The bitter battle for First District's City Council seat reached new heights. Todd Ruiz documents the escalating conflict for the Star-News, where the debate questions sparked nastiness.
It was one question that was more a statement characterizing Salzer's motives for running that caused audience members to turn on one another.
"Your intention seems clear to use your position of power for your own benefit," Devine read from the unsigned card, which was one of two questions challenging Salzer's reason for moving into the district and running for office.
Some present, including supporters of Salzer, tried to shout Devine down and prevent her from continuing. Multiple arguments broke out, such as one between Pasadena Journal Publisher Joe Hopkins, who helped sponsor the event and is one of Robinson's chief supporters, and another woman at the back of the room.
Salzer, who is white, said he feels Hopkins, who is black, and others are opposing him and supporting Robinson, who is black, because of her race.
“He's got the power of the pen, and he will say whatever he wants to say. This whole thing should not be about race. It should be about merit and experience and who can reach out to the people,” said Salzer. “Jacque is [Hopkins'] candidate, and I think they are afraid they are going to lose.”Put that way, Salzer comes off rather unfavorably (or so it seems to me). Hopkins connection to Robinson, though, should give any savvy reader pause when he makes assertions that Villicana attempted to intimidate Robinson, particularly without contacting Salzer and his wife for comments.
Of course, as Salzer's supporters demonstrated, neither side seems to be above the acrimony. Coming up, Proctor watch, District 2 faceoff, and the comment roundup.