Top 5 Pro-Ruth/Anti-Recall Talking Points, And Our Response

Ruth Luevanos' supporters have consistently used the same talking points to defend/excuse her actions and argue against a recall. We've listed them here and explained why they're wrong.

1. "Ruth was just exercising her right to free speech."

No one is arguing that Ruth didn't have the right to say what she did. She absolutely had that right. However, she violated a Code of Ethics that she signed and promised to follow by filming the video in her City Hall office (i.e., utilizing city resources) and using her title and the city's seal to imply that the things said in this video were the official position of the City of Simi Valley. People have the right to say whatever they want, but they don't have the right to choose the consequences.

2. "Ruth was duly elected by a majority of the people and is representing ALL of Simi Valley's residents."

Ruth didn't win a single precinct during the 2018 election. In the election, Mike Judge was the top vote-getter with 22,209 votes. Ruth was second, with 13,660 - a little more than half of what Judge received. The next two candidates, both of whom were not ideologically aligned with Luevanos, received 10,751 and 9,643 votes, respectively. It's fair to say that had the field of candidates hadn't been so broad, Ruth wouldn't have been elected.

3. "Ruth didn't do this for political gain/hasn't benefited politically."

While the results might not have been what Ruth was hoping for or expected, it's obvious that it was done for political gain. Other progressive politicians like Gavin Newsom and Eric Garcetti put out similar videos, and Ruth hoped to earn party cred by putting hers out. The false claims Ruth made in the video (about ICE rounding up families who had worked here for decades without breaking any laws) and from the dais during two separate City Council meetings (about ICE raids at/near Vallarta Supermarket) were designed to create fear in the immigrant community and to divide our community as a whole. Why would Ruth, who constantly claims that she's looking out for this marginalized community, do such a thing? She would do such a thing because people who are afraid look for someone to save them. So Ruth (and Newsom and Garcetti, who are facing their own recalls) creates the fear, then positions herself as the protector to win votes in the immigrant community and beyond.

Also, as the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity. Ruth Luevanos' name recognition has gone through the roof because of the attention given to this video.

4. "Ruth was simply informing scared immigrants of their rights and protecting them."

The targets of ICE enforcement actions in July were people who had already been ordered deported and who had failed to show up for deportation as ordered, and Ruth knew that. She was protecting criminal illegal aliens and gang members, and her characterization of our government's immigration enforcement activities was untrue and served to undermine trust and confidence in the government. Also, see the answer above.

5. "A recall election will cost Simi Valley's taxpayers too much money - money that we don't have."

First, our integrity has no price tag. If Simi Valley residents and people who do business in our city can't trust the city's elected officials to tell the truth and act with the city's best interests in mind, it will cost us far more in the long run than any recall election will cost.

Second, a claim of looking out for the city's finances is hypocritical at best. Just a little over a year ago, when Ruth and her political allies were mad that the City Council in place at the time came out in support of the Trump administration's lawsuit against California relating to sanctuary cities, they arranged for attorney Kevin Shenkman to send a letter threatening to sue the City of Simi Valley unless the city switched to district-based elections. Although Simi Valley had proportionate Latino representation on the City Council for more than 20 years, Ruth and Shenkman's group claimed the city was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. The letter was essentially an extortion letter - the city could capitulate and quickly change the way council members are elected and limit legal fees to $30,000, or they could fight it and incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. As we're all aware, the city made the change to district-based elections and limited its exposure to $30,000.

Ruth also advocated for adding seats to the city council as part of the transition to district-based elections, which would have cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in salary, benefit, and additional support staff costs.

Though this transition will likely result in Ruth Luevanos losing her seat (if she's not recalled first), it goes to show that money was no object for her or for her supporters when it came to achieving their political ends. Because Ruth and her allies were able to get a "win" on this topic by appealing to the fiscal bottom line, they think it will work again.

And if you disagree with what Ruth or her supporters say, they will brand you as a racist and a bigot and someone who hates all immigrants. This tactic has worked for progressives in the past because people were afraid to stand up to them and call it out for what it is - a despicable lie. That time has passed. We will call out all of the lies and propaganda.

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