Bono Mack, Ruiz unleash accusations

“You cannot deny that you walked people to Plymouth Rock and said ‘Crush this and all that it stands for’ … Dr. Ruiz, who are you? Because we do not know who you are,” Mary Bono Mack said, adding she was “truly frightened” by what she found out about Ruiz and that he was “one of the most far-left candidates ever to seek office.”

The only debate between two candidates running for an Inland Congressional seat turned into a launching pad for accusations ranging from selling out veterans to hating Thanksgiving.

U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, and Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz attacked each other’s values during a televised hourlong debate Friday, Oct. 12, underscoring the rancorous tenor of the race for California’s 36th Congressional District seat.

Bono Mack and Ruiz are running to represent a newly shaped district stretching from the Arizona state line to Hemet. The district covers Banning, Beaumont and Riverside County’s desert communities.

Bono Mack, seeking her ninth term in the House, accused Ruiz of being a far-left radical and repeatedly referred to Ruiz’s 1997 arrest in Massachusetts while participating in a Thanksgiving Day protest against the treatment of American Indians.

She said Ruiz, an emergency room doctor, took part in protests for six years, dressed in Aztec warrior colors and encouraged people to smash Plymouth Rock. Bono Mack added that he also supported Leonard Peltier, an Indian rights activist convicted of killing an FBI agent.

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