Columbia, SC – Today Senator Joel Lourie and House Democratic Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford called on Governor Haley today to immediately remove and condemn Roan Garcia Quintana, a white supremacist, from her campaign committee. The letter below was sent to Governor Haley via email earlier this afternoon.
Dear Governor Haley,
South Carolina is a place that has faced serious challenges and come together in the past to create a stronger society. But when our leaders embrace those who use the most hurtful and divisive rhetoric, it takes us ten steps backwards and unnecessarily divides the state.
This week, the public has become aware of the statements, affiliations and belief in white nationalism that one of your top supporters has engaged in throughout his life. You chose Mr. Roan Garcia Quintana as one of your top supporters and placed him on your reelection grassroots steering committee – which is extremely concerning for all who want South Carolina to attract businesses, grow and move forward.
Mr. Quintana is currently the executive director of the anti-immigration organization Americans Have Had Enough. More disturbingly, he has been identified in numerous reports as a current board member and former director of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have labeled as a hate group.
Additionally, as we are sure you are aware Governor, in 1999 CCC distributed mock advertisements encouraging people to visit our state because, “South Carolina Now Has Whiter Beaches.” The CCC’s newsletter, Citizens Informer has also been used to advocate against “race-mixing,” the superiority of the white race, and the dangers of immigration to America.
This type of leadership is the opposite of what South Carolina needs. We urge you to strongly rebuke his statements and explain why you thought it appropriate to align yourself with him and his extreme beliefs.
South Carolina has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and this kind of divisive outlook will only deter businesses and start ups from coming to our state.
South Carolina is losing the majority of our educated young people to other states in the region, and this kind of backwards thinking will only drive them and their talent further away.
We have a lot of work to do in South Carolina and we cannot move forward if you continue to support the hateful, divisive rhetoric and work of people like Mr. Quintana.
The people and businesses of South Carolina deserve an explanation for why this individual was placed on your grassroots steering committee. We strongly request that you remove this individual from the position of leadership you have bestowed upon him, renounce and condemn his views and the views of the organizations he associates with, and apologize for elevating him to a position of note within your re-election campaign.
The people of South Carolina look forward to your response.
Rep. Todd Rutherford
Sen. Joel Lourie
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