial comments GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said at a fundraiser. Bono Mack’s camp has not responded.
Update as of 5:30 p.m.:
Troast now says the email was not meant to be directed at Coachella.
Troast instead insisted that Bono Mack was referring to an on-air conversation about the “corruption to allow the living conditions that are in Duroville,” a mobile home park on tribal land in Thermal.
Despite multiple questions, Troast did not specify what he meant by “corruption,” saying that’s how it was referenced on air.