JAMES RAMOS RESPONDS TO ACCUSATIONS BY NEIL DERRY

JAMES RAMOS RESPONDS TO ACCUSATIONS BY NEIL DERRY

With State Assemblyman Paul Cook announcing yesterday that he would seek a Congressional seat, there are two candidates for 3rd District County Supervisor—incumbent Neil Derry and challenger James Ramos, Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Indians. At a recent Yucca Valley Rotary meeting, Derry made serious accusations about Ramos. Z107.7 News met with Ramos for his response. Derry said recent felony charges and a conviction on campaign finance irregularities were the result of collusion between the County District Attorney Mike Ramos—who Derry referred to as “corrupt”—and candidate James Ramos in an attempt to unseat him. (The two men are not related and simply share the surname.) When Derry was reminded that the charges came from the State Attorney General’s office and not the County DA, he claimed the state preferred the charges at the request of the DA, calling it common practice. James Ramos strongly denied Derry’s claims, saying, “There is no factual basis for that. Derry is deflecting the fact that what he did was wrong and he got caught. Derry needs to man up that what he did was wrong.” Ramos also said that while he knows the DA, there was never any collusion, and in fact the crime committed by Derry occurred before he was running. Ramos said Derry trying to deflect blame—rather than just admit he was wrong—is a reflection of his character. Ramos also took strong exception to Derry’s claims that because he is the head of a sovereign nation, he should not be allowed to run, saying, “Since 1924 Congress gave Indian tribes full citizenship, the right to vote and hold public office.” Ramos said he has served two terms on the San Bernardino College Board and on the State Board of Education and the claim is a non-issue. He cited former Native American Senator Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell as an example, reminding Derry that Native Americans proudly serve in the military defending their country. Native American Ira Hayes helped raise the American flag over Iwo Jima, and native “Code-talkers” helped win World War II. Ramos said “Native Americans have fought for their right to run for and hold office just like all Americans.”

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