[Cross-posted from OC Daily]
The Republican Party of Orange County is suspending aid to Mark Lopez, who is running for Anaheim City Council in District 5, over his comments regarding making Anaheim a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. Lopez is part of the slate of candidates endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait in the four council districts on the November 8 ballot; the others are leftist Democrats Jose F. Moreno (District 3) and Arturo Ferreras (District 4), and Republican Denise Barnes in District 1.
Candidates at the October 24 candidate forum, which was organized by a coalition of progressive political groups. The audience was packed with progressive activists who cheered loudly when candidates struck the left-most position.
Candidates were asked if they supported declaring Anaheim a “sanctuary city for undocumented residents.” Moreno and Ferreras each said they did. Lopez didn’t use the phrase “sanctuary city” but his answer supported the elements of sanctuary city status – prohibiting the police to from involvement with federal immigration matters.
Republican Outcry Over Lopez Stance
Lopez’ answer sparked an outcry among OC GOP activists and calls for the county party to rescind its endorsement of Lopez. Adding fuel to the fire were Lopez’s politically correct answers to questions about the city’s anti-camping ordinance to prevent parks from turning into homeless encampments, and Anaheim’s participation in a Homeland Security Department anti-terrorism program.
Lopez pledged to support repeal of the anti-camping ordinance and oppose city participation in the anti-terrorism program – criticizing it was “discriminatory.”
At the same time, video emerged of Lopez attending an Arab American Democratic Club fundraiser for progressive Democrat Jose F. Moreno:
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