PRO-SB60 PROTESTORS PAY REPUBLICAN STATE ASSEMBLYMAN KEN MADDOX A SURPRISE VISIT!
Veteran legislator asked questions about his alleged ties with an Orange County "hate group".
By Duane J. Roberts 12/13/03
Ken Maddox, a termed-out Republican State Assemblyman from Orange County's 68th District, found himself in a bind late Friday afternoon when several human rights advocates opposed to his vote to repeal SB60, the bill signed by ex-California Governor Gray Davis which would have given undocumented workers the right to obtain driver's licenses, paid him an impromptu and unscheduled visit at his Costa Mesa office to ask the wannabe State Senator very direct and pointed questions about his alleged ties to the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR), a virulently racist, anti-immigrant group founded by Barbara Coe.
Coe, a Huntington Beach resident, is the co-author of Proposition 187, the so-called "Save our State" initiative passed by California voters in 1994 that, had it become law, would have denied emergency medical treatment to undocumented workers and barred their children from receiving a public education. During the past decade, Coe and her group, CCIR, have been actively involved in promoting racist and zenophobic causes that have laid blame for virtually all of California's economic problems on the backs of undocumented workers who come to the United States from Mexico.
Ce Coatl and Teresa, two women involved with various groups that spent several hours outside of Assemblyman Maddox's Costa Mesa office protesting his vote to repeal SB60, questioned the legislator as to the reason why he allegedly has allied himself with a "hate group" like CCIR, especially given it's notorious reputation for scapegoating Mexican immigrants. Ce Coatl wondered why the Assemblyman doesn't spend more time representing all of his constituents, instead patronizing those few linked to CCIR.
Both women's concerns were sparked by an announcement, still posted on CCIR's Web site (http://ccir.net/MEETINGS/030924.html), which makes reference to the fact the Assemblyman was invited to be the group's "keynote speaker" at a general meeting they held last September in Garden Grove. Among other things, the announcement emphasized that Maddox "has opposed pro-illegal alien legislation, endorsed and actively supported Proposition 187, and is now the Orange County co-chairman for the referendum to revoke SB60 (driver's licenses for illegals) ...."
At first, Maddox tried to distance himself from CCIR, saying the meeting that he had with the group back in September was something that a legislator routinely does to address the concerns of different constituencies who live, work, and play within the district he was elected to serve. He denied he was a racist, arguing that he has one of the most "culturally diverse" staffs that any Assemblyman could ever hope to assemble. And upon observing that Teresa was of Vietnamese ancestory, he was quick to point out that "lots of asian voters vote for me."
Maddox, however, soon began to stray away from the issue at hand, and began talking about a cardboard sign that Teresa carried into the office that had the words "Fuck Institutionalized Racism" written upon it in very bold and bright lettering. Although initially objecting to the use of profanity, he began to argue, with bizarre logic, that the language on the sign made it seem very "hateful" to him. (One here really wonders if the Assemblyman, a former Tustin police officer, would have found it "hateful" if a group of women, in an attempt to lobby an elected official such as himself to pass tougher domestic violence legislation, came to his office carrying one or two signs that had the words "Fuck Violence Against Women" imprinted on them.)
But Maddox's claim of non-affiliation with CCIR was quickly cast into the wind when a woman known by the author of this article to be a very active member of Coe's group in the Orange County area (especially in Anaheim), unexpectedly dropped by the Assemblyman's office the very moment that Maddox was having a discussion with both Ce Coatl and Teresa. In fact, upon overhearing CCIR being mentioned in the conversation, this woman casually strolled into the Assemblyman's private office, proceeded to seat herself in one of his chairs, and said, "Oh, I'm from the CCIR. Is there anything I can help you with?". This same woman would later be seen outside of Maddox's office standing next to -- you guessed it -- Barbara Coe, who, along with a tiny handful of other CCIR members, organized a counterdemonstration against those groups who peacefully assembled that afternoon to protest the legislator's vote to repeal SB60.
Maddox, apparently a bit surprised that this CCIR member showed up in his private office at a very inopportune moment, decided to wrap up the dialogue he was having with Ce Coatl and Teresa. However, as a parting comment, the Assemblyman offered an olive branch, telling both women that he would be quite willing to make arrangements to speak before any groups they represented -- just like he did with the CCIR back in September. And as the veteran legislator was saying all of this, the woman from CCIR just stood in the doorway of his private office, right next to him, listening quietly and patiently to the things he was saying.
Although Maddox's staff summoned the Costa Mesa Police and the California Highway Patrol ostendibly to protect the Republican Assemblyman from Ce Coatl, Teresa, myself, and the other pro-SB60 protestors (including a three year old girl) who entered his Costa Mesa office in a lawful and peaceful manner, everybody left the premises on their own accord without being asked to leave. There were no arrests.
Barbara Coe, joins fellow CCIR members in a counterdemonstration against those groups protesting Maddox for voting to repeal SB60. Note the woman standing behind Coe is the same person who was in Assemblyman Maddox's office.
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