East Valley Residents Tune In, React to Congressional Debate

October 15, 2012 /


Dr. Raul Ruiz, who grew up in Coachella, shakes hands with Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack before they faced off during the 36th District Congressional Debate. PHOTO: Aurora Saldivar/Coachella Unincorporated


On Friday, October 12, Dr. Raul Ruiz and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack faced off during the 36th District Congressional Debate. After the debate, Coachella Unincorporated reporters asked Eastern Coachella Valley residents the following question: “Who do you believe won the debate, and why?”

Here are their responses:


“He was not upset nor lost his stance, which Bono did – both things. He responded questions as best as he could, she dodged them as always. They were not debating about Pelosi (which was mentioned quite often by Bono), they were debating about issues affecting not only our area but the nation as a whole, yet she was locked in Plymouth Rock and Pelosi. She could not even answer a question like ‘Right here, right now: do you support same sex marriage?’ She was asked if she supported it, not if she will make all the country abide to her word, simple as that. And that is a tendency for her – she supports same-sex marriage, but does not; she creates jobs left and right, but she does not; and she represents the east part of the valley – which she kindly nicknames ‘The Toilet’ – and then she does not. In short, she suggests but does not say if she does or not. And if she says she does, she really does not – or the other way around. It was also clear that Bono lost her temper, and Ruiz kept his coolness all the time…Ruiz won the debate. Why? Simply because Bono had no arguments – valid, coherent, clear and strong ones — to debate with Ruiz.”

Eduardo Guevara, 35, Mecca

“Dr. Ruiz won the debate on Friday. Reason why, is because he stuck to the issues at hand and continually questioned the Congresswoman about Medicare and other issues. She was very agitated with every question. I was very upset when she had no comment on her use of ‘Third World Toilet’ to describe the East Valley. This really upsets me because no one, black, white, brown, green, yellow should be saying that about another’s place of living. Especially her, since she represents the entire Coachella Valley in Congress. In addition, the Congresswoman was very desperate so she resorted to Dr. Ruiz’s arrest in college as her way of trying to win the debate. Dr. Ruiz held his composure, stuck to his guns, and held her responsible, and that is why he won.”

Ernesto Rosales, 41, Coachella

I believe that Dr. Ruiz overwhelmed the viewers with honest responses to questions asked in the debate. Trying to defend himself from the accusations made by the Congresswoman distracted the debate away from the issues.  He made it very clear where he stood on same sex marriage and Medicare, while the Congresswoman often sounded like a broken record. Rather than answering the questions, she kept on bringing more from Ruiz’s past.  We now know that Dr. Ruiz was doing back then what he wants to do now for this valley; he wants to speak for those that haven’t been heard. He wants to be a voice for the voiceless. Mary Bono Mack just used old tactics. She wanted to scare the viewer, taking advantage of the fear doctrine.  Although I heard no new plans from the Congresswoman, she did want you to know that her opponent was ‘so far left’ and that he was a ‘Pelosi puppet.’”

Luis Magaña Grashiid, 21, North Shore

“I believe that Dr. Ruiz won the debate because he addressed current issues instead of past ones. Congresswoman Mack presented herself in a very disrespectful manner. She brought up other politicians’ mistakes, as well insulted Dr. Ruiz on past decisions that were irrelevant to questions being asked.”

Frances Flores, 44, Coachella

“I feel that no one truly won the debate on Friday. The debate, which was supposed to be on local issues, was instead about insulting each other. Both Dr. Ruiz and Congresswoman Mack were out of line and completely disrespectful. Had the two of them actually focused on local issues, I think that Dr. Ruiz would’ve won.”

Virgilio Martinez, 79, Coachella (Translated from Spanish)

“Dr. Ruiz seems like a good fit for the job. He seems to relate more and be a great role model to young people. He’s like a picture perfect success story.”
Jose Martinez 22, Mecca

“I wish these people would stop fighting and just fix what’s wrong.”
Stephanie Gonzalez, 17, Coachella

“I have never heard or seen of an event in this part of the valley where Mary Bono Mack has visited or spent time. Dr. Ruiz, on the other hand, has volunteered at the Flying Doctors and has shown that he really cares for the people of the East Valley.”
Juan Escobedo, 23, Coachella

“Did she really vote to increase her pay nine times? Man get her out of there!”
Carlos Jimenez, 35, Coachella

“Why don’t I ever see Mary Bono Mack in our community? Does she not care about us? Dr. Ruiz is one of us, born and raised in the east valley. He is someone that knows the real issues of the east valley. Let’s get him elected!”
Karla Navarro, 52, North Shore


— Compiled by Tony Aguilar, Johnny Flores, Jr., Aurora Saldivar

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