An article in the local San Antonio paper yesterday by “opinion columnist” Gilbert Garcia targeted Cynthia Brehm, City Council candidate for District 8. Dredging up a Facebook post in 2015 during the time of the Obama administration’s decision to accept Syrian immigrants from the war-ravaged country, Garcia portrayed Brehm as an xenophobic immigrant hater and accused her of running a “Jerry Springer type of campaign.” Apparently Garcia’s sources for his article were primarily Cynthia Brehm’s major opponents, Manny Pelaez and Tony Valdivia.
The issue was Ms. Brehm’s comments in her Facebook page two years ago wherein she stated that immigrants from countries overrun by terrorists should not be acceptable. While she clarified after the forum that her post was taken out of context and that she was referring specifically to terrorists entering Europe from Syria, and, she was honest enough to comment that she was concerned about immigrants who did not want to assimilate and learn the English language, Garcia was not willing to give her an opportunity to respond to his accusations.
I contacted Brehm to discuss the Garcia article. She clarified for me that at the time of her Facebook posting there was the controversy over President Obama’s intent to accept Syrian refugees in spite of the warnings of the State Department, that there were concerns about vetting these refugees. Brehm also supported Governor Abbott’s concerns about admitting these refugees into Texas with potential terrorists infiltrating refugee groups.
She said that contrary to what Garcia said in his article, he did not attempt to contact her or request an interview. The other unfounded accusation by Garcia in his article concerned Pelaez and his father at the Cody Library early voting station. According to Garcia, Cynthia Brehm approached the 76 year old father of Brehm’s opponent, Manny Pelaez, and challenged “the elder Pelaez to a fistfight”. Thus the snide insinuation from Garcia that Brehm runs a “Jerry Springer type of campaign”.
But the truth is very different according to Brehm. Candidates were lined up speaking to voters. The elder Pelaez, according to Brehm, was constantly making insulting and vulgar remarks to her about her figure and especially her “bottom” and he would not stop. She told him to stop and this was taken as confronting the elder Pelaez in an “aggressive” manner. Brehm felt hurt and upset about his inappropriate comments about her figure. She felt that Garcia’s article was a petty attack that showed a clear bias against her. Nowhere in his article did he bother to discuss her views on serious issues confronting the city and where she stands on issues of interest to voters of her district and the city, specifically her priorities as city council woman – transparency and accountability, transportation, public safety, water resources, ethics reform and her opposition to the disproportionately distributed $850 million city bond.
It is interesting to note that the endorsements of the Alamo Torch News are in direct contrast to the liberal daily newspaper Garcia writes for, a virtual monopoly in the city of San Antonio.
ALAMO TORCH ENDORSEMENTS
MAY 6, 2017 San Antonio General and Bond Election
Bond Propositions 1-6 Against