The ghost of Alabama’s segregationist former Gov. George Wallace brought trouble to the conservative stronghold of Orange County, Calif., this month and an anti-Muslim Republican is paying a political price for it.
It started last week when people complained about letters a local businessman sent out in support of Deborah Pauly, a local councilwoman and a leader in the Orange County GOP who drew nationwide attention last year when she helped lead an angry protest against Muslims with chants like “terrorists go home.” Pauly is now running for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
The letters, it turns out, weren’t like most other pitches for support that flood mailboxes each election year. They appeared on old letterhead from one of Wallace’s failed campaigns for president. The Los Angeles Times reported they carried an embossed portrait of the former Alabama governor and the slogan, “Wallace for President, Stand up for America.”
According to the Orange County Register, the letters were sent to 7,900 voters by businessman Robert Walters, 70, who identified himself as Wallace’s presidential campaign chairman in 1967. Wallace ran as an American Independent Party candidate in the 1968 race for president.
Both newspapers said Walters praised Pauly’s protests against Muslims in the letter and wrote: “We need Deborah Pauly and her brand of hard core limited government, fiscally-conservative positions on the County Board of Supervisors.”
Pauly is perhaps best known for the protest last year of the southern California fundraiser that featured Muslim speakers. Protesters shouted chants describing Muslims as perverts and terrorists, saying followers of the religion had blood on their hands. The protest, which drew about 100 people, was condemned by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
But Pauly has been at the center of other recent uproars, too. Last year, the Register reported, she defended a fellow Orange County Republican who sent out an email depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee.
In 2010, according to the L.A. Times, she also drew criticism after posting a message on her Facebook page that compared applauding the president’s health care reform plan to “applauding a mugging or a rape.”